With the cross-town NHL side San Jose Sharks making a push for their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, we look at which Sharks and Earthquakes have a lot in common, on and off the playing field.
1. Chris Wondolowski – Joe Pavelski
These two have more in common than being the team captain, wearing No. 8 and having similar sounding names. Wondolowski and Pavelski are also each club’s leading scorer and do it without always relying on the flashy moves. The ‘skis’ also experienced a rapid rise to stardom and compete for Team USA. When a goal is needed, expect them to be in the right place at the right time.
2. David Bingham – Martin Jones
Each of these tall, 26-year-old net minders moved into a starting role after multiple years as a backup and experienced immediate success. Bingham tied the club record for shutouts in a season (12) and earned his first call-up to the U.S. National Team, while Jones has his team competing in the Stanley Cup Final.
3. Marvell Wynne – Marc-Eduoard Vlasic
When you need an experienced defenseman to shut down the opposition, no need to look further than these two. Wynne, a 12-year MLS veteran, and Vlasic, a 10-year member of the Sharks, have become leaders for their respective backlines. Both also have strong ties to Canada, with Vlasic hailing from Montreal and Wynne playing for Toronto FC for three seasons from 2007-09.
4. Fatai Alashe – Tomas Hertl
These 22-year-old former first-round draft picks patrol the center of their respective playing surfaces. Each also made history in their third career game, with Alashe scoring the first goal in Avaya Stadium history and Hertl tallying four goals, making him the youngest player in the NHL to record a four-goal game since the 1987-88 season.
5. Alberto Quintero – Joonas Donskoi
Underappreciated acquisitions prior to this season from smaller leagues around the world, Quintero came to San Jose from Mexico’s second division, while Donskoi brought his talents to the South Bay from Finland. The fleet-footed wingers have sparked their respective offenses and continue to represent their home countries (Panama, Finland) in international competition.
6. Anibal Godoy – Joe Thornton
These two are generals on the field, expected to lead by example. While Godoy may not have the outrageous assist totals that Thornton does, his key passing and distribution are vital to the Earthquakes offense. Both are calm, cool and collected in possession, and are leaned on when times get tough.