This Week On The Ice: Sharks Need To Step It Up
This week on the ice, the San Jose Sharks forgot how to play hockey.
A 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes confirmed that the Sharks are playing more like it’s the preseason -- or worse, like it’s April -- and there is no postseason in sight. There is no excuse for a lack of offense that has left San Jose at a dismal 1-2-1.
Adding insult to injury, all three of the Sharks' losses have come at home, something the team and their fans are not used to. San Jose was 27-6-8 at The Tank last season.
Here’s the problem: The Sharks have only scored three five-on-five goals, with the other six goals being scored on power plays. If there is a formula for winning, the Sharks certainly haven’t been able to figure it out.
Maybe it’s the gaping hole that Rob Blake left. Maybe the team needs time to readjust and acclimate to their two new goalies. Or maybe captain Joe Thornton is still getting used to his $200,000 a year pay cut.
Regardless, the Sharks need to find a way to penetrate their opponent’s defense and get the puck to the net. And if the puck doesn’t go in the first time, they need to try again. Five-on-five scoring will depend of the Sharks' ability to rebound the puck.
San Jose’s top line, including Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley, will have to step up and recreate some of last season's magic, with the hope that it rubs off on the likes of Torrey Mitchell and Logan Couture, who is making a name for himself on the squad.
Goalie Antti Niemi, who is ranked 34th in the league with a save percentage of .879, has allowed nine goals in the last two games and needs to improve on the 26 stops he made against the Hurricanes. ‘Canes goalie Cam Ward made 41.
What looked like a promising season has turned into a mad dash for the Sharks to find their rhythm.
San Jose will have to make some major changes to have any chance of improving its record this week. They will face the Colorado Avalanche (who are leading the Northwest Division at 4-2-0), Edmonton, Calgary, New Jersey and Anaheim.
To reach writer Sara Ramsey, click here.
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