San Jose Sharks defensive issues becoming overwhelming for the rebuilding club

Dec 27, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Kevin Fiala (22) scores a
Dec 27, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Kevin Fiala (22) scores a / Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Last night's game against the Los Angeles Kings outlined the issues this team has in its own zone. Self-inflicted problems are going to ensure this rebuild is thorough. This is a team doing even the basics wrong right now. While this is the best time to do it rather than costing the organization points during seasons they want to be competitive, it's so annoying to watch players that we know will be good for this organization continue to make the same mistakes.

Let's look at the first goal Los Angeles scored. Henry Thrun has been a very solid defensive option for the Sharks. A bad turnover at the point leads to a breakaway for Kevin Fiala. Fiala walks in on Kahkonen, and buries it off the back of a simple mistake. This isn't even taking shots at Thrun, it's just the mos recent example of the Sharks doing more damage to themselves than the opponents can.

If we look at the second goal, it comes from a mistake from Mario Ferraro. Ferraro is the best defenseman on the team by a wide margin, but he coughs the puck up in a bad area, and Kahkonen cannot bail him out. It seems to be affecting the entire team. This isn't to say the team doesn't have a good enough defense, which is the case but not my point here. It's simple errors that can be ironed out of these kids when the young players get better.

David Quinn and this coaching staff need to spend more time with these kids in their defensive zone and just getting it through to them that icing the puck is okay if the alternative is to give it away below your own faceoff dots. Having it happen once is weird, twice is the start of a pattern, but that was just one game. These have been happening all season. Early in the year, it's excusable as you start trying to knock the rust off. It's now December.

We know this Sharks team needs some help on the blueline. This is not new, San Jose's blueline for years has been competent offensively, but somewhat shakey at the back. But the kids coming in and having inherant flaws is concerning. If this is because some of them are being rushed to the professional game, or just because there isn't the pressure to improve as the season goes on, time will tell. But it's a cause for concern nonetheless.