Losers of three straight games, the puck just has not bounced the Sharks way as of late.
After an impressive 4-0-0 start to the season, San Jose has dropped its last three contests while the offense has gone missing.
Their 4-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night was no different. Facing off against a goalie who was red-hot, Canadiens' Jake Allen stopped all 45 of the Sharks shots.
When San Jose had the man advantage, they failed to capitalize. The lack of scoring leaves the Sharks with almost no room for error.
“Our power play is generating shots and chances, we’re just not getting a bounce," coach Bob Boughner told reporters after the game. "Both of the last two games I thought would have made a difference if our power play got one in the first few chances.
“We’ve scored one goal in the past two games, so the margin for error is almost nil. We gotta find ways to score goals, obviously, it’s tough to play in these games when you’re not scoring. That has to come on our power play, or getting a bounce early.”
Both Sharks players and coaches have come out and said the team has lost its identity in recent games. The lack of intensity and over-complication of their attack has been the common denominator in all three of their losses.
“I think as a team the last three games we’ve tried to do a little too much instead of keeping it simple and out-work teams," Sharks wing Timo Meier said after the game. "That’s how we’re going to win games if we out-work the opposite team. We’ve got to get back to that, get back to working hard. The intensity level has to be higher.”
Although they've lost three straight, this Sharks team continues to show that they aren't the same squad as last season. This team is better equipped to handle adversity like this, and there doesn't appear to be an ounce of panic.
“I use the word ‘grind’ all the time, we gotta grind it out," Boughner said. "I thought we looked a little tired at times coming out after coming home late the other night. But there’s no panic in the room right now. We didn’t start the homestand off how we wanted. We’re at three (losses) in a row now, and I think we can still be in a good spot if we have a good showing against Winnipeg. It’s just a matter of regrouping and finding a way to score some goals.”
“I think we have the belief in the room right now that we are a good team, we know where we want to go and this is a part of our journey," Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "We have to go through stages like this, unfortunately. We got off to a great start, that’s great but it shows you real quick if you let your foot off the gas and you think that you’re better than you are then it’ll bring you down real fast.”
If the Sharks are to get back on track, it'll have to start against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, who San Jose came from behind to beat 4-3 at SAP Center on opening night two weeks ago.