The San Jose Sharks have begun their 2011-12 season with high expectations. That has been the standard since Doug Wilson arrived before the 2003-04 season.
The Sharks have won four consecutive Pacific Division titles and five in the seven seasons with Wilson as General Manager. They have been to the playoffs as at least a fifth seed in all seven, made the second round in six and been to three conference finals, including the last two.
One of the main reasons is the Sharks have elite scorers. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, Martin Havlat, Joe Pavelski, Ryane Clowe, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns can all be counted on to score more than a point per two games. Between those eight players, an average of six points per night and more than two goals will be generated.
Even before the Doug Wilson years, the Sharks were a consistent team. Over 20 seasons, they have made the playoffs 15 times. Considering the Sharks have eight appearances in the nine seasons that the league has been at its current 30 team-size and only 53.3 percent of teams qualify for the postseason, that is a high success rate.
How have the Sharks done it? They have had scorers.
No matter what anyone tells you, scoring wins. The perception is that defence wins championships, but there are more goals scored on average during the playoffs than the regular season after the lockout. Moreover, every conference champion but Edmonton in the first post-lockout season has been in the top 10 going into the playoffs.
That is why you will see that many of the leading Sharks scorers of all-time have been on the team during their most successful seasons. Considering this fact, a list of the top 13 scorers in franchise history might be boring and easily accessible information—it would start with Patrick Marleau at 768 and end with Pat Falloon at 162.
Instead, this list will factor in supporting cast and position that might inhibit scoring. It also gives preference to points over career points and goals over assists.
Total scoring will still count for something—everyone on this list was top 25 all-time in scoring. But the bigger factor is points per game, as everyone scored about two per three.