San Jose Sharks-Chicago Blackhawks: Second City No Second Fiddle

May 20th, 2010 by MJ Kasprzak Leave a reply »
It has not been a good series for the San Jose Sharks.

In both games, the supposedly more physical team was bullied in their supposedly inhospitable home—voted the toughest building to play in on the road, where they were 5-1 through two rounds of the playoffs—by rude guests,  who scored twice as often as their hosts.

Perhaps the most difficult thing is this year's team is not lacking in effort, failing to do the little things, and playing apprehensively or nervously as teams past have.

They are just being beaten by a better team, and this is apparent from the stats behind the scoreboard:

San Jose might have won more faceoffs (67-50) but have not taken care of the puck once they have it.

Chicago has just 15 giveaways to 17 takeaways; meanwhile, the Sharks have had 20 giveaways in each game and just 22 takeaways total, giving the Blackhawks a plus-20 edge in puck management.

True, when one factors in the faceoff advantage of the Sharks, it results in only three more possessions over two series for Chicago.

But giveaways often happen in the neutral or defensive zone, and rarely is a ...

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