UPDATE: Couture and Thorton will be playing against the Oilers in game one on Wednesday.
Coming Back From A Lose
Last year the Sharks lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Penguins in six games. They came into the 2016-17 season looking for vengeance going 46-29-7, accumulating 99 points.
The Sharks This Season
The Sharks finished this season just as they did last season, 3rd the Pacific Division. Brent Burns continued his great play this season registering 29 goals and 47 assists totaling to 76 points. Brent Burns wasn’t the only defensemen chipping in this season though; Marc-Edouard Vlasic had 22 assists. Something that wasn’t average for the Sharks was their goals against over the season. The team’s GA was 27 goals below the NHL average, a significant amount. Aaron Dell and Martin Jones both had very, very average seasons. Martin Jones’ save percentage was .912, the NHL average for the 2016-17 season was .913. The Shark’s penalty kill percentage was 80.66%, pretty close to the NHL’s average of 80.90%. San Jose’s average shooting percentage for this season was 8.9%, pretty close to the NHL’s average of 9.0%. The team’s TG/G (Total Goals Per Game) is 5.15, pretty close to the NHL’s average of 5.53. What I’m trying to say is that the Shark’s are surprisingly average (besides their GA) for how well they’ve done this season.
Oh yeah, it gets its own category. Two key players for the San Jose Sharks are injured, Logan Couture and “Jumbo” Joe Thorton. Couture, who has a mouth injury, was injured on March 26th. Joe Thorton was injured on April 4th with a left knee injury. It is uncertain whether either of them will play game one against the Oilers. Thorton most likely won’t play because of how he “Was rotating with the fourth liners [during practice], which suggests that he’s not up to returning yet,” (CSN Bay Area). Couture shows more signs of promise though, practicing with the top line today. The two not playing would be a huge loss for the Sharks. Couture is third in points for the team while Thorton is fourth on the team for points. If they come back though, both will probably not be 100%.
This first round matchup is the ultimate battle of young vs. old. I don’t think the Sharks can beat the Oilers. The Sharks, as I said earlier, are just way too average to go against a strong team led by Connor McDavid. You can read about what Ryan Crappa has to say about the Oilers going into the first round here. But what do you think is going to happen? Will Burns or McDavid come out on top? Whatever happens, the Sharks sure seem excited!
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) April 10, 2017