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Features

Like Sharks, Hertl having up-and-down season

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan and forward Tomas Hertl, it's a simple formula when it comes to usage.

When Hertl skates the way he's capable of skating, he gets to play center, where he's most comfortable. When Hertl doesn't move the way McLellan knows he can, he's pushed to the wing and the Sharks lose the depth they need in the middle to compete in the Western Conference.

The problem is Hertl has been pushed to the wing, or even the fourth line, too often this season because he hasn't delivered the way McLellan knows he can.


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Sharks enjoy Stadium Series practice, ready for Kings

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels came out of the south tunnel Friday afternoon at massive Levi's Stadium and walked toward the rink for practice, he was hit by a wave of emotion.

"Just kind of some shock and awe of how cool this experience is going to be," Wingels said. "We've all watched and hoped to play in one of these games, and I think from the moment we were announced to host a game, we've had a lot of thoughts and countdowns to tomorrow. So to go out there today and get all the jitters out, to really enjoy the experience with our friends and family, it's really cool. It's something I'll remember for my whole life."

The Sharks soaked up the atmosphere at Levi's Stadium on the eve of their game Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings in the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2).

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New stats on NHL.com provide wealth of insight

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 6:47 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Hockey debates have been about feel as much as fact for much of their history. But that is changing.

Is Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith more valuable to his team? Is Wayne Gretzky or Gordie Howe the best player in hockey history? Where do Mario Lemieux or Sidney Crosby fit into that discussion? How do the career statistics of Steven Stamkos compare to other Canadian centers who are 6-foot-1 or taller and born in the 1990s?

Help is on the way. The new NHL.com statistics page (NHL.com/stats) debuted a wealth of information and tools Friday on an enhanced stats page. But even more data is coming, which will aid in any debate or answer any question regardless of era.

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Primer: Get to know new enhanced stats on NHL.com

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:08 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

With many new statistics now on NHL.com after the League announced a partnership with enterprise software company SAP, the following is a primer on how some of them came into existence, what they mean, how they're applied, and why they're important.

SHOT ATTEMPTS (Corsi)

Puck possession has always been important in hockey, but analysts have proven how valuable it can be. Shot attempts are the best proxy for understanding and quantifying puck possession.

The idea for quantifying puck possession through shot attempts originally came from Tim Barnes, who posted his work online under the pseudonym Vic Ferrari. Barnes, who now works for the Washington Capitals, coined the term "Corsi," naming the stat after Buffalo Sabres goaltending coach Jim Corsi.

A shot attempt is counted any time a player tries to shoot the puck. They are counted as a shot on goal, blocked shot or missed shot. By adding those three types of a shot together, you have the number of shot attempts.

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NHL, SAP partnership to lead statistical revolution

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 2:47 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The NHL announced a partnership Friday with enterprise software company SAP, which will transform the way hockey fans consume data across multiple platforms, including the League's numerous outlets.

This partnership begins with a redesigned statistics page on NHL.com and the introduction of advanced stats on the website, but it will expand to improve the fan experience on television broadcasts and in NHL arenas as future phases of the project are introduced.

"Hockey is extremely fast-paced with very little stoppage in play, which results in many aspects of the game failing to show up in the box score," NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said. "In partnering with SAP and using its best-in-class SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service, we are now able to capture data points like never before and present existing and new statistics in a visually appealing way.

"The new NHL stats platform goes beyond data to offer insights that will help avid fans go deeper and help casual fans understand the game better. There are also unlimited storytelling opportunities as we provide our fans with a personalized and interactive experience."

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Schneider-Horvat trade worked for Devils, Canucks

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 1:47 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Bo Horvat had no idea the Vancouver Canucks had their sights set on him when the Canucks acquired the ninth pick of the 2013 NHL Draft from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for goaltender Cory Schneider.

Even though Schneider was the more experienced player in the trade, he and Horvat will be linked as a result of that draft-day transaction.

"I would like to hope that they traded me for another good player," Schneider said. "The Canucks had an area of surplus with goaltending at the time and New Jersey had a need. I'm sure it will be linked but it was a hockey trade that works out for both teams.

"In the end I think both sides will say they were pretty happy with the deal."

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Canucks' Markstrom getting help from countryman

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 12:37 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

After being selected by the Florida Panthers in the second round (No. 31) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Jacob Markstrom's North American adjustment had a microscope on it from the moment he left his native Sweden in 2010.

Spending three and a half years bouncing between the Panthers and their American Hockey League affiliates in Rochester and San Antonio, Markstrom seemed unable to live up to the expectations the hockey world had for him.

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2015 NHL Stadium Series at Levi's Stadium sold out

NHL Public Relations

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks at Levi's® Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 21 is sold out, the National Hockey League® announced today.

A crowd in excess of 69,000 fans is expected to fill the stadium for the latest showcase of this Southern California vs. Northern California NHL rivalry. The game will be broadcast live on NBCSN in the U.S. and CBC and TVA2 in Canada beginning at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET.

Since the NHL established the tradition of hosting regular-season games outdoors, fans across North America have expressed their desire for those celebrations to spread across the hockey landscape. Launched last season by the NHL, the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ featured four games in 2014, all of which were played in sold-out stadiums.

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2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series by the numbers

NHL Public Relations

SANTA CLARA, CA – A look at the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ "By the Numbers."

1 Levi's® Stadium is the first home of a professional football team to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold certification for new construction, the recognized standard for measuring sustainability for design and construction.

2 Players on the Sharks' active roster who have participated in a regular-season outdoor NHL game: Scott Hannan (2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic as a member of the Washington Capitals) and Tyler Kennedy (2008 and 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins).

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Lightning's Gudlevskis reflects on storybook night

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

A year ago this week, the 2014 Sochi Olympics entered the knockout round. To celebrate, NHL.com looks at three players who used one of hockey's biggest stages to grab the spotlight and parlay their celebrity into the 2014-15 NHL season.

Today, we look at Latvia goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, who went from unheralded backup to Olympic star with his performance against Canada in the quarterfinals.

Not long after upsetting Switzerland in the qualification round of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Latvia coach Ted Nolan made up his mind.

On tap in the quarterfinals was Canada, the favorite to win the gold medal for the second consecutive Olympic Games. Nolan turned to an unknown goalie named Kristers Gudlevskis, who in his Olympic debut allowed five goals to eventual silver-medal winner Sweden.

Latvia's top goalie was Edgars Masalskis, who made 32 saves in the win that eliminated Switzerland, but Nolan's instincts led him to Gudlevskis. Nolan's reasoning suggested not playing Masalskis in consecutive games of the grueling tournament. His gut told him plainly that it was Gudlevskis' time.

"I told him there would be a big moment for you coming up in the Olympics," said Nolan, coach of the Buffalo Sabres. "We knew we would play him in that game [against Canada] because of his size and athleticism, and youthful enthusiasm. Youthful enthusiasm sometimes overcomes that lack of experience sometimes."

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18