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Cutting Bait: Post Game Notes
Sharks @ Blackhawks
3/14/11 - By Mike Lee -

» Even though the Blackhawks put up a 6 spot on the Sharks, Ben Eager was the only player with a -2 or worse. Team was a combined -10. San Jose is a net +1 through 70 games this season. The Sharks were a net +32 last year (4th).

» Just a game after returning to the lineup, Dan Boyle led all Sharks skaters in ice time, logging 25:41 on 28 shifts.

» One key to Chicago’s success was that they finally figured out that blocking shots pays dividends against San Jose. Blackhawks blocked 20 shots Monday night. Brent Seabrook accounted for 6 of those blocks.

» Chicago also won in the faceoff circle, capturing 31 of 57 faceoffs (54%). Joe Pavelski won 4 of 14 faceoffs.

» Another horrific penalty killing performance pushes the Sharks PK to 23rd (of 30 teams) in the league. San Jose ranked 5th in the NHL last season.

» Pavelski logged 16:43 of ice time, almost a third of that on the penalty kill. Hard to snap out of his offensive doldrums when the majority of his night is spent killing penalties.

» Remember Niklas Hjalmarsson, the defenseman the Sharks signed to an offer sheet last summer? He scored a goal, was a +3, blocked 3 shots and shutdown the Sharks top line.

» Not all is lost. The Sharks finished the regular season with a 3-1-0 record against Chicago. They were 1-1-2 last year in the regular season, outscoring the Sharks 17-11. What’s worse is they were 0-4 in the Western Conference Finals, getting outscored 13-7. San Jose outscored the Blackhawks 15-12 this season.

» With his goal, Joe Thornton moved into the top 30 in NHL scoring. His 57 points trails scoring leader Daniel Sedin (38 goals, 52 assists) by a mere 37 points.

» The quote of the game from Sharks head coach Todd McLellan (from NHL.com): "If I was going to sum up the game: they skated, we glided," McLellan said. "They were hard on the boards, we were soft. We were looking for a win the easy way, and there's 30 teams in the League right now that know that doesn't work."



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