While the Sharks may have dodged a huge bullet by winning game three in overtime on Saturday, they still have some significant work to do. No, this series isn't over by any means, and yes, the argument could be made that the Sharks should be looking at a 2-1 or even 3-0 series lead if it wasn't for the play of Jonathan Quick.
However, history still isn't smiling too brightly on the San Jose Sharks.
As is currently stands, and as you currently know, the Sharks trail the Kings 2-1 after dropping the first two away games in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. One hundred and fifteen NHL teams have been in that same situation (LOSS-AWAY, LOSS-AWAY, WIN-HOME) and only twenty five have come back to win the series.
Before you go cry in a corner, though, let me preemptively wipe away those tears. Did you know that of the twenty five teams to wrangle a win in the series after trailing 2-1, eight times it has been our Sharks? Despite all the heartache that's been associated with our franchise, that's a really nice statistic.
Let's keep adding on the good stats. When the LA Kings are leading a series 2-1, they've only won the next game in the series once out of their last six tries. And when the Sharks are trailing in a series 2-1, the boys in teal are a healthy 7-4 in the next game. If the Sharks can get another win at home, and the way they've played there's a great shot of them doing just that, the series is pretty much a crapshoot best-of-three.
Much of this doesn't matter when you consider the sample size, but I've also been combing through some super advanced stats. These are the things that Neutral and Snark don't even catch, and I think I might be on to some really significant ones. Keep your eye out for these in the next few games (I understand if you can't catch them though, as they are SUPER ADVANCED. In fact, these stats have an ASL/AS [Advanced stat level per advanced stat] that's astronomical).
BGrow/Gm (Beard Growth Per Game)
Brent Burns has been one of the best Sharks on the ice this entire season, especially after he was moved to forward. However, it's hard to really explain his rapid increase in quality of play.
I've gone through the tape and analyzed the beard of Brent Burns, and quickly come to the conclusion that he has the downright best BGrow/Gm of any current NHL player. Can go from sparse "forgot my razor at home this weekend" beard to "missing in woods for six months" beard in the span of just a few contests. Can't be a coincidence.
hACT/hPER (Heart Actual / Heart Perceived)
While Patrick Marleau still catches a bad rap in the media for what has been called a lack of heart, his five goals and three assists in just seven postseason games indicate that his actual heart measurement is more GDAC (another advanced stat, GDAC stands for "Grinch Day After Christmas") than it is GDBC.
The Sharks will continue to rely heavily on Marleau throughout the series, but I would suggest he gets checked out for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy after the series.
QUALSIB (Quality of Siblings)
This is a crazy one, because Logan Couture is absolutely killing it in this series, overcoming an extraordinarily low QUALSIB. I am going to have to continue digging on this one.
DIU/60 (Douchin' It Up per 60)
This number skyrocketed for the Sharks in game one of the series, but dropped in games two and three, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. Still high when Andrew Desjardins is on the ice.
We'll see how these factors play out when the Sharks take to the ice tonight. Here's hoping they point to a Sharks win and an even series.
Projected Sharks Lineup
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Joe Pavelski
T.J. Galiardi - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
James Sheppard - Scott Gomez - Tommy Wingels
Bracken Kearns - Andrew Desjardins - Jason Demers
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan - Brad Stuart
Projected Kings Lineup
Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner - Trevor Lewis - Tyler Toffoli
Brad Richardson - Colin Fraser - Kyle Clifford
Robyn Regehr - Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi - Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin - Keaton Ellerby