The San Jose Sharks have won five straight games and are now comfortably back into playoff position. So it is understandable that some are scratching their heads as they continue to sell at the deadline. With Douglas Murray going to Pittsburgh, Michal Handzus going to Chicago, and now big man Ryane Clowe moving to New York, the Sharks have acquired six draft picks.
Sharks Offense Returns
The Sharks were at the bottom of the league in scoring. Then, Ryane Clowe returned from injury and sparked an outburst nobody saw coming. Defeating Anaheim twice, Detroit, Phoenix, and Vancouver, San Jose’s offense has returned to life with help from Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, and Logan Couture. Scoring has come easy as the Sharks have scored in bunches during their current win streak. The defense, which has been consistent all season, continued to suffocate. Niemi played his normally strong ways between the pipes. And they were finally rewarded with some jump from their offense.
Doug Murray was a popular defenseman in San Jose. His hard hitting play was essential to the Shark penalty kill, which was deadly at the HP Pavillion. He is a hard-nosed blue liner that was a major contributor to the hit totals. However, this season has not been kind in terms of plus/minus. He has already earned an assist with Pittsburgh and has proven valuable as a defender for the hottest team in the league. The Sharks get two second-round picks in the next two drafts for Doug.
The trade for Handzus is perhaps the easiest for Sharks fans to take as the Center had been largely sidelined in the 2013 season. His value to the Blackhawks is linked to his faceoff percentage, a stat that many place stock into come the postseason. Chicago has also been one of the worst teams in terms of faceoff wins, so Handzus will fit in as a roleplayer on the penalty kill and power play. While the Sharks did not gain much in return, just one draft pick, they did not lose much either. The Sharks do not struggle to win faceoffs with their other centers and Handzus’ production on the scoresheet is way down.
Ryane Clowe just came back to the lineup after missing four games to injury. His return came just as the Sharks started a seven game homestand. The Sharks also have not lost since his return. His trade to the Rangers is puzzling in his inability to score this year and New York is dead last in scoring. Ryane Clowe’s game is no longer about scoring goals in bunches, but more about physicality and hits. He was second on the Sharks in the hit category and ranks tenth in the entire league with 79 penalty minutes. The Sharks get three draft picks in the next two drafts in return.