This is weird. I’ve never been down this far on the page before. But, the Ducks have been surging, which is disgusting. We’re gaining on the Kings and putting distance on 4th place in the division so it’s not all bad. Plus, we still have games in hand on the teams from Smog City, so it’s really a fake third place.
But falling out of second place has made me reevaluate my life. Maybe things haven’t been as doom and gloom as I’ve made them out to be so far. Yeah, the beginning of the season started rough, but since the New Year, the Sharks are 13-5-3. That’s a 70% point attainment rate (PAR) [pronounced: par]. In this time, only two of the losses have been back to back, and the Sharks did enjoy a 5 game winning streak. In this time, 3 big things have become apparent:
1. The Sharks Power Play has been spectacular so far. A recent dip has seen them drop to 5th in the league, but for much of this season, they’ve been the #2 PP (Power Play) [pronounced powr plae]. The Sharks have taken advantage of this surge in offensive production and sit 4th in GPG (goals per game) [pronounced: goels pur gaym] with 2.89. 41 of their 165 goals have come with a man advantage, good for 25% of their offensive total. To continue to succeed, the Sharks need this kind of production on special teams. Martin Jones can bail them out on the back end with his 2.33 GAA (goals against average) [pronounced: goels agenst avurej]. But this leads me to the second point:
2. Alex Stalock is a waste of space. It’s no secret that Peter DeBoer won’t play you if you don’t earn it, just ask Mike Brown (More on that in a bit). Stalock has taken his benching pretty hard, as evidenced by his most recent Tumblr posts:
Stalock’s last 2 starts have resulted in 3 and 5 goals against on 17 and 22 total shots, with save percentages (SV%) [pronounced: saav pursentuhjez] of 0.824 and 0.773. 8 goals on 39 shots. That’s bad. Which is why Martin Jones now starts in back-to-backs. Unfortunately, we can’t charge the losses Jones gets on the second straight game to Stalock, but Stalock deserves them.
It’s clear that Stalock is not a solution as a back up and the Sharks have two decent goaltenders in Troy Grosenick and Aaron Dell, of which Dell has put up the better numbers, despite less wins, with the Barracuda. We can’t expect Jones to play every single back-to-back, but we also can’t throw away games with Stalock as a starter. Someone needs to make a move, because sitting with dead weight is a major drag.
3. Speaking of dead weight: Mike Brown.
He doesn’t get playing time for 9 games as a healthy scratch, takes 4 minutes of penalties on 9:07 TOI (Time On Ice) [pronounced: tym on i-ss]. Such a productive member of this team. His 4 games before that? 6:11, 3:18, 6:04, 5:00 TOI. He does nothing. He averages 1.5 PIM (Penalties In Minutes) [pronounced: peniltees en minuhts] on 7:12 average TOI. 1.5 PIM. Almost a full penalty per game for 11 shifts of work. Not worth it at all. Which is why PDB has been so hesitant to use him. But instead of rolling 11 forwards around, how about we get a productive member of hockey society to fill the void of the 4th line. Maybe someone who can snipe. In an elite manner. I dream of better days…
Sharks have the Blues, Avalanche, and Sabres this week.