The following is a recap of the 'Summary' and 'Looking Ahead' portions of the San Jose Sharks G10R. The G20Reports will become available for purchase at the OGA Store in mid-November so please check back often at www.ongoalanalysis.com for information regarding your favorite team's play as measured against our Playoff Qualifying Curve...!
The SHARKS are currently…CHASING STANLEY! San Jose is now the second team in the 2008-09 NHL Season to clinch a playoff berth per the On Goal Analysis Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC). Since the lockout, this is the Sharks' strongest start (PQC Rating of 8.0, +3.0 above the PQC) and the Sharks' previous starts were all within or just above the PQC.
OF INTEREST : San Jose scored NO GOALS in 1st periods in the first 6 games. Then in Game 7, they blow it up for 4 goals in the first period alone while allowing 3! They then return to establishing their defensive play in each game with low scoring first periods with 1 goal in GM8, 0 in GM9, and 1 goal in GM10 in 1st periods.
The Sharks have been aggressive under the new offensive system with coach McLellan and are 2nd in the NHL for shots on net (avg. 37.3 per game). As noted, the San Jose defense has been tightened up and they lead the NHL, early in the season, with the best shots-against average (23.0 per game). The Sharks have been able to control the puck in both zones (league-leading Faceoff percentage : 57.7%) and this has been key to dominating games on both offense and defense. The Sharks now join the New York Rangers as the first two teams we call 'IN' the playoffs and Chasing Stanley.
In the next 10 games, the SHARKS are likely to…continue to establish their dominance on offensive chances and stellar defensive play. The team is relatively healthy and their historical performance against the PQC shows them winning more games in the second 10-Game segment in 2 of the 3 previous seasons. If they continue to outshoot their opponents (sometimes dramatically so) they may be able to settle in a fairly high playoff seed despite their historical major drop in production between the 50 and 60-Game mark.
The Sharks will play 6 of their next 10 at home and their opponents will all be Western Conference teams. Don't think it's too soon for this team to be thinking about dethroning Detroit as the best team in the West and perhaps even eying the President's Trophy. Youngster Devin Setoguchi is already making a mark (on fire!) and has spent time on the first line. Patrick Marleau is also off to a much better start this season than the previous and the new defensive acquisitions appear to be just what was needed to front the veteran workhorse netminder, Evgeni Nabakov.