In Hockey, like all sports, great players can carry teams through difficult times. But in Hockey, more-so than any other sport, winning championships requires an abundance of depth. The San Jose Sharks have entered another season with only one thing in mind: The Stanley Cup. Anything short of going all the way will be considered a complete failure. The Sharks have finished first in the West two years running, and don't even have a single win in a conference finals game to show for it. They spent their off-season and pre-season modifying their roster and approach. This year, the goal is not to win the most games or rack up the most points between now and April. The goal is to win in May and June.
Depth in hockey is not simply defined as the players that aren't stars. A second line stud. An extra penalty killer. To win a Cup, a team needs at least three lines, two D-pairings, and one goalie to be playing at an extremely high level. Everything after that is depth, which the Sharks are confident they have in guys like Kent Huskins, Jamal Mayers, and Jamie McGinn. But these top 15 will need to come up big if San Jose is going to take the next step.
Here's a look at the guys the Sharks are relying on to lead them to five separate champagne showers this spring: