The 2013 San Jose Sharks have made history, albeit not the kind they were hoping for after a seven-game winning streak to open the National Hockey League season.
After a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night, the Sharks are the first team in NHL history to start a season 7-0 and then fail to win any of their next seven games.
With an overall 7-4-3 record now, San Jose is seventh in the Western Conference with 17 points. Tonight, they face the team that eliminated them from the first round of last season's playoffs, the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues (9-5-1, 19 points) currently reside fourth in the conference, and they probably will be starting rookie goaltender Jake Allen in his first home start after three straight road wins.
This is the Sharks' fourth straight road game, and they haven't won away from HP Pavilion since they opened the season with wins in Calgary and Edmonton last month.
San Jose's worst losing streak since an 0-7-3 in November 2005 could get worse, of course, although that slide culminated in the Sharks' acquisition of Joe Thornton -- and the team turned that season around in fine fashion.
Thornton had 14 points through six games this year, but in the eight games since, he has just two points.
And there probably isn't another blockbuster trade in the works now to help San Jose wake up.
"It's amazing what's happened in 15 days," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan told reporters. "It doesn't even look like the same team, it's not even remotely close. Are we going to rely on what we saw early in the year and the performances that we were receiving or are we going to take these next seven games and evaluate on that?"
San Jose's offense has disappeared, even as its defense has held it together (mostly). Compared with St. Louis, the Sharks are stingy when it comes to giving up goals.
The Blues have surrendered 3.13 goals per game this year, while San Jose has given up just 2.21 per contest.
But unless Thornton and the rest of the team come alive to score like they can, it's going to be a long month for the Sharks. Lucky for San Jose, February is a short month -- but they can't afford to lose the remaining five games on the schedule before March arrives.