They've still managed to pick up standings points, and probably should have won two of the games in overtime, but the Sharks are technically still mired in a season-worst five-game winless streak after beginning the year 10-1-1. While it seems like we've seen this movie before, given the team's seven-game losing streak that came on the heels of their year-opening seven-game winning streak last season, there are important differences. For one, the Sharks have continued to put the puck in the net, averaging 2.6 goals per game over these five losses whereas the offense had completely dried up last season. Spending less time in their own end and getting better goaltending from 2013 Vezina finalist Antti Niemi (as well as the war room in Toronto laying off their mayor's crack pipe) will be key to turning some of the shootout losses San Jose has suffered over the past week and change into overtime or regulation wins.
Tonight they'll continue their five-game road swing through Western Canada and Chicago by taking on the Flames in Calgary. After an unexpectedly great start to the season, the Flames have also considerably cooled down as of late, dropping five of their past six and seven of their past nine games. It probably isn't a coincidence that Calgary's swoon has paralleled a scoring slump by rookie sensation Sean Monahan, who has just two points in his last nine games as he's fallen well behind the Sharks' Tomas Hertl for the rookie scoring lead. With the Flames' number one defenseman in Mark Giordano still injured and the inexperienced Reto Berra in net, the circumstances seem ideal for the Sharks to halt their winless skid tonight in Alberta. But we said that before the games against Buffalo and Winnipeg, too, so it's hard to feel confident about San Jose's chances against any opponent at this point.
|10-2-5, 25 points
||6-9-2, 14 points|
|3rd in Pacific
||6th in Pacific