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What a long, strange trip it’s been
From the early October opening night come back win in Portland, through the mid-winter slump that seems to hit every team that calls Worcester home, to the improbable stretch run to the playoffs, the Sharks electrified crowds with their “never give up” attitude. Most nights no matter how far behind they were there always seemed to be that swagger that said “we ain’t dead yet”.
And in a lot of those nights, they weren’t.
We saw the highs of several players hitting career marks in goals and points, and unfortunately saw the lows of a few that had season ending injuries. We briefly got to enjoy Joe Pavelski totally destroy AHL goaltending before his recall to San Jose, and we got to see future budding superstars in Torrey Mitchell, Thomas Greiss, and Jamie McGinn. The mid-season additions of Josh Prudden and Tom Walsh added a spark to the line up, and both played major roles in the Sharks push to the post season and playoff run.
We saw how important goaltending is when Greiss stepped his play up to the next level, and in some nights literally willed this team to victory. We saw it again when the “forgotten” netminder Dimitri Patzold helped rally the team when down 3-0 to Manchester in the playoffs.
We saw San Jose was serious about adding quality veterans to the Worcester squad with the signings of Mathieu Darche and Graham Mink, and both played as well as their reputations said. We saw Brennan Evans and Scott Ferguson lead an offensive-minded corps of blueliners, and then we saw the return of old friend Patrick Traverse to add a little “D” to defense.
And the most important thing we saw night in and night out was effort. On every team there’s varying levels of talent, and usually varying levels of effort. That was not the case with the Sharks. Say what you want about their talent, but it was a very rare occasion to not see 100% effort from every player on every shift.
POINTS PER GAME
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