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Preview/Lines #22: Sharks Not Shooting Enough on Power Play



NEWARK, N.J. — The San Jose Sharks power play has scored just one goal in the last seven games.

This one-for-17 slump has dropped the Sharks PP to a 17.5 percent success rate, good for just 19th in the NHL.

What’s also slipped are the details, the process on the power play. The San Jose Sharks came into this season talking about how they were going to simplify things on the man advantage. That meant getting a lot of rubber on net.

On Nov. 9, per Evolving Hockey, the Sharks were fifth in the NHL with a 111.86 shot-attempts-per-minutes rate on the power play. Since then, they’ve averaged just 84.71 shot attempts per 60, dropping their PP shot attempt rate to 12th in the NHL.

Kevin Labanc conceded: “We need to get shots on net, get bodies [around the] net, and then create those second chances.”

Head coach Bob Boughner, however, while agreeing that the Sharks simply haven’t been simplifying, also added: “We finally relieve the pressure, we get the puck, you throw it away or you make a bad play. We got to have some sustained time, we got to get in, move it around for 20-30 seconds, wear them down.

“When you’re on the power play, you can’t just be a one-and-done team and chase the puck.”

One wrinkle on tonight’s power play: Noah Gregor will be taking Jasper Weatherby’s net front spot on the power play. Weatherby will be healthy scratched tonight for the first time this season.

At first thought, the smaller speedster Gregor doesn’t seem like an ideal fit for net front duties. And it’s not something that he played with the San Jose Barracuda either.

But Boughner said he just wanted to make sure that he got the skilled Gregor on a power play unit. Also, the much-bigger Tomas Hertl will flip-flop with Gregor net front too, depending on how the Sharks enter the zone of the power play.

Wherever any Shark plays on the PP, they simply need to produce.

“We’re getting in, we’re getting set up most of the time, so yeah, just got to try to find some way to score, Nick Bonino offered.

San Jose Sharks (11-9-1)

Timo Meier — Logan Couture — Jonathan Dahlen
Alexander Barabanov — Tomas Hertl — Rudolfs Balcers
Jonah Gadjovich — Lane Pederson — Kevin Labanc
Matt Nieto — Nick Bonino — Noah Gregor

Mario Ferraro — Brent Burns
Jacob Middleton — Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Radim Simek

James Reimer

New Jersey Devils (9-6-4)


Pavel Zacha — Nico Hischier — Jack Hughes
Andreas Johnsson — Dawson Mercer — Jesper Bratt
Janne Kuokkanen — Yegor Sharangovich — Tomas Tatar
Jimmy Vesey — Michael McLeod — Nathan Bastian

Ryan Graves — Dougie Hamilton
Jonas Siegenthaler — P.K. Subban
Ty Smith — Damon Severson

Mackenzie Blackwood

Where to Watch

Puck drop against New Jersey is 4 PM PT at Prudential Center. Watch it live exclusively on ESPN+/Hulu. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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