McGinn trade derailed Sharks offense

March 14, 2012, 4:45 pm
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CALGARY The San Jose Sharks season wasnt going all that swimmingly even before general manager Doug Wilson sent winger Jamie McGinn to Colorado as part of a trade for Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi at the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 27.

But in the eight games that the Sharks have played since the deal, to say that the team is having trouble putting the puck in the net is an understatement.

The Sharks have just 12 goals since the trade, or 1.50 per game. Compare that to the eight previous games with McGinn still in the lineup, and San Jose had 24, or 3.0 per game.

Simply put, this is a team that, as it stands right now, doesnt have enough scorers. If it misses the postseason tournament for the first time since 2003, the McGinn trade will end up being a big reason why.

While McGinn wasnt one of the most prolific point producers on the Sharks, the 23-year-old was in the midst of his best season as a pro. He had 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points, and coach Todd McLellan was complimentary of his improving game for virtually the entire season when asked about his rugged winger.

His presence and steady game also allowed McLellan to keep his top two scoring lines generally intact, give or take some tinkering here and there. Everything was in place.

But in the last eight games, the numbers speak for themselves. Ryane Clowe has a single goal; Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau have a goal and an assist; and Tommy Wingels, who was playing on the second line before he was hurt in Edmonton, has one assist in seven games.

McGinn was part of the Sharks second power play unit at the time of the trade, and his absence is noticeable there, too. The team is a combined 3-for-21 in the since the trade with a man advantage, and all three of those goals have come from the top unit, as Logan Couture has two and Joe Thornton has one.

Players like Brad Winchester, Dominic Moore and Benn Ferriero all saw shifts on the power play against the Flames on Tuesday, and the second power play unit has generated absolutely nothing, regardless of who skates there.

RECAP: Sharks take overtime loss to Flames, 3-2

As for Winnik and Galiardi, theyve now gone a combined 53 games without a single goal, and Winniks assist on March 3 is the only point between the two new players. Granted, Winnik sees time on the penalty kill, something McGinn didnt do while with the Sharks, but thats not enough to justify the scoring discrepancy.

In seven games with his new club, McGinn is a point-per-game player with five goals and two assists for seven points. Hes also seen his ice time increase by almost three minutes a game with the Avalanche.

The Sharks were already thin on offense to start the year, with Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi in Minnesota. Marty Havlat is still on the shelf, but was generally ineffective even before he suffered a partially torn hamstring in mid-December. Theres no guarantee Havlat will have an impact when he makes his return, either.

McGinns uptick in production, even while playing on a line with free-agent disappointment Michal Handzus, helped to replace some of the goals lost in the offseason.

McLellan, who saw his big guns Couture and Thornton combine for four points in the 3-2 overtime loss to Calgary, was asked about the lack of secondary scoring after the game.

You get two goals from Coutch, you need one or two a night from some guys that havent scored in a long time, he said. You look at Torrey Mitchell, hes been able to hit the scoreboard. Jim Vandermeer hit the scoreboard awhile ago, but other than that, there hasnt been much from anybody else.

For us to be successful, there has to be some depth of scoring.

Before the Sharks traded McGinn, there was.