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.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.