Shortly after a five-game romp to begin the season, Sharks players and coaches declared their most amazing start "a fantasy". After all, several of their opponents were basically patched-together lineups with no real training camps, facing a cohesive San Jose squad that scored 23 goals in the first 15 periods. So it's safe to say, that wasn't the "real" Sharks.
On the flip-side, another fact: the team which has scored only seven goals and hasn't won any of its February games isn't the "real" Sharks team either. History and a track-record proves San Jose's power play is leaps and bounds better than their most recent 2-34 results on the man advantage. Add just a couple goals in that category alone, and you'd have to think that several of the four, one-goal losses would have turned out with a different result.
[KURZ: Woeful offense continues, defining 'the flu']
The point here: We are more than a quarter done with the season --13 of 48 games played -- and we still haven't seen the "real" Sharks for a sustained period of time. I believe that's part of the frustration mounting with players and fans alike.
It's the journey, not the destination
Back on January 6th: If I told you the Sharks would begin their season with a 7-3-3 record, most would probably find that result on par with expectations. But showing you how the team got to those win-loss tallies would certainly bring a different emotion.
The important thing to remember here, is that if the streak ends, and fortunes change starting Friday night in Chicago, this six-game winless streak can quickly become an afterthought.
Feeling "sickness" in their game
Should we have expected this scoring slump to take place? In retrospect, there were some signs. For example, through five games the big names were notching seemingly all the points... Marleau, Thornton, Pavelski and Couture. The third and fourth lines were playing good defensive shifts, and the goaltending was solid in collaboration with the blue-liners. But in the absence of San Jose's top scorers, nobody has since filled the void. In essence, it's valuable to understand this team's immediate need for more widespread contributions on the stat-sheet.
Magnify Everything By 1.5
In this condensed season, everything -- time, results, momentum -- are all worth more. How much? About 1.5 times as much. That's just the rough math between 48 and 82 game campaigns. And that's why the elements of this year are so much different. You start by winning seven games, and it's almost like you just won 12. However, lose the next six, and it feels like dropping 10 in a row.