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(Sports Network) - The Sharks needed to put together an amazing second half of the season last year just to make the playoffs, but this year they hope that won't be necessary.

Last year, the Sharks had just eight wins over the first two months of the season and didn't turn things around until acquiring center Joe Thornton from Boston on the last day of November.

Thornton made a huge difference for San Jose and his presence was felt immediately as the team won the first six games with him in the fold. He went on to win both the Art Ross and Hart Memorial Trophies.

Well this year, the Sharks are fortunate enough to have Thornton at the start and have taken advantage of that fact, as they've jumped out to a 5-1-0 start. San Jose is also tied atop the Pacific Division standings with the Dallas Stars.

The Sharks played the Stars on Wednesday night and earned a 2-0 victory. Evgeni Nabokov recorded his second shutout of the year and Milan Michalek and Mark Bell scored for San Jose.

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