Despite their recent run of good play, San Jose hasn’t been able to track down either the Kings or Ducks quite yet.
For most of the season, this piece has been a run down of the entire Pacific Division; however, with the rest of the division being a mess, figured it was a good time to switch gears and focus on the top where the San Jose Sharks continue to battle with the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks for playoff positioning.
Fresh off their big 5-2 victory over the best team in the NHL, the Sharks improved their record 38-24-6 and 82 points.
As things currently stand, San Jose trails Los Angeles by five points while trailing Anaheim by three with only 14 games left in the regular season.
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The issue for the Sharks has been their inability to close the gap on their rivals from the South. Whenever San Jose has won, the Kings and Ducks have won, and vice versa.
With the Sharks having wrapped up their season series with Anaheim and only having one more contest against L.A., San Jose will need some help down the stretch if they are going to take the division crown.
The Kings picked up a huge victory, blanking the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago by a 5-0 final last night. After briefly giving up their perch atop the division to Anaheim, L.A. has responded by seizing a two-point lead over the Ducks.
Meanwhile, Anaheim was able to snap a three-game losing streak by taking down New Jersey in convincing fashion last night as well.
With the way things are shaping up, San Jose will need to go on a nice little run down the stretch if they want to have any shot of at least securing home ice advantage in the first round.
Also, looming large for team teal is a national TV showdown against the Kings on March 28 as the Sharks have one last opportunity to deal with Los Angeles on the ice.
If San Jose wants to have any shot of catching the Kings, they must defeat their bitter rivals in regulation. Otherwise, it likely won’t be in the cards for the Sharks to track down L.A., at least in the regular season, as they could still meet in the first round of the playoffs.
The next opportunity for San Jose to close the gap comes later tonight as the Sharks host the division-leading Boston Bruins as team teal wraps up their three-game home stand.