San Jose Sharks are struggling late and fans should be worried

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 18: Jonathan Marchessault #81 of the Vegas Golden Knights scores a goal on Martin Jones #31 of the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on March 18, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 18: Jonathan Marchessault #81 of the Vegas Golden Knights scores a goal on Martin Jones #31 of the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on March 18, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The San Jose Sharks are in the late parts of the stretch run as there is only 6 games left in the regular season. The bad thing, they are on a 5 game losing streak that has shown their weaknesses.

The NHL Playoffs are just around the corner and the San Jose Sharks are in one of their losing streaks that really shows why they may not be a Stanley Cup contender just yet. After putting together a 6 game winning streak, Team Teal has gone on yet another long losing streak and this seems to hurt just a little more as the Playoffs start two and half weeks from now.

The Sharks sit in second place of the Pacific Division and are now seeing the Calgary Flames pull away with the division. Not only are the Flames holding a 6 point lead on the Sharks, but the Las Vegas Golden Knights are also now only 5 points behind the Sharks for that very important second place. It is looking like the Sharks and Knights will play in the first round of the playoffs but what is not decided is who will have home ice advantage in that opening round.

Both the Flames and Sharks have clinched a playoff berth as they are two of the three teams that have. The other team being the Winnipeg Jets in the Central Division. If the Sharks will like to stay in second place or even think about making a run for first place, they will need to make some major adjustments before the end of the season on April 6th and the start of the playoffs on April 10th.

One thing that I have been worried about and is once again showing up as a problem, is the goaltending situation the Sharks are in. Per Kevin Kurz twitter, the Sharks are dead last in the league with a team .891 save percentage in all situations. That is right, the Sharks are 31 out of 31 teams in save percentage. In all sports, defense wins championships and your best defender in hockey needs to be your goaltender. For the Sharks this season, goaltending has been there biggest weakness and it looks like, going into the playoffs that weakness will go with them.

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After losing three at home and then two on the road, the Sharks returned home to face the Detroit Red Wings which was another team that the Sharks should’ve beat but once again dropped the game.

Being someone who goes to many Sharks games, I have heard a lot of people pick out players that may not be seeing the same amount of ice time when the playoffs start in just two weeks.

Some of these players are Joonas Donskoi, Joakim Ryan, and Martin Jones. I will start Joakim Ryan who came back into the line up after Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson went back to the sideline with yet another injury.

Ryan this season, in 40 games played, has no goals and only 6 assists. He is usually paired with star defenseman, Brent Burns. If one is to watch a Sharks game either live or at home, one could tell that Ryan is just not a good fit for the Sharks right now as he is constantly making some errors that a defenseman should not be making.

If this was earlier in the season, this would not be as big as a deal because there would be time to learn and correct the mistake. With only 6 games left before the playoffs start, this is not the time for your top line defenseman to be making errors in games that should be easy wins.

The other player who fans have been targeting is Joonas Donskoi. Donskoi, who has already been cut from the line up already once this season, has seen little improvement since coming back. This season in 75 games played, he has 14 goals and 21 assists for a total of 35 points. Donskoi has not scored a goal since January 10th when the Sharks were in Vancouver. In the last 30 games, he has put up a measly 11 points and only one of those is a goal.

In these last 6 games, Donskoi better pick up the pace and show that he deserves the extra ice time, if not he may seem himself slide down even lower in the lineup.  The Sharks offense as a whole has been slowing down a lot. During this 5 game losing streak, they have scored only 15 goals while giving up 26. 7 of the 26 goals came against the Knights who the Sharks will most likely see in the first round of the playoffs.

One huge reason the Sharks offensive has been down is the fact that Joe Pavelski has missed the past few games with an injury. While he does play a huge part in the Sharks success, one player should not make this big of a difference as you still have other players who are here in the NHL because they are able to compete.

The Sharks have not shown that they can compete as they have dropped three games against teams who are not even close to a playoff position. They have also dropped two games against teams that they may eventually face in the playoffs.

Finally, a problem that has been going on all season and never really seems to get better, is the goalie situation that the Sharks have. As the starting goalie, Martin Jones has started most games this season and especially down the stretch. I personally have always had a critical eye for Jones as I expected so much more out of him. He has shown that he can be a top goalie but has also shown that he has some major problems that need to be fixed before a team can put their full trust in him.

Randy Hahn last game during the broadcast, mentioned that Martin Jones has allowed 50 goals in the first 5 minutes of periods this season.  That is the most in all of the NHL. The San Jose Sharks as a team have allowed 63, which leads all playoff-bound teams. Jones is not even ranked in the top 40 goalies in save percentage this season. He was close to the lead in wins but has since fallen down to fourth as it has been a while since Jones and the Sharks have won a game. Jones is also 36th amongst goalies in goals against average as he is giving up around 2.91 goals a game.

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This time of the year is no time for the Sharks to making any drastic changes as they are looking for stability. The team that is hitting the ice night and night out, will have to be the team that takes them to the promise land once and for all. Each member of this team will have to look in the mirror and figure out what they can do to take this team to the next level.