Two days after getting overrun offensively and somehow still winning in Los Angeles, the San Jose Sharks decided to do the inverse of what they did the previous game and swarm their opponents, the Winnipeg Jets, in shots throughout the game.
It did not end up working out well for them.
The Jets stole the game from the Sharks, cruising at 30,000 feet to a 5-1 victory, officially taking the season series from the Sharks after having beaten them earlier in the month at the SAP Center, 3-2.
In both games played so far against the Jets, the Sharks vastly out-shot the Jets, this time out-shooting them 41 to 27, with 22 of the Sharks’ shots on target compared to the Jets’ 20. In fact, considering the lopsided Corsi for counter, MoneyPuck’s Deserve To Win O’Meter only had the Jets winning this hockey game 33.5 percent of the time as compared to the Sharks’ 66.6.
Let’s try to figure out what happened together, shall we?
Helle of a Problem
The Sharks just can’t seem to figure out Connor Hellebuyck this season.
Hellebuyck didn’t need to stop as many shots as he did in his last outing against the Sharks, when he stopped 51 Sharks shots. This time out, he would only need to stop 32 shots in all situations, finishing the night with a save percentage of .970. This is even more impressive when you consider some of the names on the Jets’ blue line, such as Dimitry Kulikov, Anthony Bitetto and Luca Sbisa, all of whom have very unimpressive defensive metrics so far this season. It wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to put Hellebuyck’s name in the Vezina conversation this season.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring Aaron Dell
On the other side of the ice, Hellebuyck’s counterpart in goal, Aaron Dell, had a different night. After having one of the best starts of his career against the Vegas Golden Knights last Thursday, stopping 37 shots en route to a 2-1 overtime victory, he got the call in net again after two games off. Unfortunately, Dell could not replicate the success he had in Vegas, letting 4 goals go past him. He finished the night with an .840 save percentage in all situations, which suffice to say is not great. It’s especially frustrating because we know the Good Dell still exists, but Sharks fans have only seen that side of him twice out of this eight starts so far this season, with the other sighting of Good Dell taking place in Montreal.
Peter Deboer pulled Dell with five minutes to go
Yeah, you read that correctly. The Sharks’ head coach decided to channel his inner Patrick Roy by pulling his starting goaltender with around five minutes to go in the third period, which is a strategy that I feel has no point, especially when your team is already down by three goals. Kyle Connor then iced the game by scoring on this absurdly empty net with 5:13 to go in the final frame. Whether Deboer was trying to send a message to his team or not has yet to be figured out.
Barclay Goodrow was apparently in the doghouse?
Per Natural Stat Trick, Barclay Goodrow received the lowest ice time in all situations, only being on the ice for 11 minutes and 15 seconds. The decision to ice him the least is bizarre to me, as it wasn’t as though he was having a bad game. When he was on the ice, the Sharks were out-shooting the Jets 12 to nine, with nine of those shots being on target. He also had a positive expected goals percentage, with the Sharks creating .64 expected goals with him on the ice and allowing .52 expected goals against.