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Game Inside the Game – 4/30/2013

WCQF Game 1: Sharks @ Canucks

Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 12:03 PM / News
By Eric Lindquist  - Staff Writer
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Game Inside the Game \u2013 4\/30\/2013
The San Jose Sharks get set to take on the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday at 7:30pm!

The San Jose Sharks get set to take on the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday at 7:30pm. Please note all games will be carried LIVE locally on CSNCA-HD / 98.5-102.1 FM KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network.

Each game day, sjsharks.com will take a look at the “Game inside the Game” as the Sharks continue their quest toward the Stanley Cup. Line matchups, player vs. player battles, head-to-head stats, and key figures highlighted each game day.

Before Game 1, let’s take a closer look at the special teams for the Sharks and the Canucks.


SPECIAL TEAMS

We hear it all the time….Special teams can make or break a team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Let’s take a closer look at the Sharks/Canucks power play and penalty kill heading into Game 1 in Vancouver.

Sharks:

  • PP this season: 20.1% - 8th in NHL (3-for-14 vs. the Canucks this season)
  • PK this season: 85.0% - 6th in NHL
  • The Sharks combined PP and PK = 105.1% - the 3rd best in the NHL (behind only Philadelphia and Toronto)
  • The Sharks have a much better power play at home (25.6%) than on the road (14.9%).
  • San Jose has scored three shorthanded goals (Marleau, Wingels, and Burish) and allowed four.

Canucks:

  • PP this season: 15.8% – 22nd in NHL (0-for-12 vs. the Sharks this season)
  • PK this season: 81.3% – 12th in NHL
  • The Canucks combined PP and PK = 97.1%
  • The Canuck penalty kill is 5.9% better on home ice (87.2%) than on the road (81.3%)
  • Vancouver has scored two shorthanded goals (H. Sedin, Hamhuis) and allowed three. – the Canucks have not scored a shorthanded goal on the road this season.

TEAM LEADERS

Top 5 Sharks on the PP this season:

  • Couture – 7 power play goals
  • Marleau – 6 power play goals
  • Pavelski – 5 power play goals
  • Boyle – 5 power play goals
  • Irwin – 4 power play goals

Top 5 Canucks on the PP this season:

  • Edler – 5 power play goals
  • Raymond – 4 power play goals
  • D. Sedin – 3 power play goals
  • Garrison – 3 power play goals
  • Several players tied at 2 power play goals

DID YOU KNOW?

Trivia Time… the Sharks are 114-for-783 all time on the power play (14.9%) and 576-for-714 on the penalty kill (80.7%) in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Remember When… In the only other playoff meeting between the Sharks and the Canucks (Vancouver won 4-1 in Western Conference Final in 2011), both teams put up huge numbers on the power play.

  • San Jose went 7-for-22 on the PP (31.8%) – Marleau had three power play goals
  • Vancouver went 9-for-24 on the PP (37.5%)

20... Patrick Marleau is the Sharks all-time leader with 20 power play goals in the playoffs with Joe Pavelski 2nd with eight power play markers. Marleau is also tops in shorthanded goals with four!

Twins near the top... Daniel Sedin is 2nd (10ppg) and Henrik is 3rd (9ppg) for most power play goals in the playoffs in franchise history for the Canucks. – watch out for #33 and #22 on the Vancouver PP!

ADVANTAGE GOES TO

PP – San Jose

The Sharks PP was lethal to start the season and needs to be real good vs. the Canucks in Round 1. San Jose’s power play was 25.6% at home, but just 14.9% on the road. – which is important to note as the Canucks have home ice. The Sharks have five players (Couture, Marleau, Pavelski, Boyle, Irwin) with at least four power play goals while the Canucks only have two (Edler, Raymond).

Although the Canucks penalty kill had been strong this season (84.0%), the Sharks did have some good looks on the power play in the three regular season games, scoring three times. In this playoff series vs. the Canucks, San Jose does not necessarily need to score on every power play, but they do need to keep the puck deep in the zone with the man advantage and gather momentum with a strong power play chance. The Sharks power play needs to carry the flow!

Don’t overlook the Canucks power play in this series, as they have proven power play scorers in the Sedin twins, Derek Roy, Mason Raymond, and Alexander Edler. However, look for PPG goal specialists Couture, Pavelski, and Marleau to have a big series on the PP for the Sharks.

PK – TIE

On paper, the Sharks (85.0%) and the Canucks (84.0%) are both in the top 10 in the NHL when it comes down to the penalty kill. But, goaltenders can be your best penalty killers with timely saves at the perfect time. San Jose was a perfect 12-for-12 on the penalty kill vs. the Canucks in the regular season, and as I recall, Antti Niemi made some HUGE saves when the Sharks were shorthanded.

The addition of Brad Stuart (leads all Sharks players in shorthanded ice time) has certainly backboned a solid PK season for the Sharks. The Canucks will rely on defensemen Dan Hamhuis and Jason Garrison if they get into penalty trouble vs. the Sharks in the playoffs.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Strong special teams play will be again be key for the Sharks in the opening round series vs. the Canucks – especially on the road. The Sharks have too many offensive weapons on the power play, not to be successful, despite the Canucks strong overall penalty kill. Special teams was the achilles heel for the Sharks in their first round exit vs. the Blues last season (the PK allowed at least on PPG in four of five games, including three in Game 3.), but the special teams (especially the PK) is much more approved in 2013. If the Sharks can stay even with the Canucks on special team scoring on the road, and take advantage at home… it will move them one step closer to the Stanley Cup! Solid special teams play is a must for the Sharks in this series and the rest of the playoffs! Let’s take it one power play/penalty kill at time! Go Sharks!

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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