There are some myths about the Sharks I constantly hear that annoy me. Some, like Patrick Marleau being gutless, are just blatant trolling. Others seem to have some bits of truth: like opposing rookies getting their first goal against the Sharks.
But there's one that lives somewhere in the middle: When Doug Wilson gets rid of a player, that players goes on to be ridiculously good. Okay, we get it, Jamie McGinn had a good first week in Denver. But how much truth is actually behind that myth?
Doug Wilson was hired in 2003, so I went through and looked at the stats (including playoff games) of every former Shark that played at least one game from the end of 2002-2003 season until now. Here are 30 of the more notable names (sorted by the change in their scoring rate after leaving):
|Player Name||GP w/ SJ||Pts w/ SJ||Avg. Pts per 82 GP w/ SJ||GP after leaving||Pts afer leaving||Avg. Pts per 82 GP after leaving||Change to Avg. Pts per 82 GP|
(All 69 players)
There's quite a bit of fun with small sample size in there, and obviously player roles change from one place to another, but there are still some very interesting pieces of data. I think the most interesting thing to note is how close to zero the overall total is after leaving. After leaving San Jose, a player averages only 1/3 of a point more over an 82-game season.
While it is technically in increase, it is so insignificantly small, I think we have to call this myth busted. Players seem to play about the same whether Doug Wilson trades them away or not.
Well, maybe unless he lets them go to the Wild. Heatley, Setoguchi and Mitchell are all under-performing compared to what they did in San Jose.
|24-16-3, 51 points
||23-13-7, 53 points|
|6th in Western Conference||5th in Western Conference|
This is the rubber match of the season series. The Sharks defeated the Wild 4-2 back on April 3rd, in a game that ended with quite a bit of roughness. San Jose is 3-2-1 since that game while Minnesota is 3-3-1. The Wild were shutout 3 times in that span, but may have righted the ship with 9 goals in their last two games. Although they were facing the Alberta teams...
Projected Sharks Lineup
Projected Wild Lineup
According to Kevin Kurz, Irwin's back in the spot Scott Hannan took in the last game. It's good to see Irwin back. And it proves Hannan was only playing so he could get some level of comfort in the system during a real game - just in case injuries forced him into a playoff game. It didn't bother me as long as it didn't keep happening.
The Wild are without Dany Heatley for the rest of the season. He recently had successful shoulder surgery after injuring it in a lightsaber duel with Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
(Thanks again to mymclife for the gif.)
Prediction: Sharks win 3-2. Goals by Marleau, Burns, and Torres. Meanwhile, Darth Clutterbuck tries to avenge his fallen comrade by hitting Vlasic about 15 times over the course of the game.