San Jose Sharks Treading Water In Pacific Division


The San Jose Sharks picked a poor time to have a rough week as their three consecutive losses left them treading in the murky Pacific Division waters. San Jose dropped all three games last week, highlighted by a 1-0 loss to their Southern California rivals in the Anaheim Ducks.

The three-game losing streak leaves the Sharks with a 14-12-0 record and they still remain in second place with 28 points. However, the rest of the division caught up with San Jose as the Calgary Flames, who sit in last place, are now just six points behind the Sharks as the two teams square off tonight.

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The one team that continues to roll along is the Los Angeles Kings, who swept their four-game home stand and have now won five of their last six games. The Kings defense is stingy as always ranking second in goals against, and the offensive efforts are being spearheaded by Jeff Carter who leads the team in points (25), assists (15), plus/minus (+15) and is second in goals with 10. Los Angeles looks like the Kings of old and they are the class of the Pacific.

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Somehow, the Vancouver Canucks continue to keep pace within the division as they finally snapped their five-game losing streak with a win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday. The Canucks have lost eight games in an overtime or shootout, which goes to show that they are an average team gaining points in games they lose.

The young Arizona Coyotes have hit a rough patch, similar to the Sharks, as they’ve dropped four straight games as they find themselves tied with the Anaheim Ducks with 27 points. Arizona is being led by their offense, which is tied for eighth in the league in goals scored per game with 2.74, but they rank 29th in goals against at 3.15. During their current losing streak, the Coyotes have allowed five goals in every game. That’s not a recipe for success.

On the other hand, Anaheim has finally begun to really dig out of the hole they dug themselves from the outset of the season. The Ducks have won three of their last four games, with the key one coming against San Jose last Friday. When you think of Anaheim, you typically think of their offense with players like Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf; however, it’s their defense leading the way ranking ninth in goals against per game (2.39) while their penalty kill ranks first at 87.8 percent.

A surprise team has surged of late as the Edmonton Oilers have rattled off three consecutive wins and four of their last five to pull within four points of the Sharks for second place. Edmonton appears to have found their answer between the pipes as Anders Nilsson as assumed the starting role. He’s posted an 8-7-1 record with a 2.49 GAA and a .922 save percentage. Up front, Taylor Hall leads the Oilers with 11 goals, 17 assists, 28 points and a plus-11 rating.

Finally, Calgary continues to bring up the rear in the standings, but they have posted two straight wins. It’s a big matchup tonight against the Sharks as they can draw closer and try to emerge from the depths of the division. Johnny Gaudreau leads the Flames by a wide margin with 26 points (nine goals and 17 assists).

Next: Sharks Aim To Snap Skid Against Flames

San Jose has a big chance these next two nights to right the ship as they take on the Flame and Oilers in consecutive nights. Two wins would put the Sharks right back on track and help them find some consistency as they look to distance themselves from the pack in the Pacific, focusing more on the Kings at the top rather than the teams below them.