The San Jose Sharks are in fifth place right now in the Western Conference standings. It has turned into a scramble to the finish with almost every team in the conference having a chance at the playoffs, so a loss like San Jose suffered on Sunday night at home could be damaging. The Sharks had a 4-2 lead going into the third period before giving up the lead and losing in a shootout. It got the Sharks one point at least, which kept them in a good position for the playoffs with just 10 games to go. San Jose, though, needs to get that No. 4 seed.
The Sharks are 14-1-5 at home this season and only 6-10-2 on the road. The more games that San Jose can get in the playoffs at home, the better they will be obviously. The differences in the records illustrate how badly this San Jose team needs that seed. The Sharks should be safely into the playoffs with a seven-point lead over the ninth-place Phoenix Coyotes but are just one point behind the Los Angeles Kings for fourth place.
The Kings and Sharks are two of the best home teams in the NHL and it is looking like those two could be a first-round matchup. It has been a struggle all season in San Jose to score goals and while Antti Niemi has been playing very well in net, home ice advantage for the first round would be great to have. San Jose will play Los Angeles twice in the final 10 games including the final game of the regular season on the road. It could come down to that game to decide that No. 4 seed.