One great night does not save a season. Mikkel Boedker likely said something of the after Tuesday night’s 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers (no, I didn’t wait to review the quotes. I’m sorry). But his hat trick, which doubled his season goal total to six and put him nearly on track, was part of another big night for the San Jose offense.
And boy did they need it. The Sharks have 31 goals in their last 10 games and 18 in their last five. I like round numbers because, despite my ex-wife’s protestations, I am a member of the human race. San Jose entered Tuesday’s game averaging 2.63 goals per game (19th in the league), so both of those marks are improvements on their overall form.
That makes their last two games absolute aberrations. After going 39 games without scoring more than four goals (they scored four goals in 10 of those games) they’ve done it in their past two games. On the flip side, the absence of Marc-Edouard Vlasic and David Schlemko has made defense a struggle recently for the Sharks.
In the past five games the Sharks allowed an average of 3.2 per game, compared to the 2.25 goals against per game average San Jose held entering Tuesday’s contest. Vlasic’s return to the lineup will return things to normal on the defensive end, but if the Sharks’ offense keeps firing it won’t matter so much.
San Jose has been one of the best possession teams in the league all season, but its shooting percentage has been in the pits from the word go and Boedker has been the poster child. According to corsica.hockey the Dane entered Tuesday’s game with 6.96 in the expected goals column and 3 in the ... actual goals column.
That’s not unique to Boedker. The Sharks woke up on Tuesday with 118.33 expected goals and 105 goals; a fairly significant deficit. All that to say San Jose is a good hockey team with the capability of banking even more points if its shooting percentage starts swinging in a positive direction. Without factoring in Tuesday’s win, the Sharks are shooting 8.57 percent (21st in the league) which means there’s room for improvement and a hot streak.
If Boedker, and the rest of the Sharks, get going ... look out. The Sharks are already the best team in the division; if they end up being the luckiest, too? They’re in business.