March 12th @ Winnipeg Jets
This match-up falls on the second night of back to back games. The night prior they face-off against another potential playoff team the Minnesota Wild, but this game against the Jets carries a little more weight for the San Jose Sharks.
Back to back away games are an excellent way to test a teams depth, which is an important factor in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The San Jose Sharks lead the Jets in the conference standings, so a win in Manitoba could potentially be what solidifies the number one seed for Team Teal.
On the surface it would seem that the Jets are playing well but the underlying numbers suggest that they might be over-performing. According to Evolving-Hockey the Winnipeg Jets have negative rates in xGF/60 differential, SF/60 differential, CF/60 differential , and FF/60 differential. Numbers like these exhibit that the Jets are over performing and coasting by with a strong PDO and raw talent. It’s tough to tell if this style of play will translate into the playoffs.
The Winnipeg Jets made the most moves during the trade deadline but it doesn’t seem like the adjustments have made much of an impact yet. But with a few more games under their belt and the eventual return of star blue liner Dustin Byfuglien this team could turn a corner sooner than later.
The Jets really don’t have much to prove in the regular season and with injuries to integral parts of their roster the underwhelming performance can explained away. However expect them to be fully engaged against Team Teal at Bell MTS Place on March 12th.