The 2011-12 season is an extremely important one for not only the players on the roster but the entire franchise as a whole. Time is ticking on this team, the talent on it and the front office that have made all the right moves but have nothing to show for it.
The San Jose Sharks are at the brink of the Stanley Cup and are at the same time worried about how long this franchise can keep the players that have been most important to it.
They have made changes; for the better or worse, we will find out soon enough. But on the surface, this may be the most well-rounded team that San Jose has ever had, and they have had some good ones.
Speed, defense, talent—they have it all.
The pressure is on in San Jose, for all parties associated.
Here are the five players who are essential to the Sharks' Stanley Cup hopes.