NHL: The Canadiens face an opponent who is already on the court against the Sharks

Watch Friday’s game between the Canadiens and the Sharks on RDS and RDS.ca. The Hockey 360 preliminary game will start at 3 p.m.

The Montreal Canadiens’ lean years in San Jose appear to be behind the team.

After a nearly 22-year winless drought in the Sharks’ California fortress, during which the Habs lost 12 straight games between 1999 and 2021, CH now appears to be back on track.

Winners of their last two visits to San Jose, in 2021 and 2022, CH will look to extend their recent success against the Sharks on Friday afternoon, against a team that has put up what could be described as poor numbers this season.

Let’s just say their dismal record of 3-15-1 in 19 games this season is no fluke.

The Sharks’ nightmare began at the start of their season on Oct. 12, the first game of an 11-game winless streak. With this forgettable start to the season, the Sharks flirted with the sad NHL record for most games without a win to start a season. The Sharks’ 11 game winless streak puts them second in history in that regard.

Porous defensive performance

For a player like Cole Caufieldwho are desperate to unlock the offense, a matchup against the Sharks on Friday is certainly welcome.

With 83 goals allowed in 19 games – an average of 4.3 goals allowed per match – the Sharks sit comfortably 32nd.e and last place in the NHL for that matter. Teams facing the Sharks have a habit of adding to their offensive records as the Sharks have allowed five or more goals on eight occasions this season.

Even worse, two teams managed to reach ten goals in one game. When things go wrong!

The defensive failures of the Sharks are clearly reflected in the personal statistics of their goalkeepers Mackenzie Blackwood and Kaapo Kahkonenwho toil in the depths of the NHL at all levels.

Both goaltenders have efficiency ratings below the .900 mark, and the goals-against averages of Blackwood (3.96) and Kahkonen (4.30) rank them at 52nd, respectively.e and 54e out of 54 goalkeepers who have played at least six games this season.

And to put an end to the Sharks’ defensive woes, the team is allowing more than 37 shots per game on average — the worst in the NHL — while scoring 30e rank in the NHL in penalty kicks with an efficiency of 72.5%.

Not better offensively either

If you just stick to statistics, Cayden Primeau he was probably relieved to find out he was the starting goaltender against the Sharks.

San Jose averages the fewest shots per game, with 24.2 shots on goal per game, and is the only team averaging less than two goals per game. With just 28 goals in 19 games, let’s just say the Sharks players haven’t celebrated a goal often since October.

Although the season is still young, the Sharks’ 1.47 goals per game average is currently the sixth lowest in NHL history. In fact, since the 2000s, only the 2013-2014 editions. and 2014-2015. Buffalo Sabres finished the season below the threshold of two goals per game. The Sharks could apparently join them on this sad list.

The best offensive element of the Sharks with 12 points, Thomas Hertl it only points to 148e ranking of NHL scorers. The Sharks are one of three teams on the Bettman Tour, along with the Calgary Flames and Washington Capitalsthat there is no player among the top 100 scorers this season.

Only the Sharks’ numerical advantage allows us to see a glimmer of hope… to be generous. The Sharks’ 16.4% performance with an extra man on the ice ranks the team 22nde place in the NHL. It’s not great, but it’s still less bad than any other aspect of their game.

Gathering all the information, we can say that the Habs have a golden opportunity to win their third game in a row in San Jose and inflict their third straight loss on the Sharks.

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