San Jose Sharks: Historical Look At Shark’s Adjusted Goal Difference


No matter what the sport, the differential between the amount of goals, points or runs scored compared with the amount given up is often one of the most telling indicators of who the best teams are in a given year. With that in mind, The Hockey News took an in depth look at the goal differential of the San Jose Sharks and every other NHL team throughout their entire existence.

The difficulty in these rankings, as they point out in the story, is trying to put the results into context. In attempting to put all the teams on the same page, they adjusted the goal differential for every team to reflect a league that scores six-goals-a-game, and a talent distribution that resembled the 1992-93 season.

With regards to the San Jose Sharks franchise, there were some pretty interesting numbers that emerged. Obviously, the Sharks struggled mightily in their first two years of existence registering a differential of -185 and -162. With numbers such as these, it should come as no surprise that San Jose won a combined 28 games during those first couple of years.

The Sharks almost had a positive breakthrough in 1994, registering a differential of -14, as they made their first appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs that season. San Jose would continue to toil below the positive differential line, until finally breaking through during 1999. That season, the Sharks registered a differential of plus-seven.

The most interesting part of the numbers from 1999 onwards are there were only two occasions where San Jose dipped back below the positive line: the 2002-03 season and last year. The reason those years are intriguing is because those are the two years during that time span where the Sharks failed to make the postseason, and that probably is no coincidence.

San Jose’s two biggest years were in 2009 and 2010 when the Sharks registered a +93 and a +90 differential respectively. Obviously, it should come as no surprise that San Jose won it’s only President’s Trophy that year and made an appearance in the Western Conference Final the next.

Finally, when looking at the San Jose Sharks as a whole throughout their existence, San Jose didn’t cross the positive threshold until 2014, when they improved their standing to +36, although they’ve now slid back down to +30 following last season’s performance.

These numbers provide an interesting look at the Sharks’ history and seem to correlate correctly with San Jose’s most successful ones and least successful ones. While these data assessments aren’t always correct, this one seems to be as it relates to the Sharks.

Next: San Jose Sharks Cup Of Hockey

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