SAN JOSE -– The Sharks lost their fourth-straight game on Wednesday night to Calgary, 2-0 at SAP Center. In that quartet of defeats, including two in a shootout, they’ve not had a single lead.
That’s despite the Sharks outshooting their opponent in all four games (a combined 135-86), including a 32-19 margin against the Flames.
The frustration is palpable.
“We want to get out of this. The harder we try right now, it’s like the worse it’s going, so we’re probably not doing the right things from guy to guy,” Joe Pavelski said. “We’ve got to find a way.”
Made aware of Pavelski’s analysis, Todd McLellan said: “You feel that was when you’re in the crap. But, the frustration is not a very good or productive emotion. You have to get over it. You have to find ways to alleviate that a little bit. We’ll have to continue to work.”
The offensive chances were there against the Flames and goalie Karri Ramo, who turned aside all 32 shots he saw to get his first shutout of the season.
Patrick Marleau had a multitude of opportunities to erase the home team’s goose egg, including a shot off of the crossbar on a second period power play when the game was still scoreless, and a slap shot with a minute to go in regulation that was deflected at the last possible moment. The puck collided with the glass behind Ramo, and the Flames transitioned the other way to score an empty netter and seal the win, moving six points ahead of San Jose in the Pacific Division standings.
Jiri Hudler had both markers for the Flames, including the game-winner late in the second period.
Marleau didn’t have an answer as to why the Sharks –- who have scored just 14 goals in their last nine games -– can’t seem to light the lamp.
“I think it’s hopefully a big buildup like a dam, and it’s going to break soon and we’ll start getting on a winning streak,” Marleau said.
McLellan said: “There’s areas of the game that are good. I think we were talking earlier in the year about trying to fix the defensive part, now we’re trying to fix the offensive part.”
The head coach relayed that the Sharks are getting way too many of their shots blocked. Calgary got in the way of 30 San Jose attempts on Wednesday, after the Coyotes blocked 31 last Saturday and Panthers 30 last Thursday.
Brent Burns had 10 shot attempts against the Flames, but amazingly nine were blocked and one missed the net.
“We’ll try to find out why we’re getting so many shots blocked and fronted around the net,” McLellan said. “That will affect our offensive outcome. We’ll have to look at that and try to find a way to fix it.”
The Sharks (10-10-4) have three games remaining on this homestand, and if they don’t win at least two of three, there’s a good chance that the roster – and perhaps even more – will start to turn over more rapidly than perhaps originally planned.
The sense of urgency that typically comes with an approaching storm seemed to be there against the Flames, but it wasn’t enough to halt the downward spiral.
There has to be more, or the clock could strike midnight on the current group and/or its coaching staff.
“You’ve got to find ways,” Pavelski said. “We’ve got to start climbing at some point, and it’s got to start soon.”