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#1 Оставлено : 3 января 2018 г. 11:25:44(UTC)

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Brent Burns won't be the only Sharks defenseman skating without his usual partner on Saturday night against the Ducks.

Justin Braun will, as Marc-Edouard Vlasic will join fellow injured blueliner Paul Martin in the press box., too

giving the pair the least amount of offensive zone starts and deploying them against the toughest competition.,Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer normally tasks Braun and Vlasic with the team's most difficult defensive assignments

the Sharks are losing the possession battle with the pair on the ice,In that role, the two have not lived up to their usual standards over the last year and change. Since the start of last season, according to Corsica., accounting for only 46.3 percent of the shot attempts

Braun and Vlasic had never failed to account for 50 percent of the shot attempts in their respective careers before last year.,For context

the Sharks controlled 57.18 percent of even strength shot attempts with Vlasic on the ice,Last season, and 50.49 percent with Braun., both players fared better away from each other than they did together. In just over 232 minutes apart

the San Jose Mercury News' Paul Gackle reported. The duo controlled 52.82 percent of the shot attempts together,Braun posted his best possession numbers alongside Brenden Dillon last season, and Dillon is likely to be Braun's partner against Anaheim, per Corsica., and only started 1.67% more of their shifts in the offensive zone than Vlasic and Braun

Braun's play alongside Dillon will be worth watching,That came in a little over 144 minutes together, if only to see if the Sharks can afford to lighten Vlasic's load upon his return., so this isn't an extremely significant sample. But

but that approach forces the Sharks to soak up a lot of pressure from their opponents' best players.,The Sharks are incredibly dependent upon Vlasic and Braun to draw tough competition in order to free up the rest of the defense. The other two pairings have driven play against weaker competition

DeBoer will have more defensive flexibility. It could free up Vlasic to play with Burns,If Braun and Dillon demonstrate they're able to succeed under similar, moving an aging Paul Martin into a third pairing role he may be better suited for., albeit less difficult circumstances

clearly trusts Braun and Vlasic with a heavy defensive burden,DeBoer, though, and one that Vlasic's absence allows him to explore., even as they aren't driving play. Whether or not he should under those circumstances is another matter entirely

Brent Burns played with only one defensive partner more in a single season than he has with Joakim Ryan in 2017-18.,Over the last three years

is Paul Martin,That partner, of course, although the injury is not related to his ailing ankle., who's missed all but two games this season due to complications from offseason ankle surgery. Martin is set to miss yet more time after experiencing a setback in his recovery

Martin's absence, has naturally led to questions about whether their separation is causing Burns to struggle., combined with the fact that Burns has gone 20 games without a goal this season

That's not the case.

according to Corsica Hockey,Burns is actually playing a bit better alongside Ryan than he was with Martin. In just over 257 minutes together at even strength, up from Burns and Martin's 52.13 percent mark together.,Authentic Sidney Crosby jersey, the Sharks have controlled 55.74 percent of the shot attempts with Burns and Ryan on the ice

the Sharks are attempting nearly nine more shots per 60 minutes than when Burns and Martin together,The Sharks are attempting more shots than their opponents when Burns and Ryan play,adidas Brent Burns jersey, and just over two more shots per 60 minutes are hitting the net., they're doing so at a higher rate. With Burns and Ryan on the ice

when he was playing alongside Martin. It wasn't Martin's fault then,As we've written about previously,Authentic Jake Guentzel jersey, just as it's not Ryan's fault now.,Authentic Steven Stamkos jersey, Burns' scoring struggles date back to the stretch run last season

The puck simply isn't going in. Through 20 games this season, Burns had 83 shots on goal and seven goals., Burns has 82 shots on goal and zero goals. Through 20 games in his Norris Trophy-winning campaign

as his 8.3 percent shooting percentage through 20 games last season was only one percent higher than his career average. Shooting at a zero percent clip after 20 games is,It's not like Burns was super lucky then,adidas Joe Thornton jersey, either, the outlier., clearly

the Sharks are scoring on only 3.45 percent of their shots,Together,adidas Vladimir Tarasenko jersey, much lower than the 8.26 percent San Jose scored on when Martin and Burns played together., Burns and Ryan have been more unlucky than anything else. When the two skate during five-on-five play

At 32 years old, but it would be an even bigger one to expect him to struggle much longer alongside Ryan. , it would be a stretch to expect Burns to match or exceed his heights from a season ago

their most recent loss coming Sunday when Columbus fell 5-0 to Tampa Bay at Nationwide Arena.,The Blue Jackets head into Tuesday's game on a three-game losing streak

In that loss, Tampa Bay erupted for four goals in the middle frame and cruised to a 5-0 win., the Lightning and Blue Jackets were scoreless after 20 minutes. However

it's always a concern (that it might start a trend),"Well, when you lose a game like that, no one's going to feel sorry for you and we're just going to go to work."," Columbus coach John Tortorella told the media postgame. "But I think coaches are always concerned no matter what. We're just going to go about our business. We just got to stay together as a team. We're just going to try to work it out and that's all you can do. It's a humbling league

moving Nick Foligno up from the second line to skate alongside Artemi Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois.,Columbus practiced Monday before flying to Dallas and Tortorella juggled his lines

the Jackets recalled center Zac Dalpe from AHL Lake Erie due to an undisclosed Columbus player being ill. Dalpe centered the fourth line during practice Monday.,On Monday morning

Columbus has allowed 14 goals over its past three games and the Jackets are 3-5-2 over their past 10 games.

However, it could be that Columbus is hitting the road at the right time. That's because the Jackets are 8-8-3 away from home and will be playing four of their next five on the road., if there is a positive

"Sometimes getting on the road helps you," Foligno said after the loss to Tampa., surround yourself maybe in a different environment and you'll be playing in that kind of atmosphere where you have to tighten up. Hopefully it'll help us

While Columbus is trying to right the ship, including a 6-0 victory against San Jose on New Year's Eve., Dallas has won two straight

goaltender Ben Bishop,The Stars are also 14-4-1 on home ice, one of the NHL's best home records. And with Dallas playing game three of a six-game homestand, knows how important this run of games in Dallas is going forward., who made 26 saves to earn his 23rd career shutout in Sunday's win

especially over the holiday," Bishop said. "We talked about it,"It's kind of nice to have this homestand, (how) it was going to be important to get some points and we've done a good job so far and we've got three tough opponents left so it's going to be kind of important to enjoy this one and obviously get some rest tomorrow and obviously we got a really good team in Columbus coming in (on Tuesday)."

Dallas is also 6-2-2 over its past 10 games and has a power-play goal in six consecutive contests.

the Stars got two injury scares to a pair of key regulars,Against San Jose, but both players are fine and will play Tuesday.

Forward Alexander Radulov left the ice with an upper-body injury after a hard crash into the boards in the second period and did not return against the sharks. However, Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said postgame that Radulov was fine and that he was held out as a precaution.

The news was similarly positive on defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who took an inadvertent stick to the face in the second period and also had to adjourn to the dressing room. Hamhuis was back on the ice to start the third period and is also fine.

but Hitchcock knows at this time of year,The Dallas players had Monday off, the games seem to come quicker and take on added significance with the second half of the season about to start.

this feels very much like you're in the playoffs. Next game's the halfway point," Hitchcock said. "To me,Authentic Brent Burns jersey, but that's what this feels like. It doesn't seem like anybody's missing a beat right now,"We can't let go of the rope. We've had a little bit of a run here, especially in the Central."

but the man wearing the "C" for the Jackets also realizes that the only way for him and his teammates to get out of this current rut is to stay the course,Columbus knows facing the Stars in their building will be a big challenge, stick with their approach and the results will return.

I don't think we should, got to find a way out of it. It just starts with our mentality of who we are as a team," Foligno said. "I think we're a team that's got to grow from it,adidas Sidney Crosby jersey,"I don't feel sorry for ourselves,Authentic Joe Thornton jersey, what makes us good. We're built to be a strong team. Right now, we're just now playing like it."

as always, and you need something to look forward to. Or maybe things are going great and you're wondering if this good fortune is sustainable. For this week's Power Rankings -- voted on,adidas Jake Guentzel jersey, by ESPN's panel of experts -- we identified a reason for optimism in 2018 for each of the 31 franchises. That is,We'd like to end 2017 on a positive note. Perhaps the year didn't finish the way you had hoped for your favorite hockey team, if all goes according to plan.

and these rankings reflect which teams voters think would win head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams are favored over lower-ranked teams. A run of wins doesn't guarantee a jump,How we rank:adidas Steven Stamkos jersey, We use a panel of voters, and a couple of losses doesn't guarantee a fall.

take comfort in the fact that the Predators' early-season success came with one of the league's worst shot differentials (minus-86),Authentic Vladimir Tarasenko jersey, but the fourth-highest shooting percentage. If they can clean up that differential,If you're concerned that this team may have peaked too soon, all will be swell in Smashville.

Here's how the Senators can start 2018 on the right foot: silence all the drama surrounding Erik Karlsson, secure the captain to a long-term deal and get the owner to stop making public threats about moving the franchise.

The future can be bright in Detroit -- once the Red Wings finally fully commit to a rebuild. Spin zone to their troublesome start: the Wings will be sellers at the deadline, which should kick-start the process.

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