Mar 7, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT
With the NHL playoff race getting down to the wire, we’ll be providing regular updates on each bubble team’s postseason push.
On the bubble: San Jose Sharks
Where they stand: 8th in the West, tied in points with 9th-place Los Angeles, but with a game in hand
Games remaining: 17
SportsClubStats.com says: 71.7% chance of making the playoffs
Why they’ll get in:
They’re the Sharks. You know, the same team that hasn’t missed the postseason since before the lockout and nearly made the Stanley Cup finals last year. On Feb.13, San Jose was 31-17-6 and a shoe-in to make the playoffs. The Sharks didn’t just get awful overnight, did they? Every team has bad stretches, and they’re on one now. Plus they might be getting Martin Havlat back soon.
Why they won’t:
There are bad stretches, and there are bad stretches. The Sharks are 2-7-2 in their last 11. They’ve scored just four times in their last four outings. They lost Tuesday at home in a shootout to Edmonton, one of the worst teams in the NHL. And tomorrow they start a four-game road trip.
“We’re in a funk and we need to get out of it and get it going. It’s easy to talk. We have to get it done on the ice, get some wins, get the confidence level up as a team. We’re too good a team to let this go on any longer.”– Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray
Key game coming up:
Thursday in Dallas against the Pacific Division-leading Stars.
- Lightning ‘answer the challenge’ in Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final 2
- Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot 12
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers 63
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 31
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 54
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 13
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 46
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 18
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 10
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (77)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (63)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)