Sharks vs. Kings: By the numbers
A look at the numbers behind the Sharks' 3-2 shootout win over Los Angeles.
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- I wasn't able to track chances for the majority of this game so a huge thanks to Robert of Jewels From The Crown for sharing his data.
- After playing nearly a month of buttoned-down, defensive chess matches the Sharks were involved in two extremely high-event games over the past two nights. San Jose generated 17 even-strength scoring chances against both the Coyotes and Kings; the difference is that they allowed nine more chances at evens last night which is probably to be expected against a much better opponent.
- It was essentially a tale of two matchups: the Thornton line kicked in the teeth of Dustin Penner, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter while Couture's line were outplayed by Kopitar and company. Where the Sharks could have used a greater contribution is from the Pavelski line who weren't able to generate much in terms of offensive opportunities despite being pitted against inferior competition in King/Stoll/Lewis.
Speaking of deployment, Marleau had one of the tougher defensive roles I've seen any Shark used in this season. In addition to playing ten minutes against Kopitar's line, Marleau began 13 shifts in the defensive zone and just 2 in the Kings' end at evens.
- Galiardi/Thornton/Burns was a force to be reckoned with in the offensive zone and on the forecheck all night. If they're capable of doing this against second-tier competition (as mentioned, they drew the Richards line for most of the night) that's a pretty big coup for the Sharks as it allows them to give the Pavelski line some pretty soft opposition to chew up and spit out.
- Scott Hannan was fine in his post-deadline debut, although he's just as puck-allergic as advertised when attempting to move it. Matt Irwin is obviously a vastly superior option but it doesn't really hurt to give Hannan a few games with the playoff race all but settled./