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Preview/Lines #8: An Example of How Sharks Aren’t Playing Together

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The San Jose Sharks have scored just one goal in the last two games.

Despite peppering Jake Allen with 45 shots on Thursday, Bob Boughner thinks there’s a lot that his team can work on: “The biggest thing is we’re not winning enough battles down low. We went through that today, we showed 10 clips.

“We’re already trying to set up in our formation before we got possession. It’s basically a possession before position kind of mentality, getting in there and outnumbering the puck battles. Right now, we got two guys watching one guy battling against two [opponents].”

I think you could say the same about the San Jose Sharks defensively too. This was in the first minutes of Thursday’s 4-0 loss – keep Boughner’s words in mind:

It looks like Erik Karlsson (65) and Brent Burns (88) are the easy scapegoats of this Nick Suzuki (14) chance. And granted, Burns doesn’t stop the Mike Hoffman (68) 2-on-1 pass to Suzuki. Burns and Karlsson also approach the mini 2-on-1’s they face: Burns is aggressive, attacking the puck carrier, while Karlsson hangs back and plays the pass, letting Adin Hill take Suzuki.

But where’s the help? Before the scoring chance, when the puck bounces from the wall to the middle, Karlsson is under clear pressure by Brendan Gallagher (11). Yet all three forwards, William Eklund, Tomas Hertl, and Rudolfs Balcers are all headed out on their offensive routes. Hertl in particular, as the center on that line and the closest to the problem area, needs to be thinking “help.” There’s too much weight put on Karlsson there to make a great play.

Look for this be cleaned up tonight.

San Jose Sharks

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Winnipeg Jets

This is how the Jets skated in their last game in Los Angeles:

Where to Watch

Puck drop against Winnipeg is 4:30 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports Bay Area, NHL Network, and ESPN+. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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