There’s no denying the struggles and inconsistencies shown by the San Jose Sharks this season. But if playoff qualification is the first step at redemption, just how close or far off are they?
I’ve crunched the numbers and used comparable metrics from the four prior seasons. Whether they create optimism or pessimism will be for you to decide.
The third-place team in the Pacific Division has posted an average of 97.5 points over the last four seasons.
The second wild-card team in the Western Conference has earned an average of 91.5 points.
The Sharks already have played 38 games (16-20-2), tallying 34 points. That’s an average of 0.895 points per game.
Projecting that current pace over the course of 82 games would have San Jose finishing with 73 points.
With the present accounted for, let's consider the remaining 48 games on the regular-season schedule.
The Sharks would need roughly 58 points (1.2 per game) for that second wild-card spot in the West. This would necessitate records similar to (25-15-8) or (29-19-0).
The Sharks would need roughly 64 points (1.33 per game) for third place in the Pacific. This would necessitate records similar to (29-13-6) or (32-16-0).
Accurate projections are near impossible to grasp, however, based on where this team has been so far. Here is San Jose's season, in chronological order:
- Lost four straight
- Won three straight
- Lost seven of eight
- Won 11 of 13
- Lost nine of 10
To state the obvious here in late-December: Qualifying for the playoffs is not out of reach. But every loss from here on out will only complicate the matter, and critically degrade the Sharks' chances.