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 Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

2. Improved 5-on-5 play

But while the Sharks have continued to be excellent on special teams, they’ve been doing that essentially since the start of the season. However, where they haven’t always excelled has been at even strength.

Through the first 15 games of the season, the Sharks were a mess playing 5-on-5 hockey with many metrics ranking among the worst in the NHL. In particular, we could look at the Sharks’ impressive Corsi statistic rate while at even strength.

Corsi is a stat that measures shot attempts for a team and it is widely used because it’s seen as a great predictor of future success. Over the month of October, the Sharks 47.96 CF% while at even strength ranked 24th in the NHL.

Since then, they’ve been a top-10 team on the 5-on-5.

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Their early-season struggles are even more evident when looking a how effective they were on special teams. The Sharks combined power-play and penalty-kill percentages through October were an incredible 114.8.

That was the highest such total in the NHL.

Quite literally, the Sharks had the best special teams in the league and yet they had a 4-10-1 record to show for it through 15 games.

But because of some much-improved 5-on-5 play, the Sharks have managed to find the level of success that they’re having. And if they could keep this up, who knows how far up the standings the Sharks will climb.