The San Jose Sharks are a strong team statistically. However, statistics can be misleading or almost insignificant altogether when taken out of context.
For instance, is there no more useless stat in all of sports than the batting average? What are three singles and seven ground-ball outs that do not move a runner up (.300 average) compared to two homers and two walks, an RBI bounce out, plus two other times runners were advanced?
On-base percentage and slugging percentage are better statistics, yet the one often cited is the least important.
This is like the NHL's fascination with points, as though a team one point up is actually ahead of a team with two games in hand. Moreover, this is a league where the club average is over one point per game because of overtime losses.
It is the same way with special teams. A team's output on the power play is already part of its overall offense and leaning toward the team with the best power play is countervailed when its opponent stays out of the penalty box.
At the same time, there are other figures that do not get the publicity but are very significant—whether for just one team or anyone in the game.
Here are the five defining statistics of the 2013 Sharks.