On Feb. 1, the San Jose Sharks had a winning streak of three games. They were second in the Pacific Division. They were only 10 points back of the Anaheim Ducks for first.
Less than two months later, and with eight games remaining on their schedule in what has turned into a tumultuous season with the feuding of general manager Doug Wilson and veteran center Joe Thornton, the Sharks are facing the harsh reality that the playoffs appear very much out of reach.
They’re not mathematically eliminated. Not yet. But time is running out. And the teams ahead of them in the division — Vancouver, L.A., and Calgary — have, for the most part, continued to earn points and wins.
They sit eight points back of the L.A. Kings, current holders of third in the division.
For the Sharks, who fell to the Kings in a historical collapse in the opening round of last year’s playoffs, their season went off the rails last month, when they won only three times in 13 games.
“Teams that you’re competing with to solidify that 6-7-8 spot did a better job of elevating their play and beating our hockey club, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves for that,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan told The Canadian Press.