Lack Of Secondary Scoring Continues To Hurt San Jose Sharks
When the 2013 season started, the San Jose Sharks were blowing out their opponents, as Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau were scoring at will. The Sharks have performed very poorly in February, as their star players have suddenly struggled to find the back of the net again. On top of a drought from their stars, the Sharks are getting little contribution from their third and fourth lines, as the team has scored more than two goals only one time in their past 13 games.
A seven-game losing streak was not the way to start off February, and did a lot to undo all the good the Sharks had done at the start of the season. A Feb. 5 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks was the last time the Sharks scored more than two goals, and they have score one goal or less in six of their nine losses this season. Scott Gomez only has two assists in 12 games, Michal Handzus has a goal and two points in 18 games, T.J. Galiardi has one goal and three points in 12 games and Tommy Wingels has one goal and five points in 16 games. These are not the kinds of totals that a successful team should have, and it is made worse by the fact that only Dan Boyle, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brad Stuart have provided more than two points from the defensive end. Douglas Murray, Justin Braun and Matt Irwin have all seen a lot of time this season but have not been able to contribute outside of their own zone.
Goaltender Antti Niemi remains solid in net, and is giving the team a chance to win each game if they would only score a few more goals. His 1.95 goals against average and .930 save percentage indicate that he is playing far better than an 8-4-3 record would indicate. If the Sharks can figure out a way to score a few more goals, they should be back near the top of the Western Conference standings in no time.