The San Jose Sharks are coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory after having their high hopes dashed in a first-round exit from the playoffs.
With a shortened season resulting from the NHL lockout, realistically anything can happen. Any team can make the playoffs, and any player can have a 48-game slate to remember.
A shortened schedule can give the Sharks all the hope in the world to bounce back from a forgettable 2011-12 year despite not making any key offseason additions to the team.
However, there are some rather large issues to keep an eye out for as the season starts, some that could alter the team's success.
Here are the main story lines to keep an eye on as the Sharks get underway January 20th against the Calgary Flames.