The 2018-19 San Jose Sharks, they ain’t.
Those Sharks featured nine 50-point scorers; no other NHL team featured more than five. And this Silicon Valley conglomerate didn’t even include Erik Karlsson, who posted “only” 45 points in 53 games because of injury.
Those Sharks were so deep, they managed the second-best record in the Western Conference, despite a league-worst .889 Save %.
The 2020-21 Sharks simply don’t have that kind of margin for error.
San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner said as much, after San Jose’s 2-1 shootout victory over St. Louis after Wednesday: “We’re not a team that’s going to blow teams out. We’re going to have to play a lot of these close games.”
They say hockey is a game of inches. But for these Sharks, it might be a game of centimeters.
Let’s look at some of those close calls that led to San Jose’s 4-1 loss to Minnesota on Friday.
Recall the last “Winning Play”, where I stressed the importance of the third man high.
San Jose’s first two forecheckers, Ryan Donato (16) and Kevin Labanc (62), get beat by Kappo Kahkonen’s rim. So who’s the third man high on this forecheck?
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