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Deep Blue Sea: The numbers look good for the Sharks

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September 20, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Jacob Middleton (67) celebrates with center Rourke Chartier (60) and left wing Marcus Sorensen (20) his goal scored against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period at Honda Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, what a difference Erik Karlsson can make.

Good chart boy Dom Luszczyscyn has been previewing every team over at The Athletic in order of points projected by his model. San Jose threw a wrench in his plans when, as he was writing the series, they traded for who may be the best defenseman in the league, bumping them from just a 59 percent chance of making playoffs to a top-eight in the league team, and forcing Luszczyscyn to scrap his entire article.

It is behind The Athletic’s paywall, but here are a few keys points made:

  • There is a two-in-three chance that one of these top eight teams wins the Stanley Cup.
  • The Sharks still lack true top-line/elite talent at forward, but have an elite top-four defense (with a bottom pairing of Dillon and Braun).
  • With Dom’s model, the Sharks’ defense is just a hair better than the Predators, making them the best in the league.
  • The Sharks are fighting hard against an aging curve when it comes to Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski in particular, but also a good chunk of the core group.
  • Martin Jones is average in the regular season and this is just something we have to accept, but the difference between his regular season and playoff performances is also a real thing (a real thing with a small sample size). Aaron Dell is likely starter-quality.
  • Sharks fans are tending to over-rate this team compared to what models are projecting, which I mention only because since when are Sharks fans feeling good about anything? It’s a whole new era, my friends.

Check it out below, even if you have to use The Athletic’s free trial to do it. It’s a very good read.

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