San Jose Sharks: 3 driving factors behind the team’s recent turnaround

San Jose Sharks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
San Jose Sharks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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San Jose Sharks
San Jose Sharks (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

3. Stout penalty kill

If there’s one thing the Sharks have done right for the entirety of this season it’s been their play on special teams — more specifically their outstanding penalty kill.

While their power play has slowed down a bit — they still rank tied for 13th in scoring percentage — the Sharks penalty kill has remained stout throughout the season so far.

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San Jose ranks first with an incredible 90.9 percent success rate allowing just eight goals on 88 short-handed attempts. That rate is over four percent higher than the current second-place teams, the Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins, who hold a success rate of 86.7 percent.

That’s the same gap between the second-best team and the 16th-best team.

We saw firsthand just how the Sharks’ penalty kill could carry them to victory in their 2-1 win over the Islanders on Sunday. San Jose was a perfect 6-for-6 killing the penalty as goalie Martin Jones made 10 total short-handed saves.

On top of that, the Sharks’ four short-handed goals are the second-highest goal total behind only the Anaheim Ducks and Vegas Golden Knights.

The Sharks have seen improvements across the board, but the backbone of this team continues to be their excellent short-handed work.