Ask anybody what’s been wrong with the San Jose Sharks for the last two years and they’ll say goaltending.
Certainly, they wouldn’t be wrong: In each of the last two seasons, the Sharks have had the second-worst Save % in the NHL.
Further to the point: San Jose had a .896 Save % this season; league-average Save % was .903. If they had managed say an above-average .910 — placing them ninth in the league — they would’ve given up 35 less goals and shrunk their overall goal differential from -50 to -15.
Of course, goaltending hasn’t been the only problem for the sorry Sharks: The struggles of Martin Jones and company have obscured other areas just as troubling.
Take, for example, the power play. The Sharks’ 14.1 success rate % this year was their worst in two decades, since 2000-01’s 14.0. 2019-20 was better, but their 17.5 was just good enough for 23rd in the NHL.
Let’s do the same exercise: The league-average power play in 2020-21 succeeded at a 19.78 % clip. If San Jose had reached just those heights, they would’ve scored nine more power play goals.
That doesn’t sound like a lot more scoring, but coupled with better goaltending, you start to see the obvious blueprint for how to improve the San Jose Sharks next year.
So how can the Sharks turn their PP fortunes around?
Exclusive micro-stats from SPORTLOGiQ — from both this campaign and Peter DeBoer and Bob Boughner’s 2019-20 tenures behind the bench — shed some light.
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