SAN JOSE – So, how much longer can this continue for the San Jose Sharks?
In the ugliest loss of an already historically awful start to this season, the largely lifeless Sharks allowed three goals in the opening eight minutes and were run out of their own building Thursday in a 10-1 beatdown at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center.
Fabian Zetterlund scored at the 16:12 mark of the third period to break Vancouver’s shutout bid, but it remained the most lopsided home loss the Sharks have experienced since they began operations in 1991-1992.
The ugliness doesn’t end there.
The Sharks’ 10-game losing streak from the start of the season is now tied for the seventh-longest in NHL history. The only teams to lose more consecutive games from the start of a season are the New York Rangers in 1943-44 and the Arizona Coyotes in 2017-2018 and 2021-2022. Those teams all lost 11 straight games to start their respective seasons.
The Sharks (0-9-1) will try to avoid joining that list when they host Erik Karlsson and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. After that, the homestand continues with games against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday and the Edmonton Oilers next Thursday.
But who knows where this losing skid ends?
Expectations were modest at best for the Sharks after they traded their leading goal-scorer, Timo Meier, in February and Karlsson, their leading point-producer, in August.
But few could have foreseen the Sharks reach these depths. Not only are they on the verge of tying an NHL record for season-opening futility, but they’ve scored just 10 goals in 10 games.
The Sharks as a team have not experienced a win since April 1, when they beat the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena in Tempe 7-2. That was 16 games ago, a stretch in which San Jose has gone 0-14-2.
The Sharks were hoping their three-day break between games would allow them the chance to hit the reset button. For the first time since the end of training camp, San Jose was able to practice on back-to-back days, trying to clean up some of the issues that led to a 0-5-0 road trip.
Instead, it appeared to have no effect.
Sharks center Nico Sturm took a double minor for high sticking just 69 seconds into the first period and allowed power-play goals to Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller.
It was 4-0 by the end of the first period, as the Sharks allowed goals to Quinn Hughes and another power play marker to Boeser.
It was 8-0 by the end of the second period, as the Sharks allowed four straight even-strength goals.
Besides the obvious talent deficiency, Sharks coach David Quinn said Thursday morning that his team’s mindset was interfering with the chance to have success.
“These last two days, even the day off is a step forward in creating a better mindset,” Quinn said. “We had two good practices, I thought we addressed some of the things we needed to be better at. You could see our game deteriorating a little bit with a lack of practice time for us … and losing wears on you, too.
“But I think our guys are in a good spot mentally. That’s the biggest thing we have to continue to do, is build on a mindset to play with more conviction and more trust in each other. We took a step forward in those areas over the last three days.”
So where do the Sharks go from here?