The San Jose Sharks entered the week with 157 goals through 52 games. They are still there after being shut out by the second consecutive goalie to start the season with the Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings Wednesday, January 29.
Perhaps the lack of forwards is finally catching up with the Sharks. Perhaps it has more to do with one goalie tree: Ben Scrivens heads the pictured list of stars from the matchup with the Edmonton Oilers, but also of another of goalies having their roots with the Kings. (If you want to know why all three teams from California comprise half of the top-20 percent of the league so far in the 2013-14 NHL season, look in net.)
Neither game was a bad effort, with the Sharks attempting 100 shots and getting 59 on net while allowing just 38 and 27, respectively. They did this despite a 36-34 edge in the circle thanks in part to physical play (21-14 hits) that caused turnovers (Oilers 23-12 in giveaways but just 13-12 in takeaways).
Failing to score Monday against Jonathan Quick wasted a one-goal, 21-save effort by backup Alex Stalock. Failing to come away with a point on the first night of back-to-back games against the worst team in the Western Conference wastes a chance to gain ground from a rare loss Tuesday by the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks.
In addition to having the best goalie in the world, Los Angeles has Martin Jones as a backup. He tied the NHL record for wins to start a career with eight, and his seventh was a one-goal, 31-save effort over San Jose. That allowed the trade of Scrivens to Edmonton, and he now got the NHL record for saves in a shutout (59) at the expense of a team that remains a division rival.
That is just the bad news. The worse news is the loss puts the Sharks on an almost-certain collision course with the Kings in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Somehow, someway, sometime, someone has to score something against somebody or a very promising season will go nowhere. It should start Thursday night with a game against another Pacific Division rival, the Calgary Flames.