Top 5 Reasons Mitchell Could Be Key to San Jose Sharks' Hopes for Cup Vic-Torrey

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Top 5 Reasons Mitchell Could Be Key to San Jose Sharks' Hopes for Cup Vic-Torrey
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks may finally have that "special something" that they have been lacking in play-off seasons past—that special "it" factor that can finally push them over the hump and deliver a Stanley Cup Title to the loyal fans in Silicon Valley.

Exactly what is "it"?

In actuality, "it" cannot be reduced to a singular entity. Rather "its" potency derives from the same nature as "its" elusiveness—namely that "it" is in reality a delicate combination of favorable factors. In this—their twentieth year of hockey—it appears the Sharks may finally have "it all".

The Sharks very likely will once again enjoy prime playoff positioning—with Saturday's win going lengths to secure another Pacific Division crown and Top-three seed, a posture from which the overwhelming majority of past Cup Champions have emerged.

The Sharks seem to be finding new ways to win just about every night. They also have found a balance in this year's race between becoming too comfortable in their play-off destinies and having to fight too hard just to make the field—that is something they have basically never had.

The Sharks also have developed a dogged tenacity and gritty never-say-die mentality, reflected perhaps most strikingly in the play of their stalwart goaltender, Antti Niemi—who tasted the ultimate prize just last year.

Perhaps more important than any of that however, is the way the Sharks have been getting truly balanced scoring—especially of late. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and even Dany Heatley have been making their usual contributions, but the Sharks have enjoyed unexpected contributions up and down the lineup. Players like Ryane Clowe and Joe Pavelski are having career years, and long-maligned and oft-injured center Torrey Mitchell has caught fire of late.

Mitchell could very well prove a true x-factor if they are to go all the way. The reasons for this are numerous. Here are the top five:

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