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Examining the San Jose Sharks numbers

Wednesday, 09.12.2007 / 10:00 AM / Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist


 

NHL.com's 2007-08 Sharks Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster


Advantage Margin:
+80
The Sharks’ speed and relentless forechecking paid off with 410 power-play opportunities, while San Jose gave opponents only 330 chances. The Sharks’ home margin (+56) was the best in the NHL.

Even-Strength Goals Margin: +19
Joe Thornton had only 12 even-strength goals, but was tops in the League with 48 assists while the teams were playing at equal strength. Thornton’s linemate Jonathan Cheechoo led the Sharks with 22 even-strength tallies.  

Special Teams Goal Margin: +40
The Sharks’ special teams were the envy of the NHL. They were second in the NHL in power-play goals (92) and power-play percentage (22.4), and allowed only 55 power-play goals, tied for third-fewest in the NHL. The only drawback was that the Sharks sometimes appeared content to try to win games solely with their special teams.

Category Rank
(Conference / NHL)
2006-07 Points 107
(4th West / 9th NHL)
Change From 2005-06 +8
Home Points 54
(8th East / 12th NHL)
Road Points 53
(1st East / 2nd NHL)

Goals by defensemen: 34
Matt Carle (11) and Christian Ehrhoff (10) are young defensemen who provide a lot of offense, though their inexperience showed in the playoffs. Craig Rivet had only one goal after arriving from Montreal, but provides maturity and a righty shot from the point.

Goals by forwards: 222
Cheechoo fell from a league-leading 56 goals in 2005-06 to “only” 37 — with Thornton (22-92-114) setting him up, he should be a 50-goal scorer every year. Marleau (32 goals) gets lots of open ice as a No. 2 center because Thornton’s line draws opposition checking units.

Overtime Record: 3-3-2 (OT: 1-3, SO: 3-2)
The Sharks won their season-opener in overtime, then set an NHL record by having their next 49 games decided in regulation time. It wasn’t until Game 51 that the Sharks played a game that went to a shootout.

Times Scored First/Record: 42 (Record: 35-4-3)
No team lost fewer games in regulation or overall when scoring first than the Sharks, who got a point in every home game in which they got the first goal (19-0-2).

Best 06-07 Number: 41
Number of games the Sharks won when leading after two periods, the most in the NHL. The Sharks were 41-2-3 when ahead after 40 minutes; they tied Buffalo for the most times ahead after two periods.

Worst 06-07 Number: 2.55
Goal support for Evgeni Nabokov, now the Sharks’ undisputed No.1 goalie. Nabokov’s support was among the 10 lowest in the NHL — that’s why his won-lost record (25-16-4) was worse than now-traded Vesa Toskala (26-10-1), even though Nabokov’s goals-against average was slightly better (2.29 to 2.35)

Scheduling:
San Jose has a tough start — they play their first four games and nine of their first 12 away from the Shark Tank. They play 14 of their first 18 games in 2008 at home before heading east for an eight-game trip from Feb. 14 to March 1.

NHL.com's 2007-08 Sharks Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

 

 

Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp