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The San Jose Sharks have had a high-powered attack in 2013, but it has been limited in scope.
Nearly half the goals have been scored on the power play. Only one goal has been scored with the third line on the ice (from the blue line) and none with the fourth. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have been on the ice for all but six goals.
The Sharks are getting good role-playing from those checking lines, creating chances and drawing penalties. But eventually, they have to score for this team to contend for a Stanley Cup.
Almost every team in the Western Conference playoffs will have a dynamic defensive pair. They can be used to stop one line when they have a series to focus on them.
Moreover, the Sharks must be able to count on their depth to fill in while players are injured. The three best offensive defencemen are currently not healthy, and while Dan Boyle is expected back soon, the jury is out on Brent Burns and Jason Demers.
In addition to supplying the team with substitutes, having solid depth allows top players to spend less time on the ice and stay healthy. This year, the Sharks are relying on younger, less-established players for those roles.
They need to get better results than with veterans in years past to contend for the Stanley Cup.