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Feast or famine

Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks started great and have stayed that way while Dan Boyle and the San Jose Sharks tailed off after going 7-0-0. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks started great and have stayed that way while Dan Boyle and the San Jose Sharks tailed off after going 7-0-0. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

The San Jose Sharks began this season as one of the NHL's strongest teams, but their abysmal play in what will be their longest road trip of the year has dropped them down THN's Power Rankings and put all members of the organization on the hot seat.

The Sharks are 1-6-3 in their past 10 games and their loss in Dallas on Saturday gave them a 1-4-1 mark on their now-finished road swing. They have scored just 12 goals in 10 games this month and the suspension to winger Ryane Clowe won't help matters in that regard. Team leaders Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have combined for just eight points in their past 11 games after combining for 28 points in their first six games.

San Jose has three home games this week - against the Avalanche, Red Wings and Predators - to try and turn things around. Their impressive start to the year has allowed them to maintain their status as a playoff-worthy team through this skid, but they're also just two points out of 13th in the West. Yes, it's not even March yet, but the Sharks may have to be in post-season mode the rest of the way just to squeak in. If they don't, they'll know exactly what stretch of season sunk them.
 

THE HOCKEY NEWS POWER RANKINGS
RK.
TEAM
LW
OVERALL
THE SCOOP
1
Chicago Blackhawks
1
15-0-3
Hawks getting incredible production from stars; only weakness so far is in shootouts, where they're 2-3.
2
Anaheim Ducks
5
13-2-1
Ducks on six-game win streak; blueliner Francois Beauchemin leads team in time on ice (23:57), league in plus/minus (plus-15).
3
Boston Bruins
4
11-2-2
With a faceoff win percentage of 61.7, Bruins' Bergeron second to Predators' Paul Gaustad (62.6) for league lead (min. 100 faceoffs).
4
Montreal Canadiens
17
12-4-2
Canadiens' cornerstone Andrei Markov has four goals this season, three of them are game-winners.
5
Pittsburgh Penguins
8
13-6-0
Loss of Malkin to concussion symptoms doesn't slow down Penguins, who are getting key contributions from Sidney Crosby (28 points), James Neal (four game-winning goals).
6
Vancouver Canucks
3
10-4-4
Canucks shelled 8-3 in Detroit Sunday and now have identical home and away marks (5-2-2).
7
Carolina Hurricanes
11
9-7-1
Hurricanes the best of a weak Southeast Division; Skinner's concussion woes a worrying sign.
8
Ottawa Senators
13
11-6-2
Senators keep losing star players, but keep winning; coach Paul MacLean the clear frontrunner for coach of the year.
9
New Jersey Devils
2
10-5-4
Devils greybeard Patrik Elias fourth in the league in assists (17); Clarkson ninth in goals (10).
10
Toronto Maple Leafs
10
11-8-0
Maple Leafs one of only three teams to not be involved in a shootout thus far (Canes and Caps are the others); Nazem Kadri finally looking like a bona fide NHLer (five goals, 15 points).
11
Detroit Red Wings
6
9-7-3
Wings' top two offense-producing players (Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk) have combined for 47 points. Next five have combined for 59 points.
12
St. Louis Blues
15
10-6-2
Blues enjoying a rare four-day break before showdown with Hawks Thursday; center Patrik Berglund has team-best nine goals, but just two assists.
13
Nashville Predators
14
8-6-5
Surprise: Predators one of the league's worst offensive teams (37 goals-for puts them 29th overall, just ahead of Wild at 35 goals-for). No Pred has more than five goals, but only four of 21 skaters are goalless.
14
Dallas Stars
9
9-8-1
Ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr tied for Stars lead in points with 13 despite averaging nearly two minutes less a game than fellow leading Stars scorer Jamie Benn.
15
Phoenix Coyotes
15
8-7-3
Inconsistent Coyotes face Canucks, Wild this week before a three-game mini series against Ducks; blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson now leading all Yotes in time on ice (25:01)
16
San Jose Sharks
7
8-6-3
Freefalling Sharks need a solution fast before their strong start, and playoff hopes, are a distant memory; Patrick Marleau has just four points in his past 11 games.
17
Tampa Bay Lightning
17
9-8-1
Bolts haven't won two games in a row in February; Steven Stamkos, Martin St- Louis and Vincent Lecavalier have combined for just one game-winning goal.
18
Los Angeles Kings
27
8-6-2
Hot Kings have won three straight, but those wins came against Oilers, Flames and Avs; they'll face far tougher tests this week in Ducks, Wings and Canucks.
19
Philadelphia Flyers
21
9-10-1
Flyers boosted by return of Scott Hartnell, but lose productive sophomore Matt Read for at least the month of March.
20
New York Rangers
16
8-7-2
Blueshirts' losing skid hit three games with Saturday loss to Habs; with expectations so high, will coach John Tortorella start feeling heat from upper management soon?
21
Minnesota Wild
22
8-7-2
Wild's road record (2-5-1) is 27th overall; two chances to improve it this week with away tilts against Yotes, Ducks.
22
Edmonton Oilers
18
7-7-3
Inconsistent Oilers need to move veteran blueliner Ryan Whitney for help on offense.
23
Calgary Flames
24
7-7-3
Flames show bursts of competitiveness, but with all due respect to Alex Tanguay, Alex Tanguay is not the top offensive player on a playoff contender. But that's what he is for Calgary right now.
24
Winnipeg Jets
20
8-9-1
Jets' honeymoon with Winnipeg fans is over; center Olli Jokinen a team-worst minus-11.
25
New York Islanders
28
8-10-1
Islanders' demotion of Rick DiPietro another sign this team wants to turn a corner; John Tavares will be in Hart Trophy mix if this team defies the odds and makes the post-season.
26
Washington Capitals
30
6-10-1
Capitals' domination of Devils Saturday may shoo away the vultures, but not for long: they take on solid Canes, desperate Flyers this week and could be back in 30th place very easily.
27
Colorado Avalanche
26
7-8-2
Avalanche can't seem to get on track and ongoing dispute with Ryan O'Reilly is making coach Joe Sacco's job that much harder. Sacco is a candidate to be the next bench boss fired.
28
Florida Panthers
25
5-9-4
Panthers looking nothing like defending Southeast champs; rookie Jonathan Huberdeau (who has a team-best eight goals and 13 points) is one of the lone bright lights so far this season.
29
Buffalo Sabres
23
6-12-1
Sabres' firing of coach Lindy Ruff had no immediate positive impact; trades to come soon?
30
Columbus Blue Jackets
29
5-12-2
Injury to defenseman Jack Johnson latest indignity suffered by Blue Jackets; Seth Jones might want to start pricing out real estate in Ohio.

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

(Editor's note: length of assumed Clowe suspension deleted after initial publication.)

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