The last time that the San Jose Sharks gave up less than three goals a game was in 2017-18.
That season, they were ninth in the NHL at 2.76 goals against per game.
In 2018-19, the Sharks were 21st in the league at 3.15 goals against per game. In 2019-20, they were 27th at 3.21. In 2020-21, they were 30th at 3.50.
You’ll notice, of course, the downward trend.
So that’s why it’s a bit of shock that the Sharks have re-fashioned themselves as a defense-first club this year. Right now, they’re 13th in the NHL at 2.80 goals against per game.
It doesn’t appear to be just smoke and mirrors either. Per SPORTLOGiQ, entering Thursday’s tilt with the Vancouver Canucks, the San Jose Sharks had given up the sixth-least rate of quality chances in the NHL.
In short, it’s not just better goaltending saving the Sharks — San Jose also has given its goalies a better chance to succeed.
According to San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner, one small change has made a big defensive difference…
Just swimmin' 🦈 pic.twitter.com/UEr1l4Dox8
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 14, 2021
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