hit counter
How to

How is Karlsson preserved? | San Jose hockey now

BERLIN — David Quinn doesn’t give up much — unless he’s talking about how handsome Derek Lalonde is or isn’t.

Quinn can’t believe Lalonde is the third most beautiful coach in the NHL

The new San Jose Sharks head coach doesn’t even seem to show lines on his morning skate. Usually coaches do that. And hey, it’s his team, more power to him. It just means we need to pay a lot more attention to what Quinn does in games.

Rather than rolling his four lines, Quinn chose to spend more time on the power play on morning skates. As a result, we usually at least know who will be on the power play in a game.

It’s only preseason now, and it’s possible Quinn might just put a little more emphasis on the power play in response to a compressed preseason schedule. So maybe we’ll see those always-helpful morning skate lines soon.

Or will this trend perhaps continue into the regular season?

So here’s one thing I did or didn’t see in the Sharks’ 3-1 win over Eisbaren Berlin at the Mercedes-Benz Arena last night: Not much of Erik Karlsson on penalties.

Instead, the San Jose Sharks very consistently used Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Mario Ferraro as the best PK defensive pairing, followed by Radim Simek-Matt Benning. Karlsson only came out towards the end of the PKs when the game went back to 5v5.

Of course some of you will say Erik Karlsson doesn’t play defense!

But then there’s this stat: Since the Sharks were traded for Karlsson, their penalty shootout has been the second-best in the NHL. And Karlsson was no small part of that – only Brent Burns and Vlasic have played more at PK than Karlsson among San Jose rearguards since 2018-19.

So why would you take one of your better penalty-killing defenders out of PK?

Corey Masisak of The Athletic had a theory and it could be a solid one, pending regular-season testing.

In Vlasic, Ferraro, Simek and Benning – and probably even Scott Harrington and Jaycob Megna – you have a wealth of potential defensive PK’ers. However, you only have one Karlsson for the power play.

So could Quinn save Karlsson for 5v5 and PP? It would be reasonable: The two-time Norris Trophy is 32, not 22, and the San Jose Sharks’ hopes rest a lot on his faltering health this season.

On the other hand, Karlsson’s use in his other two preseason appearances suggests the Sharks will use him in any situation, and plenty of it.

On September 25 against the Los Angeles Kings, Karlsson led the Sharks by 24:07. He spent 7:13 on the power play and 3:00 on penalties. For what it’s worth, he was outnumbered San Jose’s least-used blueliner in a penalty-filled affair.

On September 30 in Vegas, Karlsson led the Sharks by 24-23. He spent 1:55 on the PP and 3:27 on the PK, leading San Jose in both categories.

They didn’t clock time on the ice last night in Berlin, but Karlsson and Harrington were clearly the underused Sharks defenders in the kill.

Quinn said he believes the lines in last night’s preseason finale should primarily reflect how San Jose will open the regular season against the Nashville Predators.

Will Karlsson’s penalty follow up? Could San Jose try to find some rest for EK65 by reducing his PK usage?

Welcome to your new home for breaking San Jose Sharks news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us Twitter and don’t forget to subscribe to SJHN+ to get all our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network, as well as an ad-free browsing experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button