NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the San Jose Sharks.
[Sharks 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Fantasy breakdown]
1. Jones' save percentage
Martin Jones' .896 save percentage last season ranked last in the NHL among goalies to play at least 50 games. When examined further, his even-strength save percentage of .896 ranked last among goalies with the same qualifier, but his .886 save percentage when facing the opponents' power play was sixth best. The Sharks ranked fourth-worst in the League in goals against at 5-on-5 (186); they were the only team in the bottom 10 that qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Jones needs to improve his play at 5-on-5 if San Jose is going to repeat its success from last season.
Video: 31 in 31: San Jose Sharks 2019-20 season preview
2. Karlsson's shooting percentage
Erik Karlsson was tied for sixth among NHL defensemen with 2.08 points per 60 minutes (minimum 50 games) and was third in assists per 60 minutes (1.94). Those numbers were good considering Karlsson's three goals were his fewest in his 10 NHL seasons and his shooting percentage (1.8 percent) was much lower than his NHL career average (6.4 percent). Karlsson has scored at least 0.17 goals per game (which equates to 14 goals in 82 games) in each season his shooting percentage was above 4.6 percent, suggesting he could return to double-digit goals.
Video: SJS@STL, Gm3: Karlsson wins it in OT with second goal
3. Labanc's power-play points
Kevin Labanc was tied for third on the Sharks with Karlsson with an NHL career-high 20 power-play points (two goals, 18 assists) last season. The forward's emergence on the top unit could help offset the loss of center Joe Pavelski, who was second on San Jose with 21 power-play points (12 goals, nine assists) and first among Sharks forwards in power-play time on ice per game (2:57). San Jose ranked sixth in the NHL in power-play percentage (23.6 percent), and without Pavelski, Labanc could see additional ice time per game on the man-advantage, suggesting he could better his power-play numbers.
Listen: NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast