33-25-9, 75 points
26-35-7, 59 points
10th in Western Conference
14th in Western Conference
Ok, time to stop playing games here.
Well, that might not be the best advice. The Sharks nemesis has been playing "full games" lately, as it has been for a good chunk of the season. Evidenced last game against Phoenix, the Sharks played a tremendous first period but couldn't relay that momentum into the second or third.
Talking to Mr. Plank after the game, we both came to the conclusion that the Sharks confidence is so low in the depths of the San Francisco Bay that a goal against proves to be a backbreaking event. Even after playing a great first and a decent enough second, the first goal came for Phoenix, and it looked like it killed San Jose.
This losing streak has been tough on everyone involved, the fans, coaches and especially the players. But now, with a playoff spot on the line (the Sharks are 10th in the conference, believe it or not) these guys have to pick themselves up by their skate laces and win a game.
It comes with getting the first goal, and even though the Sharks tried their darndest to get it against Phoenix, it didn't go that way. Against Edmonton, that can't be the case. The Sharks aren't even starting at square one right now, they're at about square -3. Getting the first goal of a game would do wonders.
It's tough sledding when you're preaching first goals... the ultimate desired outcome is of course a win and the two points, but the way the Sharks collective psyche seems to be right now, it's about taking baby steps.
The problem with this losing streak is that it's unexplainable. The first finger wagging is at the goaltending, but Antti Niemi hasn't been so bad lately that a good offensive team like San Jose couldn't overcome it if they were playing up to their ability. San Jose just hasn't been able to score goals. They've been generating the chances, but the results just haven't come. Where you could expect a team like Minnesota to fall off because of the underlying numbers, you should expect a team like San Jose to rebound from this current streak of "what the hell is going on."
The Sharks better rebound soon, though, as they'll likely have to go 9-6 or better over their remaining 15 to have a shot at the playoffs. Never thought I'd be saying that.
Prediction: Sharks win 1-0. Logan Couture scores with a minute remaining in overtime. The resulting exhale by Sharks fans downs power lines in Santa Clara County.