The San Jose Sharks remain on the road, as they look to pick up the pieces after a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. That was a tough matchup and their effort wasn’t enough. It was the second game in a row that the Sharks lost by the same score of 6-3. The Sharks were on a seven-game losing streak before it came to an end in Arizona against the Coyotes. They followed that up a few days later with another loss against the Lightning.
There are a lot of teams who have lost to the Lightning this season, so the Sharks can’t feel too bad. They’ve been rather average on the road this season and have to become a better team away from San Jose, though. Earning home ice throughout the playoffs is unlikely.
In any event, it would be a serious weapon for them. The Sharks have gone 17-4-2 at the Shark Tank, as one of the best home teams in the NHL. With a record of 11-11-2 playing on the road, the Sharks have had issues finding their footing. A couple of years ago, I recall this team being terrible at home, yet spectacular on the road. That script has flipped.
What has improved since then has been their offence. They’re finally utilizing the speed they have on their roster instead of slowing things down and playing the defensive game. Logan Couture has been one of the more underrated players in the NHL and he has been flourishing this season.
He leads all forwards with 43 points. 1st in points is none other than old reliable, Brent Burns. Burns has been monumental in setting up goals, as he has recorded 43 assists already. There are six players with 40 or more points on the Sharks, so it’s been a total team effort. For the Panthers, there are only three. Head below for our free Sharks vs. Panthers pick.
San Jose Sharks vs. Florida Panthers Pick
The Sharks came on so suddenly starting around the start of December. If you’ve been tailing them since then, you are up considerably. They’ve won 16 of 23 games since December 2nd, which would have provided a tidy profit backing the Sharks. The offensive output has been terrific, as they’ve gone on a power surge for nearly two months now.
For them to be successful in the playoffs, though, someone other than Burns is going to have to step up on the blue line, though. Martin Jones is a decent goalie, but he’s been left out to dry too often this season. At the same time, Jones could be playing better for his team. His save percentage has dipped south of 0.90 to 0.899. A shoddy performance against the Lightning where he gave up 6 goals pushed his numbers down.
Like the rest of the Sharks, Jones has struggled to hold it down on the road. The Shark Tank has been fine, as he’s sported a 2.45 GAA and 0.908 save percentage. However, consider what he’s done on the road, with a 3.29 GAA and 0.889 save percentage. As a team, they’ve suffered with 3.68 goals allowed per game. If it wasn’t for the offence playing hot, they’d be in some trouble.
The Sharks have scored an average of 4.3 goals in their last ten games, yet have allowed 3.4 per game. They’ve climbed all the way up to 3rd in the league, averaging 3.56 goals per game overall. Their offence should provide a mismatch against a Florida team allowing 3.49 goals per game for 28th in the league.
In their last ten outings, they’ve surrendered 3.6 goals per game. They are coming off a couple of impressive performances, with wins over the Leafs and Predators, but this looks like a spot they regress. San Jose can be so erratic on the road, especially the defence, that this may turn into a good game, though. I’d look towards a play on the OVER in a matchup that should give us a high-scoring affair in Sunrise.