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Player Power Rankings, Week 3: Logan’s Run

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Hat tricks are fun for everyone except for hats. They are sad for hats.

SAN JOSE, CA - OCTOBER 18: Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks is congratulated by teammates after he scored a hat trick against the Buffalo Sabres at SAP Center on October 18, 2018 in San Jose, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Welcome to Fear the Fin’s weekly(ish) player power rankings. Who had the biggest impact, the best goals or the prettiest smile in the week that was and who you should totally grab off of waivers in your fantasy league to stick it to Derek in accounts receivable. All rankings subject to the whims of fate and whatever we’re feeling in the moment.


It’s all coming together rather nicely now, isn’t it? After two weeks of hand wringing and shot share arguments, the San Jose Sharks are finally ending up on the right side of the score sheet. Two dominant wins over Eastern Conference opponents at home, during which the Sharks outscored their guests 9-2 should do a bit to quiet the restlessness of those of us to whom the previous road trip gave pause.

With a week of pretty unqualified success, the bottom of these rankings are pretty crowded, so if your favorite player / best friend / financial adviser does not make the top five, rest assured he was right there, I promise.

1. Logan Couture

Time Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Time Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Season 8 5 3 8 8 2 23 59.42
This Week 2 4 1 5 5 0 9 64.31

This one’s a layup, hey?

With a hat trick on Thursday night against Buffalo and another goal on Saturday against the Islanders, Logan Couture led the Sharks in goals and points, and was second in shots and shot attempts. He did all of this with the third-lowest offensive zone faceoff ratio on the team, and playing against the Sabres’ and Islanders’ toughest competition, um, as it were.

On the season, Couture leads the team in points with eight in eight games, and in goals with five. He’s second in teal in points per 60 minutes played, third in shots on goal, and leads all forwards in total time in ice.

Guys, this kid might be somebody.

This is one of those shots that just has eyes. Couture picks the far corner through traffic, and Buffalo goaltender and haunted doll Carter Hutton has no chance.

2. Tomas Hertl

Time Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Time Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Season 8 2 5 7 5 4 21 59.92
This Week 2 0 4 4 3 0 4 65.54

Tomas Hertl led the Sharks in assists this week with four, including a three assist performance Saturday night against the Islanders. In addition, Hertl’s 41.67 percent offensive zone starts at 5-on-5 ties with Timo Meier for the lowest on the team. Along with Couture, Hertl’s tendency to be responsible in his own end lent itself to more opportunities in transition and on the rush.

Anyone with a pulse has to love how Hertl loses Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy behind the net here. Well, except for probably Leddy himself. The way Hertl uses the back of the net to turn back around fools Leddy as well as goaltender Robin Lehner, and the way he looks up at the slot area before spinning around leads me to believe that he intended that shot to rebound off of Lehner’s pads. If so, this is a smart and creative play from start to finish from our no-longer-teenage mutant ninja, and part of the reason he’s racking up apples at a team leading rate this season.

3. Antti Suomela

Time Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Time Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Season 8 0 3 3 3 4 20 69.13
This Week 2 0 1 1 1 0 7 60.03

This could just as easily have gone to the newcomer’s winger, Joonas Donskoi, but a look under the hood seems to show that Suomela is the real driver of that pair. The Finnish duo sport an absurd adjusted five on five shot attempt share of 70.05 percent when together, but Suomela’s 62.46 percent without Donskoi is much more respectable than Donskoi’s 45.66 percent without Suomela. The season is still very young, and neither of them have tallied 20 minutes without the other, so we should hesitate to draw too many conclusions from this sample size, but the Sharks may have struck gold with a European free agent. Again.

This is Suomela from start to (almost) finish. He starts by intercepting an ill-advised Johnny Boychuk pass intended for Scott Mayfield, and corrals the puck back to himself on the way down the slot at speed. Suomela protects the puck from a sprawling Boychuk stick and is stymied by a great save from Lehner. Unfortunately for him, Donskoi makes the aggressive play following up on his center’s initiative for the tap in goal. Clean Finnish.

4. Martin Jones

Time Games Played Record Shots Against Goals Allowed Sv% GAA 5v5 Sv% HDSv% 5v5 GSAA
Time Games Played Record Shots Against Goals Allowed Sv% GAA 5v5 Sv% HDSv% 5v5 GSAA
Season 6 3-3-0 150 136 0.907 2.36 0.902 0.83 -1.8
This Week 2 2-0-0 50 2 0.960 1.01 0.939 1.00 0.49

After a rocky start to the season, Jones may have silenced some doubters this week. While he did receive plenty of run support from his skaters, Jones was up to the task, and his .960 save percentage ranked fourth among all NHL goalies who started at least two games this week. Maybe he needed to get moving to loosen up some old injury or off season tightness, maybe he needed to get used to the league’s new equipment guidelines, or maybe he just needed a nice snooze in his bed at home, but Jones looks to be making a case for himself as the team’s undisputed starter. Which he already is.

While I don’t love Jones’ bear cub pirouette early in this play, Couture was there to bail him out. The way that Jones stretches his right pad out along with Jason Pominville’s stick before the puck reaches him shows a strong read of the play and of defenseman Marco Scandella’s intentions. Jones then traps the puck between his legs to deny the rebound opportunity from the charging Zemgus Girgensons (that is never not fun to write) and maintain the Sharks’ two goal lead.

5. Evander Kane

Time Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Time Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Season 8 4 3 7 5 23 37 68.38
This Week 2 0 2 2 1 13 11 74.32

Evander Kane leads the Sharks in shots this week and this season, which is a trend we’re expecting to see all year. He also led the team in shot attempt share at 5-on-5 this week. He didn’t find the back of the net himself, but he’s been a high volume shooter for his entire career, and we should expect that behavior to continue.

Speaking of behavior continuing, Kane’s 13 penalty minutes led the team again this week, but there were some extenuating circumstances. While all 13 of those minutes were tallied up in one night against the Islanders, 11 of them were offsetting. That context helps a little, in that he wasn’t putting his team at an obvious disadvantage, but for his double roughing minor against Mayfield and Anders Lee he had no way of knowing that they’d both be sitting with him. I like him sticking up for his teammates, but he needs to do a better job of finding out where that line is.

Kane drives poor Rasmus Ristolainen bonkers for this whole clip, and that may be why the Swede watches helplessly as Kane dishes the puck to a waiting Couture. The Sabres defenseman follows Kane to the front of the net after a fracas in the corner and is so busy wrestling with him he doesn’t seem to even notice that Kane has the puck. Kane wrestles the puck away from a flabbergasted Scandella and outplays Hutton in the crease for Couture’s fourth of the week.

Hono(u)rable Mentions

Joonas Donskoi: With two goals this week, Donskoi was a sad casualty of my not wanting to use that Suomela clip twice. While the center seems to drive play on that line more that the donkey, Donskoi’s Finnishing (no, I am not overusing that pun, thank you for asking) ability has been key to the pair’s success on the score sheet.

Timo Meier: Our favorite Swiss boy led the Sharks in shot attempts and sat third in points on the Sharks. This came with the team’s lowest share of offensive zone faceoffs, so the first round pick is making his own offense happen.

Erik Karlsson: He’s settling in, and it’s only a matter of time before he starts finding some twine. Lest we forget, Brent Burns didn’t score his first goal of the 2017-18 season until November 24, and still ended the season with 67 points. Head coach Pete DeBoer told media that he thought that Saturday’s win over the Islanders was Karlsson’s best so far, and that’s an encouraging sign that he’s starting to feel comfortable in the Sharks’ system.