To say the San Jose Sharks have been the worst team in the league through ten games would be an understatement. Expectations for the 2023-24 iteration of the squad were low, but the team is on the verge of making history with a 0-9-1 record through ten contests. Two more losses would put them in second place all-time among winless streaks to start a season, trailing only the 1943-44 New York Rangers, who went 15 games without a win.
The numbers behind it aren’t pretty, either. They’ve scored just ten goals, four less than the 31st-ranked St. Louis Blues offense, who have played two fewer games. Through ten games, the Sharks also have a lowly goals-for percentage of 17% at five-on-five – worse than the worst team in NHL history, the 1974-75 Washington Capitals, who controlled 30% of goals at five-on-five through their first ten contests.
Obviously, some positive regression is bound to come offensively. The team is shooting at just 2.9% collectively at five-on-five, far below the 7.7% league average. Their goaltending had helped matters somewhat, although conceding ten goals to the Canucks last night took a significant bite out of both Mackenzie Blackwood’s and Kaapo Kähkönen’s save percentages. They’re controlling 40.6% of expected goals at five-on-five (per MoneyPuck), still the worst in the NHL but significantly higher than their actual rate of 17%.
All of this is to say the Sharks are absolutely a slam-dunk pick to finish 32nd in the league at season’s end, but the points will likely start coming soon for players like Tomáš Hertl, Luke Kunin, Mario Ferraro, and Fabian Zetterlund, who all rank top four on the team in shots at the moment. There’s no telling when that positive regression will occur, however, and the clock will keep ticking on perhaps the worst start to a season in NHL history.
With all that in mind, when do you think the Sharks will log their first two points of the 2023-24 season? Vote in the poll below:
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