Michael: Power Play
The San Jose Sharks possess so many weapons to choose from when Peter DeBoer’s squad goes on the power play. I believe that might just be the problem since there has not truly been any chemistry when the two power play lines take the ice. The Sharks have converted 19.4% of their opportunities so far. Their man-advantage ranks just barely in the bottom third, but it shouldn’t with a strong supporting cast of firepower. Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns seem to take turns quarterbacking the top unit over the past few weeks, but neither has sustained success.
Ideally, those two need to partner up on the primary power play so they can both holster an explosive option from the point. The Sharks Captain has been the lone catalyst as an excellent option down low. Joe Pavelski has found the back of the net four times on the man-advantage, which is tied for 10th in the league. All in all, the Sharks need to find their groove soon because it’s an area where they should be right near the top of the league.
Steve: Team Defense and Goaltending
We’ve all seen it. The San Jose Sharks can score three goals in the first period. They come out of the gate looking like the team we all hyped up when they made the trade for Erik Karlsson. And then, they go into the second period and it all falls down. Its like they eat one too many slices of pizza during intermission. They often look sluggish in the second period and end up giving leads back, or getting their lead cut into.
They give up far too many odd man rushes, and allow guys to get behind their defenders in the d-zone. And while their goals for is at 44 after last night, they still have a goal differential of -4 with 48 goals against. This is a mixture of below average goaltending from Jones, and just plain bad team D at times.
On the penalty kill the San Jose Sharks have had tons of success stopping pucks, but by in large this teams net minders have underwhelmed at key points. Martin Jones sports a league worst save percentage at 5v5 with .881%. Aaron Dell has had moments of brilliance this year, but has been leaky at crucial times. He has a fallen victim to a lot of the 2 on 1 rushes allowed by the Sharks and it shows with his below average .816 HDSV% at 5v5, per naturalstattrick.
The San Jose Sharks will fare a lot better over the course of the season with their goalies making stops. The defense is still figuring it out how to play with EK65 eating a large portion of the ice time, so it’s on the goalies to hold their own until this superstar studded defensive core can reach their potential with more time.