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Randy's Ramblings - 2/20/2013

Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 12:38 PM
By Randy Hahn - Sharks Broadcaster / The Daily Chomp
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The Daily Chomp
Randy\'s Ramblings - 2\/20\/2013

What a difference a win makes!

When the Sharks woke up in frigid Chicago Wednesday morning they were able to breathe just a little bit easier after Tuesday's slump busting 2-1 win in St. Louis. Even though they picked up a few points during their seven game winless slide, it was crucial to earn a two point victory and to do it in regulation. Before the win over the Blues the Sharks had actually gone 9 in a row without a regulation win. Do the math. In 9 straight games they were giving up points to the opponent. In an all Western Conference, 48 game season, that is not an advisable strategy. Now the challenge for Todd McLellan's team is to keep their collective noses to the grindstone and do it again on Friday against the hottest team in the NHL, Chicago. How they manage that is for another day.

It strikes me that the two big changes since early in the season when the team won 7 straight have been the offense, or lack there of and the power play. Early on the Thornton-Marleau-Pavelski combo was virtually unstoppable. The trio was involved in 18 of the Sharks first 23 goals. The power play was basically bullet proof too, clicking at over 37% after the first 5 games. Over the last 10 games the power play is 2 for 42. Ouch!

Three constants stick out. Except for the first few games, the penalty killing has been very good throughout the first month of the Sharks season. As of this writing the Sharks are killing 87% of their penalties. Thats good enough for a tie for 4th in the NHL with Edmonton. It's a far cry from last years dismal 29th place ranking. The goaltending has also been steady. Anti Niemi and Thomas Griess have a combined 2.13 goals against average. That's 5th best in the NHL. That's good. And there's one more constant, the lack of secondary scoring and scoring from the defense. The Sharks still have 11 skaters on the roster who haven't scored a goal yet including 6 forwards and including one "top 6" forward.

History tells us that Thornton, Marleau, Couture etc. will end up getting their points this year. They always do. What has to improve is that secondary scoring. The Sharks need the odd goal from a Clowe, Handzus, Havlat or Burns. Otherwise there will be many more nail biting, low scoring battles like the one the team battled through in St. Louis.

I'm Randy Hahn for SJSHARKS.com

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 77 47 22 8 220 188 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 CGY 76 41 28 7 224 201 89
9 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 75 36 31 10 67
J. Thornton 71 14 48 -4 62
L. Couture 75 24 37 -4 61
B. Burns 75 16 39 -5 55
P. Marleau 75 17 35 -17 52
T. Wingels 68 15 20 -5 35
T. Hertl 75 12 17 -2 29
M. Nieto 65 8 16 -11 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
M. Karlsson 46 13 9 -2 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 7 7 1 .902 2.60
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
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