San Jose Sharks: Predicting the 2012-13 Starting Lines on Offense
A disappointing 2011-12 NHL season followed by a disappointing 2012 offseason usually does not equal tremendous success in the 2012-13 NHL season.
However, the San Jose Sharks are still one of the more talented teams on paper, and a core consisting of Joe Thornton Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture is never a bad thing to have.
GM Doug Wilson did make some moves this offseason, despite the absence of a big-name acquisition.
Brad Stuart becomes a veteran presence on the defensive side of the puck, something the team has lacked since it lost Rob Blake to retirement years ago.
The team also acquired Adam Burish, good friends with Pavelski from the University of Wisconsin, who appears to be very much behind a Sharks postseason run run.
But this Sharks team is unlike what we have become accustomed to over the past few seasons.
Instead of holding a permanent spot at the top of the Western Conference standings as in previous seasons, it would be a surprise to see the Sharks anywhere in the top three seeds at the end of this season.
Here are the presumed starting lines heading into next season.
Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski
This is consistently one of the best first lines in all of hockey, but they have yet to take that next step into becoming an unstoppable force for opposing defenses.
Their chemistry is undeniable, but it would be nice to see them produce on a consistent basis throughout the entire NHL season, instead of periods of drought where thoughts of splitting them up seem to appear.
Ryane Clowe, Logan Couture, Martin Havlat
There was a period last season where this line was the best the Sharks had to offer.
Another year under the belt of Logan Couture, and another year in teal for Martin Havlat could give this line a bit more chemistry, but whether this line can produce consistently will depend on their ability to stay healthy.
T.J. Galiardi, Michal Handzus, Tommy Wingels
Aside from Tommy Wingels, this line seemed to be the one that disappointed the most throughout the majority of last season.
Handzus was ineffective and T.J. Galiardi never got into the flow in San Jose.
San Jose did bring Galiardi back and he could be of great use to the team if he can play to the potential Wilson saw in him when he traded the now coveted Jamie McGinn for him and Daniel Winnik.
Depending on how Wingels develops this season, we could either see Wingels as a staple on this line or see Adam Burish make a move up into the third line.
Brandon Mashinter, Andrew Desjardins, Adam Burish
At 23, we have waited for Brandon Mashinter to appear on the Sharks' starting roster for some time.
Several different situations have prevented that from happening, but this season appears to be the perfect time for him to make his mark in San Jose -- and getting the nod to start the season would only fuel that.
Burish also seems to be a bold personality determined to have success in San Jose. Combining Burish, Mashinter and the equally determined Desjardins could make this line a reliable threat at points this season, if given the opportunity.
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