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.
- How bad are things for the Kings after Monday? 4
- Lightning clinch playoff berth, but did they lose Hedman? 6
- Blackhawks tease good injury news for Kane 7
- Tough times in Tampa: Garrison out 3-4 weeks after ‘pretty dirty’ Abdelkader hit 22
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 29
- NHL on NBCSN: Stakes high for Kings, ‘Hawks tonight 21
- Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’ 12
- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 13
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 6
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 18