As we’re just about near the quarter-mark of the San Jose Sharks season, let’s take a look at some stats under Peter DeBoer and compare them to the 2014-2015, Todd McLellan-led, Sharks team.
All stats below are 5v5 except, of course, penalty kill and power play.
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DeBoer gets the nod in the high-danger areas, for and against, but the offensive system outside of that isn’t where it was under McLellan. I’d much rather have more chances in high-danger areas than outside of said areas, and it seems as though under DeBoer the Sharks have swapped 2.4 SCF60 for 1.2 HSCF60. I’ll take those results, considering the difference between overall shots-for per 60 at evens is marginal. That swap is likely contributing to a slightly higher GF60 rating at 5v5 so, again, bonus.
The defense statistics are clearly better but that can be attributed, in part, to Paul Martin being on the team these days – although the credit can’t all be taken away from Peter DeBoer.
Where DeBoer’s changes have hurt has been on special teams. Blame the assistants all you want for whoever is in charge of running the special teams units, but DeBoer put those people in place and, ultimately, it’s his responsibility to ensure those units are firing on all cylinders.
The powerplay suffering such a decline is unacceptable given the talent this team has for a power play unit – even without Logan Couture. A team that can place Thornton, Pavelski, Marleau and Burns on the ice as four of five with a man-advantage shouldn’t be near the bottom of the league in power play percentage. That’s a glaring hole in the DeBoer camp.
The penalty kill is also worse than last year but, fortunately for San Jose, its true lack of value is somewhat hidden behind other teams failures. Perhaps its line combinations, personnel use or simply a terrible plan. I’d lean more towards terrible plan based on who has been playing the majority of time at 4v5 for the Sharks. Either way, it’s a situation that needs some attention.
The up and down play of Martin Jones has the Sharks 5v5 save percentage 0.3% better than it was with Antti Niemi at the helm, so DeBoer has essentially had the previous seasons team +Ward/Martin, -Couture for most of the season.
At the end of the day the Sharks are still 2nd in the Pacific Division right now, thanks in large part to a poor showing from most of the division. If they can sort of some of the glaring issues and get consistent goaltending while keeping up the positives in their game it’s going to be an interesting season. If they continue to play poor special teams play with average goaltending then this year will be another rocky ride all the way through.
How do you think the Sharks are doing under DeBoer? Better? Worse? No change?
Thanks for reading.