With the 2019-20 NHL season on hold we are going to take a look at where each NHL team stands at this moment with a series of posts examining their season. Have they met expectations? Exceeded expectations? Who has been the surprise? All of that and more. Today we look at the 2019-20 San Jose Sharks.
2019-20 San Jose Sharks
Record: 29-36-5 (63 points in 70 games), last place in West, third-worst in the NHL.
Leading Scorer: Timo Meier – 49 points (22 goals and 27 assists)
In-Season Roster Moves
- Sharks fired Peter DeBoer, named Bob Boughner as interim head coach. They haven’t yet announced if Boughner will remain as head coach, or if they’ll hire someone else going forward.
- Sharks trade Brenden Dillon to Capitals for a 2020 second-rounder and a conditional third-round pick in 2021.
- Sent Patrick Marleau to the Penguins for a conditional 2021 third-round pick.
- Doug Wilson lands quite the deal for Barclay Goodrow. The Lightning gave up their 2020 first-round pick and Anthony Greco, while the Sharks sent Goodrow and a 2020 third-round pick to the Bolts.
The season began on a rough note, with the Sharks starting off 0-4-0 and 4-10-1. Simply put, they never really found their footing this season. In hindsight, just about every flash of brilliance turned into a mirage.
Now, there were some warning signs from 2018-19.
During that season, the Sharks spackled over serious defensive and goaltending issues by scoring tons of goals and generally outscoring their problems. When the Sharks signed Erik Karlsson to a new deal, many expected the bill to come for San Jose at some point. Few anticipated that things would go sideways so fast, though.
Blame it on leaky defense or shabby goaltending from Martin Jones and Aaron Dell (or most likely, both), but the Sharks continued to allow too many goals in 2019-20. Unfortunately, their offense couldn’t make up the difference any longer.
This failed season cost Peter DeBoer his job, landing him with rival Vegas. It’s unclear what happens next with Boughner or another coach. (For all the Sharks indicated about keeping Boughner, it’s not as though he solved all/many of their problems.)
Ultimately, the Sharks must hope that this season was an aberration. If not, they’ll be haunted by recent decisions, starting with when they try to look away from the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.
Highlight of the season
You could try to lean on the Sharks receiving a pretty nice bucket of assets for Goodrow, Marleau, and Dillon. Yet, even then, it remains perplexing that they couldn’t find a destination for Joe Thornton. After all, Thornton made it clear he wanted another shot at a Stanley Cup.
(It’s possible the Sharks didn’t cost him a shot in the scenario where the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs don’t happen … but they could have gotten something for Thornton if they made a trade, anyway.)
So let’s think of a time when the Sharks’ script read a bit more storybook than disaster movie.
Patrick Marleau made a triumphant return to the Sharks, scoring two goals. He helped San Jose get its first win of the season in a feel-great story:
All things considered, Marleau performed pretty well in his return. That moment didn’t end up turning the Sharks’ season around, though, and it’s telling that they didn’t provide many other highlights to choose from.
MORE ON THE SHARKS
• Examining the Sharks long-term outlook
• Sharks biggest surprises and disappointments so far