Sharks vs. Ducks: By the numbers
A look at the numbers behind the Sharks' 3-2 shootout win over Anaheim.
- Let's start with the positives. The second line (or, at the very least, the three players who started the game comprising the Sharks' second line) was fantastic, both territorially and, relative to their teammates, on the chance count. On a side note, I didn't consider Logan Couture's tying goal a scoring chance per the criteria, so he ended up being on the ice for zero even-strength Sharks chances last night.
- Much as I'm (fairly) characterized as a Handzus hater, that was easily his best game of the season and he was among the Sharks' three or four best skaters. Which probably says more about how bad the rest of the lineup was, but whatever. Having Havlat swapped onto his wing certainly helped too.
- By eye, Matt Irwin's game is probably more accurately represented by the chance count than the shot differential numbers in this table but I'm not going to argue with the latter; even without Dan Boyle as his partner, Irwin managed to stay in the black territorially on a night when the Sharks as a whole were awful.
- And now for the negatives. Despite creating the first goal of the game, the top line had one of their worst games in recent memory. In fact, their best play likely came in the opening minute of overtime when Marleau walked through the Ducks defense to create a chance before Clowe set up Thornton on a 2-on-1 the following shift.
- Justin Braun was relied upon pretty heavily in this game, being essentially the only defenseman on the roster capable of making an outlet pass (besides, perhaps, Irwin) and didn't acquit himself all that well based on his scoring chance differential. Still, no Sharks d-man was on the ice for more Corsi events so at least the team was able to gain the blueline with Braun on the back end.
- This feels weird to type, but 36-year-old Sheldon Souray's game looked incredible to me last night. It's always nice to have that confirmed by the numbers so I culled the data and it turns out he was an impressive +14 in Corsi, tops on the Ducks./
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