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Preview/Lines #56: Barabanov Not So Underrated Anymore?

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Alexander Barabanov isn’t so underrated anymore.

Three weeks ago, right before Barabanov was about to drop three points on the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 6-4 victory, San Jose Sharks color commentator Drew Remenda shared superstar Sidney Crosby’s thoughts about the Russian winger:

The 28-year-old is fifth on the Sharks with 35 points and has three goals and four assists in his last five games.

In this recent stretch, Barabanov caught my eye particularly in Florida, and not just on his goal.

What a shift! Love how Barabanov (94) holds off Radko Gudas (7) along the wall, then outraces Anton Lundell (15) to the puck in the corner.

“He’s got a lot of hockey intelligence, love how he protects pucks along the wall. He’s competitive. Can really make plays,” head coach David Quinn said this morning. “He’s had a really good year.”

And it’s more than just this season. Since his San Jose debut on Apr. 26, 2021, Barabanov is fifth on the Sharks with 81 points.

The Sharks bench boss had just one critique: “He’s gotta shoot more pucks, gotta be ready to shoot it a little bit more.”

For what it’s worth, Barabanov is trying! Per Natural Stat Trick, his 9.8 Shot Attempts and 5.57 Shots Per 60 at 5-on-5 are career highs.

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