Three days off between games provided ample time for the Sharks to try to get their Jekyll-and-Hyde season back on track before their Saturday matinee at HP Pavilion against the Phoenix Coyotes.

But where to begin? Is it an oversimplification to focus on the power play -- 12 for 32 as San Jose shot to the top of the Western Conference at 5-0, then 1 for 21 as the Sharks went 2-2-1 over the next five games with both wins coming on shootouts?

"I don't think you're oversimplifying at all," coach Todd McLellan said Friday of his one special team that has been consistently strong over the years. "There are just ebbs and flows when it doesn't click as well, but it has to be better. It has to make a difference -- it did at the beginning of the year."

There are other issues, too. A league-leading 117 giveaways. Imbalanced scoring. A top line that has cooled off after a red-hot start.

But amid the darkness of a five-game stretch without a regulation win, there is some light: At Friday's practice, defenseman Brent Burns was paired with Brad Stuart, a sign that Burns is overcoming whatever mystery setback occurred in his recovery from hernia surgery last May.