So much hand-wringing. So much inconsistent play.
Here' s an interesting thing to think about though. It's pretty commonly accepted that though the NHL is determined to start the season off in Europe, no good if it has come for the teams that have started there. In almost every case, those teams have returned to a slow start.
It's not that surprising. Surviving the long, tough NHL season requires a rhythm to be established, both for the individuals and the the organization and coaching staff. The teams that go to Europe get behind in this. (an interesting but impossible experiment would be to "shift" the Europe-starting team's results and play by a week or two and compare that to the rest of the teams.)
The Sharks got that expected slow start.
The Sharks sit 1 game out of first place in the Pacific, and 2.5 out of first in the conference.
Rewind the clock though, and assume the Sharks start here. They likely end up winning one or two more games at the beginning of the season, and at this point would be leading the Pacific, and challenging for the conference.
The reality is that the west is crazy this year. Crazy competitive. Europe hasn't helped us. It's not time to push the panic button.