San Jose has just 20 games left during the regular season and after going 5-10-6 since that amazing start, the Sharks have fallen all the way to the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The biggest question that is facing San Jose right now is how did this happen?
Patrick Marleau was amazing to begin the year and has 15 goals now, while Joe Thornton is leading the team with 27 points in 28 games. There’s really no major problem with the goaltending, because Antti Niemi is giving up 2.26 goals per game on average and that’s good enough to win.
The Sharks have lost six of their last seven games and as they continue their five-game road trip, the competition isn’t getting any easier. The Sharks still have to face the Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks. Those three teams are much better than San Jose right now.
I think it may be time to give Niemi a night off as well, after the goalie gave up four goals in his last two outings. It could help Niemi’s confidence to just sit back and watch a game. The other thing I feel must change is some other players besides Thornton and Marleau must do the scoring.
San Jose isn’t going to go anywhere in the playoffs if they even get there without some other players stepping up. It has been a free fall for the Sharks, and one that may cost them a playoff berth.