A lot, too much in fact, has been made over the annual failure of the San Jose Sharks in the playoffs and any number of reasons gets thrown around to try and make sense of something that seems so inexplicable. Joe Thornton gets customarily thrown under the bus and now with Dany Heatley added to the team there’s a new scapegoat in waiting should the Sharks fail again in the playoffs this year.
One player Sharks fans should be a little twitchy about though is goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. A lot of folks saw Nabokov get torched by Team Canada in the Olympic tournament in Vancouver but since returning from the Olympics, Nabokov’s stellar NHL season has gotten a little bumpier at the time of year the Sharks and their fans want to see things get steady.
Over the month of March (including tonight’s stinkbomb against Dallas), Nabokov has played in 13 games, played 723 minutes and allowed 39 goals, good for a 3.25 goals against average with a .889 save percentage to match it. Beware the Ides of March, indeed.
Comparing his stats to other the other months this season, either March is a statistic outlier or a gigantic red flag for things to come.
October 13 GP 2.53 GAA .912 SV%
November 12 GP 2.17 GAA .930 SV%
December 10 GP 2.15 GAA .934 SV%
January 13 GP 1.95 GAA .936 SV%
February 5 GP 2.79 GAA .926 SV%
April doesn’t provide too many games on the regular schedule for Nabokov and the Sharks to round into playoff shape, but some folks might say they’re already primed and ready for the playoffs right now.