The heat map from Natural Stat Trick tells the story there:
Given the way Martin Jones has played to start the season, this finish by Dell may lead to some rumblings about a goalie change. I’m not starting them, I swear, I’m just saying it could happen.
As for the Sharks, you can see three of the four goals came from between the dots. The big one was the first one from Erik Karlsson, who finally scored a goal in a teal uniform.
I usually start writing these articles while I’m watching the game. As I was watching the first period, I couldn’t help thinking that poor Erik Karlsson is doing everything he possibly can to score, except actually scoring. In the last few games, he’s made some great passes, stickhandled through defenders and found open space on the ice to get a shot on goal. The only thing he hasn’t been able to do is find the back of the net.
That changed at 4:34 of the second period when Erik Karlsson picked up the rebound off of Blues’ goalie Chad Johnson’s pads and put it into the net for his first of the season.
It was a power play goal to boot with assists going to Logan Couture and Evander Kane. The last time it took Karlsson this long to score was back in his rookie year when he scored in his 21st game. Last night was his 21st game of this season and there was a big grin on his face as he did the rounds at the Sharks’ bench.
Captain Joe Pavelski said after the game, he wasn’t as worried that Karlsson hadn’t scored until last night.
“He’s used to scoring goals, for sure, so I’m sure he’s thinking about it, he wants to contribute,” said Pavelski. “He has in a lot of ways. Maybe not in the goal department, but it’s nice to see one go in for him tonight.”
The goal led me to my next thought of the game, Joe Pavelski is on fire. He registered two goals last night including one just minutes after Karlsson’s where he just overpowered Sammy Blais to a rebound and put the puck into the open net.
Pavelski has a five-game point streak and has registered 9 points (6 goals, 3 assists) over those five games. What’s more, he’s now in the top 10 in league scoring.
Other news of note, Kane scored the Sharks’ third goal of the night and Couture had a total of three helpers.
One of the things that helped the Sharks tonight was faceoffs. They went in against one of the best faceoff teams in the league and came out on top, winning 53.3 percent of the draws. That’s a huge help when it comes to puck possession.
As you can see, the Sharks had a positive Corsi at even strength for the first two periods. The reason it went down in the third period is that the Sharks began to play more defensively, protecting that 3-0 lead. There was a lot more dumping the puck into the Blues zone and a lot less pinching by the Sharks’ defense in that third period.
The final thing I noticed was that fewer minutes seem to agree with Joe Thornton. Jumbo had 12:49 of ice time and he was noticeable in each of his shifts. He looks like he has a little pep in his step as they say and I like it.
Sheng does an awesome play of the game that you’ll have to read for the Winning Play of the Game. Personally for me, the play of the game came before the game started when the Sharks honored 28-year season ticket holder and brain cancer survivor Cindy Cook.