Sure, the Sharks’ winning streak is a team record, while the Warriors are about to break a league record, but the Sharks have definitely become the overshadowed team in the Bay Area.  The Giants are the dynasty, the Warriors are the hot thing, the 49ers are the hot mess, the Raiders are the up-and-comers, the A’s are the pitiful ones, but the Sharks…?  They spent years as contenders, unable to do anything in the playoffs.  Last year, they collapsed, ending a long run of futility.  But unlike the 49ers, against whom fans and media have turned…unlike the A’s, whose vocal and small fanbase has stayed with them as they trade away MVPs and youth and the future…the Sharks have seemingly disappeared, fans quietly tuning out, no longer filling the Shark tank.

The Sharks started this season hot…and then stopped.  Now they’re hot again.  The Sharks are tied for first in the woeful Pacific Division, with the Los Angeles Kings.

Maybe some hotness will catch on in San Jose.  But this is a team with two stars at the end of their game, and have not yet found that hot young player, that Steph Curry or Buster Posey or Madison Bumgarner, that superstar-to-be to energize the fans.  Teams that draft well and develop well have been the winners in the Bay Area.  The Warriors didn’t for years, and then they did.  The Giants tossed away draft picks for a while, and then they used them well.  The Raiders finally began drafting winners.  The 49ers haven’t drafted well in years.

The Sharks essentially had no first round picks in 2008, 2009 and 2011, and their 2010 first rounder was traded away for Brent Burns.  Tomas Hertl wasn’t a bad draft pick, but the Sharks are hurting from their lack of youth and depth.  And considering that the NHL’s development process is close to as time consuming as baseballs, their rebuilding will take a while.

We’ll see if the Sharks are more than just competitive this season…but I’m not holding my breath.  The fans who do stick with them will have a point of pride if the Sharks ever pull a Warriors, though…