The San Jose Sharks are bad. How bad are they? They're historically bad. They might be the worst team we've ever seen in the history of the NHL. Recently, they allowed 10 goals against in back-to-back games, the first time that's been seen in the NHL for 58 years. And it gets worse than just two awful losses.
They're dead last in the NHL with a shamefully 0-10-1 record. Not even the 1974-75 Washington Capitals -- who have the worst record in the sport (8-67-5) -- started the year that poorly. The 74-75 Caps' record through their first 11 games was 1-9-1.
What a joke.
oddsmakers agree the Sharks stink
Even from a betting perspective, the Sharks are historically bad. Through San Jose's first 10 games of the 23-24 season, their average line has been +222.6. We haven't seen an average line that low through the first 10 games of a season, since the Sabres were actively tanking for Connor McDavid in 2014-15. And even then, Buffalo's average line was +204.4
The San Jose Sharks are an absolute joke.
But don't worry, Gary Bettman has assured us all that there is no tanking in the NHL. All 32 teams are all in on the Stanley Cup every year. So the Sharks are just randomly bad, not because they were constructed this way. (Add a heavy sarcastic tone to that.)
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on tanking: Nobody tanks.— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) January 24, 2023
He said it with a straight face.
Full comment: pic.twitter.com/Ss6rm0G5Rh
First Pick in 2024 NHL Draft is the Prize
We can all agree that the Sharks are gunning for the bottom of the NHL standings. It's why they're as bad as they are. San Jose is rebuilding, and there's no better way to do that than through the draft, specifically if you can get that first overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
And with this nose-dive to the bottom of the standings, the Sharks are in a great place to do exactly that.
|San Jose Sharks||25.5%||+292|
It's hard to get mad at the Sharks for tanking. The league incentivizes this strategy. This is totally legal in the laws of the game.
Will The Sharks Ever Win Again?
But look, as bad as the Sharks are, they will win again. They won't win a lot but by the end of the season, they'll have a few "dubs" to their name. And if you're an NHL degen like me, you're going to subject yourself to Sharks hockey for the slim hope of making money.
I've pinpointed six games that favor a Sharks win. Over the past two seasons, the worst team in the league in each season picked up 56% of their points when their opponent was on the second leg of a back-to-back. Those same teams picked up 52% of their points on the road.
So I pulled the games where the Sharks are on the road and playing against a team on the second leg of a back-to-back:
|December 1 @ New Jersey Devils|
|December 3 @ New York Rangers|
|December 10 @ Vegas Golden Knights|
|December 17 @ Colorado Avalanche|
|January 11 @ Montreal Canadiens|
|March 3 @ Minnesota Wild|
In each of these games, the Sharks' opponent is traveling on the second leg of a back-to-back. Yet another advantage for the Sharks.
Now, look, San Jose is embarrassingly bad this year so they probably won't win each of these games. But circle them on your calendar and watch the line closely because they'll offer you the best chance to find a rare win for the humiliatingly bad Sharks.
They're a joke, but maybe they can be a profitable joke?