It’s no secret that last year’s Sharks didn’t live up to expectations.
After a run to the Western Conference Finals in 2018-19, San Jose fell flat and ended up with just 63 points last season, good for last place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference overall.
General manager Doug Wilson has faced plenty of tough questions about the future of the franchise this offseason, but he believes even without major personnel changes along the roster, the Sharks still can be competitive as long as they play well early.
“You gotta get off to a good start, you’ve gotta have a good training camp,” Wilson told the media during a Friday conference call. “You can have the exact same team, exact same players from one year to another and have completely different results. But I think a lot of the things we did last year were self-inflicted, and I think knowing this group, they’re really excited to get back and play the right way for a long period of time.”
After playing well in November following the slow start to last season, December’s rough stretch led to the dismissal of coach Peter DeBoer.
Injuries also put a dent into San Jose’s season, as Erik Karlsson, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl all went down with major injuries.
San Jose focused on offense in the NHL entry draft, and so far hasn’t made any big splashes with offseason acquisitions, although the team did acquire goaltender Devan Dubnyk and forward Ryan Donato from the Minnesota Wild in a trade.
Wilson is preaching patience, but he’ll need to see more from his group in 2020-21 if the Sharks want to return to playoff contention.