It been a season of highs and lows already, and we're just in 10 games. With the biggest additions of Larry Robinson and Jim Johnson, the special teams have been off to a blazing start. The PK sits at 4th best in the league while the PP (that seemed unstoppable) is still at a reasonable 8th in the league. While outscoring their opponents 28-12 in the first 7 games, the Sharks have now been outscored 5-9. It may be safe to assume that teams go through their slumps, but they way the Sharks came out of the lockout, is this a bad sign for things to come?rnrnI don't see a sense of panic on the horizon just quite yet. A possibility for their cold scoring streak during a losing streak, is the recent struggle on the PP and the absence of Brent Burns. Without the puck movement shots in traffic on the PP and a great puck moving defenceman in Burns, it might not be such a bad thing that the Sharks still sit at 7-2-1. A relatively healthy roster minus Burns that got out to a 7-0-0 start may be what the doctor ordered. The return of Brent Burns could be very soon, possibly this Saturday against Phoenix, but is said that might be pushing it. With the addition of Brent Burns coming back off his injury, the Sharks look primed to get back on top of the Pacific.rnrnAside from the hot scoring so early in the season, there has still been little signs of improvement on the bottom six forwards. Tommy Wingels has shown a lot of potential notching the first goal scored by the bottom six Tuesday against Chicago. Scott Gomez, recently signed at $700k for a year, has shown great depth in speed and playmaking ability, even on the second power play unit. But with guys like TJ Galliardi, Handzus and Burish not being able to finish their scoring chances, he has gone pretty unnoticed in his early debut. rnrnThe defensive core (aside from Murray) may be one of the best blue lines in the league. With better rebound control out of Niemi and better breakouts in the defensive zone, the Sharks look a lot less conservative defensively compared to last years defensive struggles. Brad Stuart, maybe the unsung signing this off-season, has shown great depth on the blue line and ability to join the odd man rushes. The big question for this years Sharks team is not the defense or goaltending, but their lack in scoring depth.rnrnTo make 1.8m a year for 2 years in Burish, to not score, but to do what? Be energetic in the locker room and be a better 4th line presence. So far that hasn't paid out the way Doug Wilson may have hoped. Then to look at the eventual McGinn for Galliardi trade. Galliardi is speedy and has scoring potential but still can't get the job done. It's no question that the bottom six needs help, especially if this could be the year for an aging group in the Sharks. rnrnQuotes and Notes: “It’s an indication he’s getting closer. I think the better indicator is the amount of participation of him in practice in comparison to other weeks,” McLellan said on the soon to be, return of Burns. rnrnSharks scout Jason Rowe has been at just about every Flyers game this season, including last night. Flyers scout John Chapman at at least two Sharks games, including last game against Chicago. (via Kevin Kurz) Is this a sign of possible trade for some scoring depth in the near future? rnrnNote-Sharks will play host to the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday who got a struggling Mike Smith back in their lineup. Following their home game Saturday, the Sharks will go on their annual 6 game road trip starting Monday at Columbus.
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