San Jose Sharks: Shark Tank Slowly Approaches Mediocrity


The San Jose Sharks played their first home game on October 5, 1991 at the Cow Palace. Despite an overwhelmingly losing record during those first few years, the organization itself has been quite the success story.

The Sharks lit up the Cow Palace until 1993, when they moved to the Shark Tank we know and love today. Since then, the organization has found no problem generating buzz and creating an unparalleled hockey experience for devoted fans.

For five straight years, the Sharks managed to sell out every home game. That’s 205 games and, more importantly, one incredibly loyal fan base.

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Fast-forward to the great playoff collapse of 2014 against the rival Los Angeles Kings and a lot has changed. Now, during a would-be exciting 25-Year Anniversary full of alumni appearances and giveaways, the team is struggling to fill seats.

When you compare the overall worth of the Sharks to other teams around the league, it really isn’t so bad. According to the Examiner, the Sharks rank 14th in the NHL. That’s not horrible, but it’s not great either.

Of course, ticket sales make up a large portion of this assessment and we could spend all day dissecting each and every factor that contributes to the recent decline in attendance.

The most significant factor, of course, is on-ice performance. Even if we choose to ignore past seasons and look at this year as a fresh start for team teal, it really isn’t all we had hoped for.

To be fair, the newest faces in teal are all doing their part. Paul Martin is an incredibly solid defenseman and he plays well with Brent Burns. Joel Ward is a solid goal-scorer and Martin Jones has kept the team in games that could have easily been out of reach after one period of play. All three were excellent additions and have fit in extremely well.

Still, the Sharks are streaky. Their play is sloppy at times and the third and fourth lines simply aren’t producing enough. The team currently stands in second place in the Pacific Division, which is really just the result of a division that has struggled as a whole.

To say the energy in the Shark Tank has declined would be an understatement. It’s not just from the fans, however. Even the players seem deflated at times.

They can’t seem to establish consistent play at home and everyone is taking notice. With each passing home loss, morale is deflated just a bit more.

Here’s the bottom line: We all have our work cut out for us. The Sharks need to prove they can consistently play on an elite level, especially in their own building. The energy that once drew fans from all over needs to be renewed, both in the stands and on the ice. The organization clearly needs to develop new tactics to draw fans in and revamp the experience of a Sharks game.

Right now, much of the support San Jose receives is coming from the comfort of couches, which isn’t worth nearly as much for a team that needs their fans present, engaged, and shamelessly supportive.

Next: San Jose Sharks Look To Cure Home Woes Against Calgary

Luckily, the season is still young and there are plenty of games left for fans to show their support and for the team to work out the many kinks in their game.