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Preview/Lines #73: Behind Sharks’ Recent Power Play Tear



Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

The San Jose Sharks’ power play has been on a tear recently.

Since Feb. 29, San Jose’s power play is second in the NHL, behind the Nashville Predators, with a 34.2 percent success rate.

Thomas Bordeleau (four goals), Mikael Granlund (nine points), and Fabian Zetterlund (five primary assists) have been among the recent leaders.

The most successful unit has featured defenseman Calen Addison at the point, along with forwards Granlund, Zetterlund, Bordeleau, and William Eklund.

Pending RFA Addison has proven to be the most reliable pointman that the Sharks have tried on the power play this season. He’s limited defensively but does have legitimate value on the man advantage with his ability to distribute the puck.

To some degree, Eklund has been the triggerman on this unit, and he’s led the Sharks in power play shot attempts (13) since Feb. 29. Eklund’s shot is more of a threat than it’s ever been, but his velocity is still lacking compared to other top PP shooters.

According to NHL Edge, Eklund has had one shot crack 90 MPH this season, and just barely at that (90.49). Meanwhile, David Pastrnak (95.87), Alexander Ovechkin (98.4), and Steven Stamkos (96.0) are among the more renowned power play triggermen with a little more peak in their shots.

For what it’s worth, Nathan MacKinnon and Kirill Kaprizov also shoot a lot on the power play, but they haven’t cracked 90 MPH at all this season. So you can still be very dangerous without as much heat.

Finally, there are some underlying stats that suggest that the Sharks’ PP hot streak is a little smoke and mirrors: Their 29.79 Power Play Shooting % leads the league since Feb. 29, suggesting they’ve been more opportunistic (or lucky) than anything.

Per Natural Stat Trick, their other key PP stats per 60 are at the bottom of the NHL: 93.1 Shot Attempts (26th), 44.2 Shots (28th), 52.66 Scoring Chances (21st), and 21.63 High-Danger Chances (20th).

But credit where credit is due, the Sharks’ power play is humming. It’s a rare bright spot in a dark season.

San Jose Sharks (16-48-8)

Mackenzie Blackwood starts.

Here are projected lines, based on David Quinn’s morning availability:

Eklund- Kunin-Bailey


St. Louis Blues (39-30-4)

Where to Watch

Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues is 5 PM at Enterprise Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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