Top 5 takeaways from Sharks' 1-2 week
Kevin Kurz's Top 5 takeaways
Things aren't well in San Jose, as the Sharks lost two of three games this week and are showing signs of being nothing more than a mediocre team this season. Here are five takeaways from their one win and two losses…
Pavelski leading the way
This is why Joe Pavelski is captain. Despite the team sinking over the past couple weeks, Pavelski’s play has only improved. The 31-year-old has a career high five-game goal streak, and has taken over the team lead in goals (8) and points (12). On a club that is desperately seeking more production from its depth, there’s no need to worry about Pavelski, who remains one of the NHL's best goal scorers.
Power play is still dry
Inexplicably, the Sharks have failed to score a power play goal in eight of their last nine games, and are still looking for their first man advantage goal at home (0-for-13). The top unit has been getting some looks, but against the Blue Jackets they seemed more interested in standing around looking at each other. The second unit, meanwhile, hasn’t had a goal since the season opener. When a team isn’t getting scoring from all lines, it needs its power play to produce. That's not happening.
Still too top heavy
Pete DeBoer said Tuesday that he’s had no problem with his top two lines. They’re generating offense and outplaying whatever line they’re up against more often than not. The bottom two, however, have been brutal since Logan Couture’s injury. Matt Nieto, Tommy Wingels and Chris Tierney are maybe the three biggest disappointments on the team, and the fourth line consists of some players that arguably don't belong in the NHL. For a team that boasted about its forward depth before and during the preseason, the Sharks have had none of it.
The biggest, and maybe only positive to come from Tuesday’s loss to Columbus was the play of rookie Joonas Donskoi. The 23-year-old’s work along the boards helped generate Joe Pavelski’s first goal, and his takeaway from Nick Foligno led to Pavelski’s second. Donskoi was making other plays, too, including a nifty backdoor pass to Marc-Edouard Vlasic that the defenseman couldn't convert. After missing five games with a lower body injury, Donskoi is trending the right way again.
It wasn’t a good week for Sharks goalies Martin Jones and Alex Stalock. Jones started two games, and was bested by Nashville’s Pekka Rinne last Wednesday and Sergei Bobrovsky on Tuesday, while allowing some goals he was routinely stopping in the first week of the season when he was the talk of the NHL. Stalock, meanwhile, has not looked good in either of his two starts, including Saturday’s loss in Dallas on Halloween – appropriate, because his numbers are scary (3.94 GAA, .847 SP).