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Playoff Watch/Lines #43: Sharks Need Finishers



Credit: NBCS Bay Area

The sixth-seeded San Jose Sharks remain four points out of the fourth-and-final playoff spot in the West, held by the St. Louis Blues. Fifth-place Arizona and St. Louis are both idle tonight.

San Jose Sharks (18-20-4)

Minnesota Wild (25-13-3)

Kirill Kaprizov — Victor Rask — Mats Zuccarello
Kevin Fiala — Ryan Hartman — Marcus Johansson
Jordan Greenway — Joel Eriksson Ek — Marcus Foligno
Zach Parise — Nico Sturm — Nick Bonino

Ryan Suter — Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin — Matt Dumba
Ian Cole — Carson Soucy

Cam Talbot

Where to Watch

Puck drop is 5 PM PT at Xcel Energy Center. Watch it on NBC Sports Bay Area, Bally Sports North, or

Morning Skate

News flash: The San Jose Sharks need finishers.

I mean, doesn’t everybody?

But maybe they need them just a little bit more: Per Natural Stat Trick, the San Jose Sharks suffer from the second-greatest disparity between their Expected Goals at 5-on-5 Per 60 and their Actual Goals:

Team (5v5)GF/60xGF/60Difference
Carolina Hurricanes2.312.54-0.23
San Jose Sharks2.272.45-0.18
Buffalo Sabres1.862.04-0.18
New Jersey Devils2.192.33-0.14
Vancouver Canucks2.252.32-0.07

This means they’re earning their fair share of quality chances, but they’re cashing in at a lower rate than expected.

These analytics are also supported by the micro-stats. SPORTLOGiQ supplies San Jose Hockey Now with 10 team statistics for Creating Scoring Chances Per 60 at Even Strength – the Sharks rank in the top-half or better in the league in 9 of 10 of these categories:

For San Jose, the offensive foundation, set by Bob Boughner and his coaching staff in their first full season behind the bench, appears to be there, but the finish isn’t – the Sharks are 19th in the NHL in Even Strength Goals Per 60.

The San Jose Sharks will have a lot to fix up this off-season – the leaky goaltending, the porous team defense, the eye-sore contracts – but adding another finisher should be on that list too.

Around the NHL

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