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The Season So Far: Sharks have been lucky, good

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It's better to be lucky than good, but it's much better to be lucky and good.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Let's start with the obvious: The Sharks have been very good this season. Sure, it's only two games but to see San Jose absolutely dominate its two biggest division rivals is...well, it's not bad. We've seen strong starts from the Sharks before, but what's propelling their quick start this year?

Note: Information in table is based on 5v5 play.

Team Season Gm PDO GF GA G+/- CF% CP60 OFOn% OSh% OSv% FO% ZSO%
S.J 20152016 2 104.9 5 1 4 59.6 113.3 79.3 8 96.9 44.3 53.3

The Sharks PDO is a bit above the average (hi, two-game sample size) which is mostly thanks to the excellence of Martin Jones in net. While goaltending has not been a problem for San Jose, it hasn't really needed to be a strength based on how well the Sharks are controlling play this season.

San Jose outshot the Los Angeles Kings 32-20 in the season opener, controlling play throughout the contest despite having a big lead late. That might be the most impressive characteristic of the Sharks so far — they're not letting up late, even when holding a lead.

You can see here that while the possession was relatively close early on, the Sharks actually pull away from the Kings late in the game. So while holding a big lead, the Sharks got better instead of turtling, as is characteristic of just about every team to ever play in the NHL. You can see that against Anaheim, too.

The Ducks started out hot but the Sharks seemed to adjust well to their speed late in the first period and didn't let up from there. While this game was close late, it was great to see San Jose ramp up the pressure that led to Marleau's second goal instead of trying to hold on to a 1-0 lead. Again, Jones was absolutely terrific, but he didn't really need to be — I'll take that.

Great play comes from great players (I know, I know) and Brent Burns has absolutely been great in the early goings of this season. His corsi for percentage in 5v5 situations is up to 60.49 percent and he's been noticeably freer with Paul Martin playing babysitter. Let's relive this goal on Jonathan Quick.


This isn't exactly anything new from Burns, who sees plenty of space in front of him and is willing to stray far from the blue line to rifle a shot past Quick. This is about the same Burns we saw last season, and truthfully every other season he's played defense. It's just nice to know that Martin is back there in case things go crazy.

It's far too early to tell just how good Jones will be for the Sharks, and I'm not really the type to attempt to diagnose the style and mannerisms of a netminder. Still, Jones' play has been excellent so far and while the ridiculous save percentage won't stick around, this is about as good a start as anyone could have hoped for.

San Jose starts its first long road trip of the season against Washington on Tuesday. This should be a good test for the team as they face the Capitals, Islanders and Devils.

What's impressed you the most about the Sharks this season?