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NHL Anaheim DucksSan Jose Sharks

Are the Sharks Able to Rely On Dan Boyle

San Jose is just into a mess right now.

The Sharks have not been winning enough games to get them into or keep them in the playoff race. Right now is such a critical time to win games but these past two months the Sharks have only won eight of 25 games. Though it usually was from a lack of offense their defense is now starting to slip as well.

San Jose’s 5-2 loss last night against Los Angeles was a perfect example of this. The Los Angeles Kings were able to peck away at Sharks goalie Antti Niemi with five goals resulting from a whopping 42 shots.

The once lowest scoring team in the NHL has been steadily moving up on the list as they are now 28th in goals per game, but San Jose still should not have allowed that many shots against last night.

San Jose Sharks assistant captain Dan Boyle has been a huge impact offensively this season. He has seven goals and is fifth on the team in points with 42 making him the team’s highest scoring defenseman.

Unfortunately the 14-year veteran can’t seem to get his defense to keep so many shots from hitting Niemi. The Sharks should not be relying on their defense to help get scoring generated to help compensate for their struggling offense. In the last 10 games the Sharks have averaged 29.4 shots against and 3.4 goals against per game.

If the Sharks are going to be playing this type of hockey then the offense needs to step up. A 1.8 goals averaged per game in the last 10 has not and will not cut it if they plan to further their playoff hopes.

Both goaltenders for the St. Louis Blues average only 25 shots against them per game and they are the number one team in the league. They are also 21st in the league in scoring but play very defensive hockey. This keeps the shots per game lower, lessens the chance of rebounds, redirects, one-timers and most importantly goals.

The biggest games left for San Jose is likely going to be the two-game series against the Los Angeles Kings. After the loss to the Kings last night the Sharks better hope for a big turn-around or their season could be over in a matter of weeks.