The Sharks absolutely dominated the Coyotes last night and walked away with only one point to show for it. Losing a game because Mike Smith plays out of his mind is nothing new to Sharks fans, but this experience — dominating a game and losing — feels all too familiar.
I’m firmly of the mind that a loss like the one to the Coyotes is vastly preferably to the kind of loss the Sharks suffered last time they visited Glendale. San Jose was unlucky to not win a game in which they controlled more than 70 percent of the even strength unblocked shot attempts. Let’s have some fun with this instead of complaining.
What if I told you that last night’s loss didn’t even crack the top five of most dominant losses since the 2007-08 season? Wait, you’re not surprised? God, you’re all so damn cynical. Whatever. Thanks to corsica.hockey, I was able to pull up every Sharks game (postseason and regular season) and sort them by score-adjusted 5v5 fenwick-for percentage. Here are the top five (and one bonus)
Team, Sharks, Date, FF%.
1. Avalanche 1, Sharks 0, 4/18/10, 75.8
San Jose took 51 shots on Craig Anderson while Colorado managed a measly 17 in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It took the Avalanche just 51 seconds into the first overtime period to win the game and the Sharks’ lost a game they controlled from start to finish.
2. Oilers 3, Sharks 2, 12/6/08, 75.59
Get used to seeing the Oilers on this list. San Jose managed to force overtime, but lost in the extra frame. The Sharks outshot the Oilers 43-17 and, as you can see by the above FF%, kicked their butts everywhere but the scoreboard.
3. Oilers 3, Sharks 0, 1/29/14, 74.48
Oh yeah, you knew this one was coming. The infamous 59-save shutout by Ben Scrivens did the Sharks in. Well, that and Antti Niemi allowed three goals on 27 shots. I remind you that these numbers are score adjusted, which means that the extra offense San Jose got by trailing the entire game is accounted for. This game was the worst.
4. Oilers 2, Sharks 1, 1/23/12, 73.51
I told you to get used to the Oilers appearing on this list. The Sharks put 45 shots on Devan Dubnyk but beat him just once. San Jose eventually fell in a shootout despite the territorial advantage the team held over Edmonton. Thomas Greiss made 17 saves on 18 shots in the loss.
5. Wild 1, Sharks 0, 11/2/10, 73.09
San Jose put 36 shots on goal but couldn’t find the back of the net in this shutout loss. Andrew Brunette, who I promise I didn’t make up, scored the Wild’s only goal. Martin Havlat had an assist on the goal, in case you were wondering how that night went. Antero Niittymaki made 15 saves on the night.
6. Coyotes 3, Sharks 2, 11/19/16, 72.84
Ah yes, the game we just witnessed. The Sharks absolutely crushed the Coyotes on the shot clock but Mike Smith held things together until the third period. That was long enough to get his team into overtime where Arizona took the only three shots and picked up both points.
Losing stinks, and it can sting even more when it feels like the Sharks deserved to win. The glass half full argument here is the one I’ll roll with: Yes, San Jose lost but they dominated a team they’re supposed to dominate while missing two starters. I’ll take the point and seven out of 12 on the road trip.