The San Jose Sharks roller coaster season continued on Tuesday, as the team suffered a 4-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Sharks have gone on two lengthy winning streaks this season only to drop their next couple of games, and they have to be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself this time around. The Sharks started the season off by winning their first seven games, then lost nine of their next ten games. In March they settled back in and carried a second seven-game win streak into April before losing in a shootout to the Dallas Stars on Sunday and falling to the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
The Sharks sit fifth in the Western Conference standings with 47 points, just one point ahead of the St. Louis Blues (sixth) and the Minnesota Wild (seventh). The game against the Blue Jackets was the first of four games on the road, which could be a problem for this team that has struggled to win on the road in 2013. While they boast a 14-1-5 record at home, the Sharks are 6-11-2 on the road. Every team they face in their final nine games has a chance to make the playoffs, and after their current road trip the Sharks will return home for four games before finishing the season with two more road games.
Tuesday night’s loss marked a rare rough start for Antti Niemi, who was pulled after giving up four goals on 26 shots. The veteran netminder will have a chance to help the Sharks bounce back when they visit the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Niemi is 1-0-1 against Detroit this season with one shutout.