When a team plays well on five-on-five, but loses games due to a non-existent penalty kill, power rankings want no part of 'em. San Jose continues to be a frustrating team to place in power rankings, and with good reason. They're not doing great in the standings, they are losing games and beating only the very bad teams, but they're ... they're the Sharks, are they not? A team with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley cannot be underestimated. Devin Setogouchi and Joe Pavelski on a second line is something to be afraid of.
But they are losing games, and while there is a lot of hockey left, a power ranking needs to be up to snuff with the current affairs in the NHL. A cursory glance at one or two power rankings reveals that the Sharks will most definitely be trending downward following their beatdown at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. Then again, when have two power rankings-makers agreed on something?
Fox Sports, in their weekly power rankings, have San Jose sitting at 14, four places lower than last week. They've cited weak special teams play as the culprit for the decrease. The Sharks have had a recent propensity for allowing power play goals like nobody's business, all the while being unable to get the puck in net with the man advantage.
Now things get a little confusing. ESPN's weekly power rankings had the Sharks in their lowest position of the season last week, at 18, pretty far from the norm. Now, however, the Sharks have jumped up three places and sit at 15 for them. ESPN cites the Sharks and their ability to get shots on goal, and the fact that they're the league leaders in that regard. Sounds pretty fair, but they'll need to produce more goals out of those opportunities if they want to rise back into the top ten.
Tomorrow, we'll take a look at SB Nation's own NHL power rankings and where the Sharks sit in that regard.