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Led by Karlsson, Sharks feasting on opponents

January 10, 2019, 9:33 PM ET [4 Comments]
Steve Palumbo
San Jose Sharks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The San Jose Sharks are good. Just how good are they? If you had asked me that question a month ago I would have paused for a moment to give it some thought. A playoff team? Sure. A Stanley Cup contender? Not even close.

Boy a lot has changed since Thanksgiving and I'm not just talking the calendar.

Since a four-game losing streak to end the month of November, the Sharks are 13-3-2 and climbing up the NHL standings. San Jose is jockeying for the top spot in the Pacific Division with Vegas and Calgary.

This is what we all expected when the season started, but not something we saw coming through a lack-luster first quarter of the season.

The Sharks surge is spurned on by a rejuvenated Erik Karlsson. Winners of four straight and six of seven, the Sharks are rounding into the team we all hoped for when they acquired Karlsson in the off-season and he is leading the way.

EK is riding a 14-game point streak. Yes, 14 games. San Jose is 10-2-2 over that stretch. Karlsson is not just picking up the arbitrary assist or two, he's putting together a point production run that is Great One like. Karlson has multi-point games in six of his last seven games and more than three points in three of those. That's 17 points in seven games.

I watched Karlsson closely in the Sharks 5-2 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning a few games ago. He had two assists, but it was his command of the game that I was most surprised by. The guy is able to dictate play with his elite skating and crisp, accurate breakout passing.

The rest of the Sharks are following his lead and getting stronger with each shift.

Look at Brent Burns for example. I believe EK's elevated game play has pushed Burns to another level -if that was even possible. The bearded one has been unreal of late, with four goals, 10 apples and nearly five SOG's in the past seven games.

If they weren't in the conversation as a Cup contender a month ago, they definitely are now and I can say that without even skipping a beat.

Thanks for reading,
Steve
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