Although San Jose as a team has gotten off to a rather slow start to the 2022-23 season at 3-8-3, Erik Karlsson individually has flourished so far putting up 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points in 14 games played. Karlsson ranks third league wide among all goal scorers at 10 goals, just behind Connor McDavid at 14 and Bo Horvat at 12.
Erik Karlsson continued his explosive start to the season last Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, where the defencemen netted his first career hat trick. His three goals as well as two from Timo Meier were not enough to carry the Sharks past the Ducks with the final score being 6-5 in favor of Anaheim. With 19 points in 14 games, Erik Karlsson is on pace to have his best offensive season yet.
It seems as though Erik Karlsson has turned back the clock this season and brought back some of the play that made him a lock for the Hall of Fame back in Ottawa. If he can keep up this pace, he will no doubt be in the running for the Norris Trophy. In his four previous seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Erik Karlsson’s highest goal tally came last season where he netted 10 goals in 50 games played. He is on pace to shatter that record, and as of right now he is even on pace to best his highest scoring offensive season at 82 points during the 2015-16 season.
Aside from Karlsson, the Sharks have generally struggled this season scoring wise. Their scoring woes as well as defensive struggles have them around the bottom of the Pacific Division. The lack of scoring for San Jose has been a persistent issue for the past couple of seasons now. This will have to be addressed by David Quinn moving forward if the Sharks expect to put more wins in the win column.
The Sharks are back in action tonight looking to bounce back against an also struggling St. Louis Blues team. Karlsson will be attempting to continue his miraculous start to this season and add to his already high offensive statistics.
The only other emerging bright spot is Timo Meier who has finally begun to come alive this season after an extremely cold start. All five of his goals have come in the last five games after starting the first nine games goalless. To date, Meier has put up 11 points in 14 games played consisting of five goals and six assists.
Although most of what’s come from San Jose to begin this season has been disappointing, there is still one other positive for this struggling Sharks team. A stand out stat is their remarkably high penalty kill. San Jose is second in the league when it comes to the PK at 92.3%, second to only Boston at 93.3%. As the Sharks continue their long battle of the season look for not only EK65 to stay hot but also their penalty kill.