Following in the steps of other teams with attempts to reset or reinvent, hopes were high that the 2020-21 season for the San Jose Sharks would not be a repeat of the previous one. Unfortunately, it was, but the good news is that it wasn’t as bad. The Sharks were holding on there for a while to hopes they would make it into the playoffs. However, teams like the Colorado Avalanche and the Golden Knights were there, ready to put the Sharks back in their place.
By the Numbers
Power Play: 14.10% (29th)
Penalty Kill: 80.43% (14th)
Goals For: 151 (24th)
Goals Against: 199 (29th)
Evander Kane has enjoyed a promising season as one of the best players for the Sharks. This season he played in all 56 games, raking up a total of 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists). Kane led all players in goals, assists, and points. On Feb. 17, he appeared in his 200th game as a Shark and was selected as the “Sharks Player of the Year” for 2020-21 in a vote by the Bay Area media. The award is awarded to the player who contributes the greatest amount of success to the team.
The entire Sharks’ bench. Much could be made about different aspects of their play needing improvement, but better participation and performance are needed. Their veterans would occasionally come through for them, but the consistency was not there. The goaltending doesn’t get a pass either. All four goalies that were in net this season were subpar; they were okay, but they weren’t fabulous. There were players like Kane, Tomas Hertl, and Logan Couture who attempted to get the team to where they needed to be, but they weren’t able to make up for the fiasco that was the Sharks.
Behind the Bench Analysis
After taking over the team last season, Bob Boughner still has not had a chance to coach for a full season. It seems for now the Sharks intend to keep him as the coach. One thing is for certain, Boughner will need to strengthen their defensive playing. He couldn’t find a way to get his players to score, which means finding a way to get more pucks to the net. Boughner was unable to get special teams to be effective, which contributed to their abysmal showing in the conference. He wasn’t able to get the team to play to their strengths and contributed to the inconsistency seen throughout the season.
Front Office Analysis
Doug Wilson has done an adequate job, but some of his choices have shown to him into trying to do what’s best for the team now. Not all choices have had a negative impact on the team, but they haven’t been the greatest. Wilson loves competition, so trying to see the long-term might have been difficult for him this season. Instead, by trying to avoid a rebuild, it’s gotten the Sharks stuck trying to swim upstream.
2021 NHL Entry Draft Picks/Prognosis
The Sharks have nine picks overall in the 2021 draft, and they were able to secure the 7th pick overall in Round 1 from the draft lottery. Wilson will have a lot to work with the eight other picks, either drafting a player or cautious trades. If he can see a rebuild in the near future for the franchise, there will be few trades unless he’s trading up in the rounds.
Offseason Wish/Checklist & Prognosis for 2021-2022
The first step to recovery is to admit there’s a problem. The Sharks have refused to do so for most of the season, but there’s only so long they will be able to continue the way they are now. There are tough choices coming for the front office, and we’ll get a glimpse of where their minds are once the expansion draft kicks off the postseason. There are parts of this Sharks team that have been working effectively, albeit with inconsistency. However, if the staff and front office can work towards getting the not-so-working parts fixed, they stand a better chance for the upcoming season.
Follow Liz Pendergraft on Twitter @lizzibear824
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images