I looked at the schedule before the Sharks started their latest road trip and thought to myself ‘if the Sharks gets six points on this road trip, I’ll be happy.’ They got seven, and yet the sequencing of losses -- and who they came to — can’t help but leave you a little bit frustrated. Toss in the injury to Tomas Hertl and the road trip starts to sour quite a bit.
Before we panic about Hertl (no sense worrying now), let’s take a look at the actual nuts and bolts of the road trip. San Jose posted a +4 goal differential on the trip and all three losses came by exactly one goal. I only put one of the three losses in the “bad loss” category (the listless performance against Carolina) while the other two showed strong San Jose performances.
The Sharks outpossessed every team they faced at even strength, save for Carolina (I know), and on the road trip posted a 54.38 FF%. In their losses, San Jose struggled to score, which has been their achilles heel this season. The Sharks can’t seem to get anything going consistently on the power play, though I don’t think that’s a cause for concern.
I attribute most of San Jose’s 9-8-1 record, unsexy though it is, to a low PDO. Tired of hearing about it? Good, because I’m tired of writing about it. Martin Jones has yet to find himself this season and that’s part of the reason the Sharks are only a .500 hockey team right now. Mix in some bad luck when shooting and you’ve got ... well, what we’ve got.
The goaltending has been better over the past 10 games or so, and if you’re Peter DeBoer you hope this version of Martin Jones is the one you’re going to see the rest of the season. The shooting percentage hasn’t shown signs of improvement (I know it doesn’t work that way, hush) but that will almost certainly turn around. I think.
There isn’t much the Sharks can do to get that blue line over that hashed line other than continuing to play the way they’ve been playing. San Jose is a good team. Unless Hertl is hurt for a while, in which case they’re in trouble.
Here are some more interesting facts from the road trip:
Three’s a magic number
A whopping eight Sharks had three points on the road trip. Joel Ward, Brent Burns, Tommy Wingels, Justin Braun, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture all had three points. Burns, Couture, Pavelski and Wingels each had three primary points (goals + primary assists),
The Sharks scored only one goal on the power play in more than 26 minutes of ice time. That is not very good. They also allowed only two goals in 28 minutes of penalty kill time. That is very good! So, whatever.
The Sharks expected goal percentage was 49.99 at all strengths. San Jose finished with a +4 goal differential but with a 3-2-1 record, so we’ll call it a draw.
An Old Foe
Pete DeBoer faces his old team tomorrow as the New Jersey Devils come to town. That should be
fun boring. So, so boring.
From Corsica.Hockey. Score-adjusted and zone adjusted and 5v5 play.