SAN JOSE – On more than one occasion, Sharks head coach Todd McLellan has implied that he’s not one to obsess over those so-called advanced statistics.
But even he turned to relaying the Corsi numbers (shots on goal combined with missed and blocked shots) in his postgame presser after the Sharks probably deserved better than a 3-2 loss to Vancouver on Thursday night at SAP Center. San Jose attempted 80 shots on net to just 23 by Vancouver, controlling play for long stretches in the process.
“If you want to look at analytics, the possession numbers and shot attempts and all that type of stuff certainly were in our favor,” McLellan said. “But, that doesn’t put points in the bank. At the end of the night, they got three and we got two.”
That’s not to say that it was a perfect game from the Sharks’ perspective. After all, included in their 80 shots attempts were 18 that missed everything, including a number of prime chances.
In fact, a missed shot arguably turned the tide in the game. The Sharks led 1-0 before Scott Hannan skated deep into the offensive zone and shot high and wide on a wrist shot, leading to a two-on-one the other way after Joe Thornton had the puck bounce over his stick along the wall. Radim Vrbata made the Sharks pay, tying the score with seven seconds to go in the opening frame.
That was the most preventable of the three goals the Sharks allowed.
“We had guys looking at the goaltender by themselves, and we didn’t even hit the net in those situations,” McLellan said. “Offensively, we need to bear down.”
The Canucks scored twice in the second period on a power play blast by Alex Edler that went in off of Justin Braun, and netted the game-winner after Tomas Hertl broke his stick on a one-timer before Vancouver quickly transitioned the other way. Nick Bonino skated around the flailing Hertl before finding the twine with a wrist shot for the game-winner.
Some bad luck, to be sure.
"The first one, the puck jumps over Jumbo’s stick, but we still shouldn’t be giving up a two-on-one," McLellan said. "A broken stick on their winner. Even the power play goal deflects off Brauny and in. We've got to look at our game."
Still, had the match been extended an extra half-second past regulation, the Sharks may not have come out on the losing end. The third period clock was winding down when Tommy Wingels threw the puck towards the goal crease from the corner, and Thornton got a stick on it to deposit it past Ryan Miller for what would have been the tying marker.
It literally came a couple tenths of a second too late, though, and while Thornton and the rest of the Sharks celebrated and expected overtime to follow, a video review confirmed the goal wouldn’t count.
“It was one of those things where it was just so close you couldn’t really tell,” Thornton said. “If only we had half a second, I think we would have been all right.”
Joe Pavelski said: “As far as I knew, the puck went in before the horn. Whether the horn and clock were on the same page – they weren’t tonight. I think the ref thought so, too. He had it a goal.”
Instead of extending their point-streak to five games, the Sharks will now embark on a seven-game road trip that begins on Saturday in Dallas trying to get back in the win column.
They’ll have to quickly get rid of the bad taste in their mouths with games looming against the speedy Stars and elite Blackhawks on Sunday.
Pavelski said: "It was frustrating at times. ... We had chances upon chances. We just didn't execute."