The San Jose Sharks suffered their first loss of the season today, losing 5-3 to the Arizona Coyotes.
The Sharks started strong, scoring early and controlling the play for the first 10 minutes of the game. That said, the game evened out pretty quickly and Arizona was able to get things going and create some momentum in the back half of the first period.
Despite giving up five goals, the Sharks were better defensively than in their first game. Three of Arizona’s goals came from point shots that found their way through a screen, either going in directly or by creating a rebound. The Sharks gave up only 26 shots and for the most part, were able to limit odd-man rushes and quality shots. The blame can’t necessarily be placed on Jones for the goals either but he was nowhere near as good as in the season opener.
At the same time, while the Sharks were better defensively, they really struggled to get anything going offensively. Even when they had pressure in the Coyotes’ zone, they weren’t able to create many decent scoring chances. San Jose may have managed 34 shots but their real opportunities were few and far between. For reference, the two teams combined for just 25 high danger scoring chances in this game, compared to 37 in their first game (according to NaturalStatTrick.com).
It wasn’t a great outing for the Sharks but despite the loss, there were some positives to take away, in terms of their defensive play.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Have you been impressed by John Leonard's performance with the Sharks thus far?