The San Jose Sharks have had a rough start to the 2023-2024 NHL season, and their struggles go beyond their league-worst offense. With a season-opening seven-game losing streak, the Sharks are now focused on addressing their defensive issues as they look to turn their fortunes around.
In a recent game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Sharks' defensive shortcomings were laid bare for all to see as they suffered a 6-0 defeat at Amalie Arena. The Sharks allowed five of those goals at even strength, and their struggles were further emphasized by the statistics, revealing that they had surrendered 17 high-danger chances while creating just five in the same situations, according to Natural Stat Trick.
This season, the Sharks have conceded 18 goals during 5-on-5 play in just seven games, which ties them for the third-worst per-game average in the NHL. It's a problem that has haunted the team since the previous season when they allowed 220 goals in 82 games during 5-on-5 play, ranking them third-highest in the league for that dubious statistic.