For the San Jose Sharks to come back to prominence this year, they needed Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns to return to dominance.
That hasn’t quite happened.
At the moment, Burns is on an 82-game pace for 47 points (13 goals, 34 assists). Karlsson is on an 82-game pace for 29 points (6 goals, 23 assists). That’s a far cry from their customary near point-per-game paces.
I know, points aren’t everything. And both Norris Trophy winners have shown genuine flashes of greatness – this is from Monday and Wednesday against the Kings.
Burns, on if he teased Kane for missing the net off this pass: "He always tells me that I never pass. I told him I'm not going to waste any more passes on him if he's going to miss the net." https://t.co/7GgnO9fieO
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) March 25, 2021
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) March 24, 2021
Suffice to say, both blueliners are still capable of pulling off world-class plays – but it’s fair to ask, are they doing so on a regular enough basis to still be considered world-class players?
Points, of course, are just the output from multiple on-the-ice inputs.
Just past the halfway mark of the season, let’s dive into some of these inputs, the San Jose Sharks’ individual underlying numbers – perhaps they will help us figure out why Burns and Karlsson are producing less this season? We’ll also see underappreciated areas where Rudolfs Balcers, Logan Couture, and Ryan Donato, among other Sharks, are shining.
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