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Preview/Lines #5: Silver Lining in Sharks’ Start of Season Stumble…And No, It’s Not Connor Bedard



ELMONT, N.Y. — The San Jose Sharks may be 0-4-0 and looking to avoid dropping five straight games to start the season for the first time in franchise history, but there have been a couple silver linings in their play.

And I’m not just talking about that immaculate penalty kill!

Per SPORTLOGiQ, the San Jose Sharks finished last in the NHL with 4:15 Offensive Zone Possession Time at Even Strength. To underscore how much the Sharks struggled at possessing the puck, the league median was 5:43 and NHL-leading Edmonton Oilers clocked in at 6:51.

That’s something that the Sharks hoped to address this past summer with the additions of high-compete puck battlers like Luke Kunin, Steven Lorentz, and Nico Sturm.

There have been encouraging early returns: The Sharks, through an admittedly small sample size of four games, have either outpossessed or held serve in ES OZ Possession in three of their four games this year:

GameOpponentSJS ES OZ PossessionOpponent ES OZ Possession

“We have spent more time in the O-zone with puck possession,” David Quinn said, “but we think there’s a lot more of an opportunity for us to be more productive offensively, stay inside a little bit more, be consistent with our approach.”

Ay, that’s the rub.

The San Jose Sharks appear to be doing a better job of possessing the puck, and that should lead to more shots, and therefore, more goals. But that hasn’t happened yet, with the Sharks stuck at four 5-on-5 goals through four games.

No time better than tonight to change that!

San Jose Sharks (0-4-0)

James Reimer will start and Alexander Barabanov is a game-time decision, per David Quinn.

I would expect Barabanov to play. If he does, he might represent just one of many changes to the Sharks lines tonight:

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Where to Watch

The San Jose Sharks will take on the New York Islanders at UBS Arena at 4:30 PM PST. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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