Top 5 takeaways from Sharks' rumor-filled cold streak
Kurz's Top 5 takeaways
The Sharks failed to take advantage of their homestand, and their longest tenured player may want out of town. That and more in this week's five Sharks takeaways...
1 – Marleau on the move?
The biggest news out of San Jose this week was the potential trade of Patrick Marleau, and his willingness to be dealt to the Kings, Ducks or Rangers. According to reports, Marleau is the one likely pushing for a trade. It doesn’t appear that anything is imminent, and Marleau could very well remain a Shark, but this is a story that could take weeks or even months to fully play out. The Sharks, and Marleau, will have to hope it doesn’t become a distraction.
2 – Melk Man returns
The Sharks welcomed 25-year-old forward Melker Karlsson back into the lineup on Saturday, after the club’s 2014-15 rookie of the year missed the first month with a nagging lower body injury. Karlsson played well in his first game, even earning his old spot back on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. The hope is that Karlsson will help spark more depth scoring, with playmaking rookie Joonas Donskoi bumped to the third line.
3 – Power outage
It’s almost hard to believe, but the Sharks currently own the worst power play in the NHL with just an 11.4 success rate. Even worse, they haven’t scored a single power play goal at home in eight games (0-for-21). The Sharks relied heavily on their sixth-ranked unit last year – and in years past – but this season it’s been a disaster. Considering how many one-goal games there now are in the league, this group will have to find a way to start contributing on a regular basis, and quickly.
4 – Unproductive homestand
After playing seven of their first 11 on the road, the Sharks returned home for a four-game stretch with a chance to establish that dominance at SAP Center that was missing last season. It didn’t happen. The club dropped three of four games, securing just two of a possible eight points, and now hits the road for a difficult, season-long six-game road trip that features a pair of back-to-backs. The Sharks are just 3-5-0 at home, and won’t be back again until Nov. 25 vs. Chicago.
5 – Goalies struggling
Martin Jones’ numbers are still strong with a 2.23 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, but the new starter has now been pulled in two of his last three games, including Tuesday. He allowed a bad goal to Isles’ Mikhail Grabovski, and Alex Stalock came on in relief and let in a disastrous goal from behind the blue line to Johnny Boychuk that sapped all the momentum his club had been building. With six games over a 10-day stretch, they will both have to find their games on the upcoming road trip.