CHICAGO -- Twenty-nine goals in the first seven games, seven goals in the next six.
Any explanation how a Sharks team that went 7-0-0 in January is now 0-3-3 for February doesn't need to be any more complicated than that. Break it down further, and the problem becomes even more acute.
San Jose has one power-play goal over its past 22 chances, that coming late in a hopelessly lost cause against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Even more telling, the Sharks have only one even-strength goal over the past 236:21 -- the equivalent of almost four games.
"You can blame the power play. That's the easy way out," Logan Couture said after San Jose's most recent loss, 1-0 in overtime to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.
Coach Todd McLellan and his staff had Wednesday to themselves as they try to fix the ailing offense before the daunting task Friday of facing the NHL-best Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. Players had been given the day off when the itinerary for this six-game trip was drawn up, and that didn't change.
Maybe it would have if the Sharks' effort in Nashville had been as bad as the previous night in that 6-2 defeat in Columbus. But the loss to the Predators was just one of a string of games where solid defense and sound goaltending went to waste because the Sharks could not
Not that there aren't other elements of San Jose's game that need tweaking or fixing.
For years the Sharks have been among the NHL's best faceoff teams, but they won only 39 percent of the draws against Nashville and less than 50 percent in the previous two games. Giveaways are a subjective stat, to be sure, but San Jose now leads the NHL with 147.
Still, scoring tops the list of needed repairs. And it's not as if McLellan and his players don't know what needs to be done.
"Did we create chances? Yeah, we created opportunities," McLellan said after the loss to Nashville. "We didn't finish, but there has to be a polish factor in and around the net. We have to go there and be hungry, we have to stay there and jab away. We might have to score some real ugly ones before we score some pretty ones."
Even before the losing streak, McLellan talked about his team's performance slipping. He's tried to spark things by mixing up his lines. Now he has turned to Worcester for help.
Forward Tim Kennedy, 26, played 112 games with the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers before the Sharks acquired him in January 2012. Wednesday night, the left wing played his first NHL game in more than 13 months on a line with Couture and Ryane Clowe, who is still looking for his first goal.
"He was fast, he was able to make plays," McLellan said of Kennedy, who might have had San Jose's best scoring chance on a feed from Couture. "I thought he meshed well with Logan and Clowe and made that line a little bit quicker."
A reconstructed fourth line that saw Marty Havlat skating with Adam Burish and TJ Galiardi also showed potential.
The opening two weeks of this abbreviated 48-game season, when the Sharks were averaging an attention-getting 4.1 goals per game, created the illusion that San Jose could dominate on a nightly basis. The fact that it hasn't been happening reflects both a drop-off in their play as well as a rise in that of the opposition.
"We set the bar high early. We expected to be playing like that, and teams caught up a little bit," Joe Pavelski said. "Now it's just a competitive battle night in and night out."
Even when the Sharks were winning, secondary scoring was a problem that has become magnified now that the big guns have gone cold. Joe Thornton only has one assist during the past seven games. Patrick Marleau and Couture have only one goal during the losing streak; Pavelski has two.
Couture acknowledged the frustration grows game by game.
"You come to the rink every day to score goals. That's what I do," he said. "I haven't lately, and it's frustrating. You get a chance and you don't score, and each time that happens, you get frustrated a little bit more."
After a hot January, the Sharks' top four scorers have hit a wall during the team slump in February:
Patrick Marleau: Jan. -- 9 goals, 14 points; Feb.: 1 goal, 1 point.
Joe Thornton: Jan. -- 11 assists, 14 points. Feb. -- 1 assist, 1 point.
Joe Pavelski: Jan. -- 4 goals, 12 points. Feb. -- 2 goals, 2 points.
Logan Couture: Jan. -- 5 goals, 10 points. Feb. -- 1 goal, 1 point.