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The Sharks have returned from the East Coast after a decidedly "average" road trip, going 2-2-0. But they haven't completely escaped the Eastern Conference; their next two games see the Sharks hosting two Eastern foes. First up are the Carolina Hurricanes.
On the road trip, the Sharks scored eight goals in four games - two goals per game, which is under their 2.5 goals per game average for the rest of the season. More of a concern is that the team allowed 9 goals in the past two games. For a club built on their defense and goaltending, that's an aspect of road trip that needs to stay on that road trip.
This season, the Hurricanes have thus far shown improvement from their status last season, particularly in puck possession metrics - they lead the league in SAT% and rank 4th in USAT%. The Sharks, who are also in the top five in both metrics, will have to try to out-possess a team that plays a similar puck possession style.
Read the latest on the San Jose Sharks from the Mercury News.