NHL on NBCSN: Flyers, Sharks battle to bury rough start

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the San Jose Sharks host the Philadelphia Flyers at the SAP Center at 10:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

The Flyers and Sharks are two of the league leaders in one category so far this season: frustration. Neither team is terrible, but they have struggled mightily lately.

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In some ways San Jose is the bigger offender because it arguably had higher expectations coming into this season. Sure, there was all that offseason talk about them becoming a “tomorrow team,” but that didn’t translate into them becoming a rebuilding club. With that in mind, the emphasis is still on this season and how they might respond to their historic first round collapse against the Los Angeles Kings.

So far the answer is ‘not well’ as the Sharks have been both inconsistent and largely mediocre. It led to Sharks coach Todd McLellan admitting that his job’s on the line and forward Joe Pavelski lamenting that things only seem to get worse when they try harder. At least the Sharks were able to earn a 6-4 victory over Anaheim on Saturday though, so they’re coming into this contest off of a high note.

“There haven’t been too many moments in our games so far this season where that we can be happy with and say, ‘let’s build on this,’” Sharks forward Tommy Wingels told CSN Bay Area. “We’ve given ourselves an opportunity. [Tuesday] night is an opportunity for us to string two wins together, and that’s how you start a streak.”

In the Flyers’ case, a winning streak would be a nice change of pace, but before they can start thinking about that they need to end their current four-game slide. There’s been a lot of different problems in Philadelphia, but the biggest issue right now is its lack of secondary scoring. Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux have been two of the best forwards in the league this season, but they need more support if the Flyers are to dig themselves out of their current hole.

“Never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve been in hockey,” Flyers owner Ed Snider said, referring to the team’s lack of secondary scoring. “Even when we were an expansion team, somebody chipped in here and there.”

If the postseason started today, neither squad would be a part of it, but fortunately there’s still plenty of hockey left to play. There’s talent on both of these teams, they just need to put it to better use.