Keith Jones: Burns a Lock for Norris, Sharks' Biggest Threats

PHILADELPHIA – NHL analyst Keith Jones likes the Sharks' chances to return to the Stanley Cup Final.
Speaking on the latest Sharks Insider Podcast, Jones believes that San Jose is one of four teams that could come out of the Western Conference, "which is right where you want to be," he said. 
"Especially after the success they had last year, I'm sure some guys in the back of their mind are saving something for the playoff run. It's interesting how that goes when you're a team that's been in the playoffs as frequently as San Jose has. You realize there's a whole other level to get to."
The Sharks' primary competition, in Jones' view, are Chicago, Minnesota and Anaheim.
"Anaheim is a team that would worry me if I was a Sharks fan," Jones said. "I think they have enough there and they have a head coach that knows how to win in the playoffs. Randy Carlyle is a very good matchup coach, and he has some players that have been underachieving this year, which in my mind is a scary thing when the playoffs roll around."
The NBCSN studio and Flyers color analyst, Jones also had an interesting theory on Brent Burns, who he believes is on track to win the Norris Trophy this season by a wide margin.
Burns was a part of Canada's World Cup of Hockey team in September, and that experience helped turn him into the dominant force he's been this season.
"I think the World Cup of Hockey probably benefited him more than any other player, playing in that Canadian system, playing with some of the top defenders in the league," Jones said. 
"I noticed his stick work is much better in the defensive zone. That would be the biggest thing that I think [helped] Brent Burns [develop] into the premier defenseman in the National Hockey League. I think the World Cup really benefitted him."

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