With two impressive wins over Montreal and Vancouver the Sharks have stopped the bleeding. Now it’s time for an assertive push to the playoffs. With that in mind let’s do some math.
The Sharks have 17 games left in the regular season, seven at home and 10 on the road. For the moment let’s assume that the Sharks best shot at grabbing a post-season spot is to finish in second or third place in the Pacific Division. Right now Calgary, LA and San Jose all have 72 points and are tied for third. But as a result of games in hand and tie breakers the Flames hold down the third spot and the playoff berth that goes along with it. So the Sharks will need to finish at least one point ahead of the Flames. If Calgary maintains their current winning percentage down the stretch they will finish with about 93 points. So if the Sharks are going to finish ahead of the Flames they’ll need 94 to be safe perhaps even 95. That means they’ll have to pick up 22 points in their final 17 games. Going 11-6 down the stretch just might get the Sharks in, but it won’t be a cakewalk by any means. Nine of their remaining games are against teams currently in a playoff position. Couple that with the fact that the Sharks struggled badly at home in February and have won three games in a row only once since December 20th. But the opportunity is there. However look no further than the next game on Saturday against the Canucks. Vancouver is 2-0 on SAP Center ice this year and will be looking for payback after Tuesday’s 6-2 loss. 22 more points should get the Sharks into the Stanley Cup playoffs but they’ll be taking it one game, one period, one shift at a time. There’s no other way.
I’m Randy Hahn for SJsharks.com