The San Jose Sharks have been struggling to score goals lately, losing their last four of five games, two of which were shutouts. The Sharks went 160 minutes and 36 seconds between goals during their losing streak at one point. In that stretch, the last goal was from Captain Joe Thornton to get the overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on January 25th and their next goal came from Eriah Hayes in a 4-1 loss against the Calgary Flames.
Hayes’ goal came 36 seconds into the third period to end the scoreless drought for the Sharks. Unfortunately, Hayes’ first NHL goal was not enough to give the Sharks a win. While they finally managed to get on the scoreboard, they were unable to gain enough momentum to win the game.
After three straight losses under their belts, the Sharks headed back home with a four game home stand before the Olympic break. The best way to move forward and tackle these four games, is for the team to shake off these past couple of losses and try and capitalize off of their home-ice advantage.
While on paper it looks bad that the Sharks lost to the bottom two teams in not only the Western Conference, but in the whole league, not everything from the three game losing streak was bad.
Before letting a goal by in the 1-0 loss against the Los Angeles Kings on January 27, Alex Stalock broke the Shark’s franchise record for consecutive minutes played by a goaltender without letting in a goal. Stalock surpassed the previous record set by Evgeni Nabakov at 170:58 in 2009, by maintaing a shutout of 178:55.
In the 3-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on January 29th, the Sharks had 59 shots on goal. While they couldn’t get one passed Oilers’ goaltender Ben Scrivens, they still demonstrated their offensive power and potential to score goals. They had two chances hit the post, but all other chances were robbed by Scrivens, who was making history in Edmonton. His 59 saves in regulation set a new NHL record for the most amount of saves made for a shutout in a regular season game.
The sharks managed to pull out a win against the Chicago Blackhawks but it took them going the full distance into a shootout to get their home stand off on the right foot. However, it was a whole different ending in their next game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Sharks were headed into the 3rd period with a 2-1 lead over the Flyers but surrendered three goals in the first 3:56 of play to go down 4-2. That kind of quick blow kept the Sharks from any further scoring as they tried to play catch-up and fell by a final score of 5-2. With two more games before the break against the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets, it becomes crucial in picking up any and all possible points as other Pacific Division teams are slumping too.