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Sharks Locker Room: Eklund’s Frustration Palpable, Quinn on Scratching Duclair

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

It would be easy to joke that the San Jose Sharks can’t even lose right.

After all, there’s probably nothing that the last-place Sharks need for their rebuild more than the first-overall pick of the 2024 Draft.

A 2-1 loss to the second-worst team in the NHL, the Chicago Blackhawks, helps their Draft lottery odds. A 2-1 shootout loss, however, doesn’t help quite as much.

San Jose earned one point, Chicago earned two, and the Hawks are now four points ahead of the cellar-dwelling Sharks.

The worst record in the league has a 25.5 percent chance at the No. 1 pick, while the second-worst has a 13.5.

The San Jose players certainly aren’t laughing though. It’s a reminder that there’s a human cost behind all these numbers.

All the Sharks are wearing the losing, perhaps no one more than 21-year-old William Eklund, who San Jose hopes is the future of the franchise.

“It’s just frustrating because I want us to win. That’s the No. 1 thing,” the emotional winger said about missing an open net scoring chance, hitting the crossbar instead.

They’re now 10-31-4 and they’ve lost three in a row. Eklund has struggled recently, crossbar included, with two assists in his last 11 appearances.

“I think during the game, we had to go down and kind of give him a hug, because you could see the frustration in his face,” head coach David Quinn said of the near-miss.

Everybody knew that a rebuild was necessary for the San Jose Sharks, out of the playoffs four years and running. Everybody knew that a rebuild would be hard, with a lot more bad days than good.

But 0-10-1 to start the season? A 12-game losing streak on top of that? A .267 Points %, the worst-ever in the cap era?

“It’s tough,” Eklund said about how he’s coping with all this losing. “I hate it.”

Quinn spoke on what he’s liked about Eklund’s game despite his recent slump – he also spoke further about healthy scratching Anthony Duclair and Mikael Granlund’s injury. Eklund shared his palpable frustration. Ryan Carpenter, who scored the lone Sharks goal, complimented Justin Bailey. And Kyle Burroughs spoke highly of how the younger Sharks are handling all this adversity.

David Quinn

See the full Quinn interview here

Granlund Injury: ‘Might Be Out a Little Bit’

Quinn, on if he’s looking for more consistency from the healthy-scratched Anthony Duclair:

Yes, that’s exactly right.

Quinn, on how Eklund is handling his slump and all the losing:

I think during the game, we had to go down and kind of give him a hug, because you could see the frustration in his face.

Apparently, he does have a goal-less scoring streak. I don’t know what it is. I don’t pay attention to that. I don’t look at the stats in that regard.

The thing that I love about it is the other things he’s doing. The scoring will happen. It’s hard to score in this league, especially for a 21-year-old. But there are really things he’s doing that most 21-year-old’s don’t. I like his play away from the puck. His D-zone, his penalty kill has been good. As you get older, you find satisfaction in that. That’s what he’s got to do.

William Eklund

See the full Eklund interview here

Eklund, on hitting the crossbar and how frustrating things are for him right now:

It’s just frustrating because I want us to win. That’s the No. 1 thing.

Eklund, on how he’s handling the losing:

It’s tough. I hate it.

Ryan Carpenter

See the full Carpenter interview here

Carpenter, on how the San Jose Sharks battled back:

We built off in the second period, we were happy with the chances I think we were getting, the zone time. I think that fight by Sabourin too gave us a little boost of energy in a back-to-back game and I think Blacky made some big saves for us.

Carpenter, on Justin Bailey’s assist on his game-tying goal:

He’s so fast and he works so hard. A guy goes and wins a battle when I thought their D pretty much had the puck. He goes and takes it from him and sets me up. He’s the guy who sets up the entire play.

Kyle Burroughs

See the full Burroughs interview here

Burroughs, on how the younger San Jose Sharks players are handling all the losing:

I’ll be lying to you if I said it wasn’t weighing on all of us. Especially when you put in all this time and all this effort to create positive things, run into a hot goalie, it’s tough. For the young guys, I think they’ve done a pretty good job of staying positive and staying with it, being kind of our energy on some days, whether that’s practice or even just showing up to the rink. They’re doing a good job of being professionals and coming to work everyday.

 

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