USA TODAY Sports
A look at the numbers behind the Sharks' 4-3 win over Los Angeles.
|Player||TOI||Corsi For||Corsi Against||Corsi +/-||Chances For||Chances Against||Chances +/-|
- I wasn't able to track chances for this one so huge kudos to Robert of Jewels From The Crown for sharing his data.
- How good was Brent Burns last night? Sharks outchanced Los Angeles 5-1 with him on the ice at even-strength and were outchanced 14-7 with him on the bench. Todd McLellan should consider playing him at forward and defense. And also for the entire game.
- It was interesting watching Burns' positioning in the neutral zone when defending against the Kings' transition game. It's almost as if his defenseman mentality kicked in (or he was following coaching instructions) as he was consistently the first forward back, negating Jeff Carter at the Sharks blue line on multiple occasions. Of course, he also put on one of the most tenacious forechecking displays I've seen in some time. To say he was all over the ice would be an understatement.
- Overall, a fairly bizarre game. Los Angeles dominated possession for much of the first and third periods but the Sharks were surprisingly successful in keeping them to the outside. San Jose blocked 35% of the Kings' 5v5 shot attempts, an impressive percentage in a league where teams generally see about 26% of their shots blocked. Chances were nearly dead even (and the Sharks had a greater share before score effects took hold), although I doubt that's something we can expect to repeat itself if the Sharks yield this much zone time to L.A. on Saturday night. They need to shore up their breakouts.
- Speaking of breakouts...The hilarious-looking cut-in from the blue line and subsequent wrap-around attempt is probably what will stick in a lot of people's minds about Douglas Murray in this game but he and Stuart were pretty awful again. They were the only pairing to start in the offensive zone more frequently than their own end and played quite a bit behind the Couture/Thornton/Burns line but still ended up dead last in chances and middle-of-the-pack in possession. Beating a dead horse here, but this pairing doesn't work.
- An uncharacteristically awful night for Joe Pavelski and the second line in general. I think it makes sense to put Havlat on that unit in place of Clowe when he comes off injured reserve. Clowe, Gomez and Wingels appeared to have some chemistry on the power play and for a few even-strength shifts.
- Matt fucking Irwin, ladies and gentlemen. He started 7 shifts in his own end and only 2 in the offensive zone, was frequently matched up against the Anze Kopitar line and yet was the only Sharks defenseman to finish in the black in both shot and chance differential. Also he scored a power play goal which is a good thing to do. I think he'll be staying in San Jose for the long haul.
- After everything I've written about him this year, it's only fair that I give Adam Burish credit for his best game in a Sharks sweater. He started 86% of his non-neutral shifts in the defensive zone at even-strength and ended up in the black in both chances and possession. Granted, he mostly faced the Kings' fourth line but those are the minutes he plays on a regular basis; more performances like this one and that contract might look less egregious. Okay, it'll still look terrible but Burish could at least be part of the bottom six solution rather than the problem if he keeps playing like he did last night.