Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The Ducks and Sharks have both struggled this season and are near the bottom of the West Division standings. The Ducks appeared to turn a corner when they won back-to-back games but a recent 5-1 loss has humbled the young team. With both teams entering this game with fewer than 10 wins on the season, the hope is that this game can turn around one of these seasons and avoid putting them in the last place in the division.
Sharks defense has struggled
The Sharks have been one of the worst teams in the NHL this season and are a shell of the team that went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015-16 and reached the Western Conference Final in 2018-19. The defense has been the main liability for this team as they allow 3.7 goals per game with many of their key contributors underachieving. Erik Karlsson is leading the way with .9 defensive point shares but Brent Burns has become a clear weakness, constantly allowing goal-scoring opportunities and losing a step as a skater. In addition, starting goaltender Martin Jones is struggling in goal allowing 3.8 goals per game and saving less than .900 percent of shots.
Ensuring we got the two points 😏
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 11, 2021
While the defense has been the main struggle for the Sharks, the offense has also played poorly this season as they only score 2.7 goals per game. Logan Couture is leading the way with 13 goals on the season and Evander Kane is adding 9 goals but the rest of the unit is failing to find the back of the net and the Sharks offense has been a non-factor all season.
Ducks are searching for offense
The Ducks once again got blown out in their recent loss with a 5-1 defeat to the Kings. All season, the offense has struggled, and aside from Max Comtois, who has 9 goals, nobody has scored more than 6 goals this season. The Ducks have a young roster that is still learning to gel and needs time to develop and as a result, the goals are scarce.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) March 11, 2021
While the offense has struggled this season, the defense has turned a corner and has displayed two great pairings to keep the Ducks in games. Jani Hakanpaa and Kevin Shattenkirk have been a great top pairing, combining for 2.7 defensive point shares and 76 blocked shots. While Hampus Lindholm has been injured for recent games, Cam Fowler has filled in nicely with 1.2 defensive point shares and 22 blocked shots. In addition, the starting goaltender John Gibson has played respectably in goal allowing 2.9 goals per game.
Ducks are 1-5 in their last 6 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
Ducks are 1-5 in their last 6 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Ducks are 2-10 in their last 12 vs. NHL.
Ducks are 2-10 in their last 12 vs. West.
Ducks are 1-6 in their last 7 home games.
Sharks are 19-8 in their last 27 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is going to be a close game between two struggling teams. However, we can expect the Sharks to be in control of the majority of this game with their offense finding life. The Sharks should be able to find scoring opportunities with Logan Couture and Evander Kane crashing to the net and despite struggling defensively, Brent Burns should be able to make an impact from the point with Burns and Erik Karlsson being able to get pucks to the net. In addition, the Sharks should be able to limit the Ducks offense which has struggled this entire season. The Sharks should win this game and potentially blow out the Ducks in the process.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
The Sharks and Ducks have both struggled on the offensive end and the Ducks have been carried by their defense, indicating that this game will be a low-scoring one. However, the Sharks should be able to run up the score in this game with their offense finding plenty of opportunities as Evander Kane should be able to crash the net while Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson are able to keep feeding pucks from the point. In addition, the struggling Ducks offense should be able to find the back of the net once or twice in this game against a struggling Sharks defense. The Over should be able to cover despite both offenses struggling this season.