4 Big Questions for the San Jose Sharks in 2020-21

Brent Burns #88 and Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Brent Burns #88 and Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Evander Kane (9)
Evander Kane #9 of the San Jose Sharks. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

1. Will the Sharks have enough offense in 2020-21?

While this entire roster is incredibly flawed, one of the biggest questions the San Jose Sharks will have to answer this year is whether their offense has enough to ensure they are at least competitive in the West Division.

Ranked 27th in Goals For Per Game in 2019-20, averaging just 2.57 goals a game, the Sharks were not a formidable team in the offensive zone last year and, at first glance, it doesn’t look like it will be much better this season.

After all, they lost Joe Thornton who, despite being in the back-nine of his career, still put up 31 points (7 G, 24 A) in 2019-20, while only two forwards in Evander Kane and Timo Meier recorded 20 or more goals last year.

Captain Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl both missed significant time, which didn’t help, so the Sharks will need those two players to stay healthy and put up big numbers in a bounce-back year in addition to Kane and Meier also lighting the lamp on a consistent basis.

Brent Burns (88)
San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (88). Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /

It will then be up to the likes of Kevin Labanc, Ryan Donato, Marcus Sorensen and Dylan Gambrell to provide depth and secondary scoring for the Sharks, ensuring that all the pressure doesn’t fall on the likes of Kane, Couture and Hertl.

Plus, if defenseman Brent Burns can also have a bounce-back year after recording just 45 points (12 G, 33 A) in 2019-20, his fewest in a full season since 2011-12, then that would certainly help solve a huge problem for the Sharks. Burns hit 80 plus points just two seasons ago and if he can get back to that kind of level, or at least near it, that will only spark San Jose’s offense into life too.

With a big booming shot from the point, Burns can also be a lethal weapon on the power play and getting back to his best would ensure that the a power play unit that ranked 23rd in last year (17.5) also saw some dramatic improvement.

Next. 4 Big Questions for the Flyers in 2020-21. dark

Overall, the San Jose Sharks will live and die by their offense in 2020-21 and, if certain big-hitters can remain healthy and get back to the levels they are capable of, then that should ensure this team strikes fear into the hearts of goaltenders throughout the West Division and it will also give them a good shot of sneaking back into the postseason.