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Sharks: Back from the Dead
Team crawls back to .500, but much work remains to be done
11/18/19 - By Paul Krill -

In the midst of a five-game winning streak, the Sharks were named by NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes a few nights ago as his most-disappointing team so far this season. That streak, of course, has now gone to six games. The Sharks have crawled their way out of the hole they dug themselves in and are now effectively at .500, with a 10-10-1 record.

Of course, starting out at 0-4 and then losing another five games in a row later on has left them little margin for error. They remain mired out of a playoff spot at the moment, although there is still a long way go. On Saturday, they lucked out: badly outshot by the Red Wings, the Sharks managed to win in a shootout, after killing off a penalty in the overtime and having a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot taken from the blue line range miraculously find its way into the net early in the second period.

To move forward in the right direction, more consistency is going to be needed from goaltender Martin Jones, who has vacillated from looking like a miracle worker in goal to looking like Swiss cheese, as in just throw the puck toward the net and in it goes. More production would be nice from Joe Thornton, too. The future Hall of Famer has only six points through 21 games. (Meanwhile, Patrick Marleau, the Sharks other 40-year-old, has nine points in 17 games and should have scored in Saturday's game, but was denied.)

Erik Karlsson, after some rough outings, is starting to again look like one of the league's top players, the kind of guy who controls the game when he is on ice. Also, Evander Kane is having an All Star-level season so far, with 12 goals in 18 games. Tomas Hertl has been playing well lately, too, with 21 points. Logan Couture has only three goals but still is at a point-per-game pace, also with 21 points.

The Sharks still have the talent to get back to the Stanley Cup Final. The question is, can they minimize the mishaps and can they get the kind of goaltending that will be needed to get them back there? We should know probably by New Year's Day, once and for all, just what kind of season we're going to end up having.

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