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Pavelski: The harder the Sharks try, the worse things get

San Jose Sharks v Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 15: Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks skates against the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 15, 2014 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

It’s easy to look at the San Jose Sharks’ four-game losing streak and feel like they’re mailing it in, but judging by possession stats and shot totals, the effort seems to be there.

That seems to be the frustrating part for Joe Pavelski, as he told the Mercury News.

“The harder we try right now,” Pavelski said, “It’s like the worse it’s going.”

The Sharks generated a 32-19 shot advantage against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, yet they lost 2-0. They’ve out-shot opponents in every game of their four-game skid (including a 30-14 disparity in another dispiriting loss to Buffalo), yet they’ve managed two standings points from shootout losses.

In what almost seems like a cruel coincidence, they were hugely out-shot 45-19 in their last win, a 2-0 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Optimists looked at the Sharks’ opening schedule (16 of 21 on the road to start 2014-15) and thought things might turn around. That hasn’t happened so far, as they’ve dropped three straight home games.

Head coach Todd McLellan made it clear that every loss stings.

“Every game’s critical. Not by any means can we put anything on cruise control and let a game slip here and there,” McLellan said to the Mercury News. “We’re in the thick of it right now. The rest of this homestand is critical, but so are the next two road games, and the games after that.

“We’re an everyday team right now, just scrambling to the point where we can get our heads above water.”

The team might treasure a chance to catch its collective breath, then. They don’t play again until Saturday’s home game against the Anaheim Ducks.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins