When the Sharks came home from a road trip three weeks ago fresh off wins at Dallas, Minnesota and Vegas, there was a sense that San Jose’s hockey team had found itself after an 0-5 start.

That road trip now looks more like a high water mark than the catalyst for something better. The Sharks have lost nine of their 11 games since. Two of the team’s perceived strengths, the goaltending and the penalty kill, have slumped. Other problems from earlier in the season subside for a game or two, but then return with renewed vigor.

San Jose was 6-9-3 after the win in Las Vegas, but there were plenty of underlying numbers that pointed to the potential for better results. The offense has been solid in the past 11 games, but the defense and goaltending have crumbled.

The Sharks are allowing 4.27 goals per game in that span, which is third-worst in the league. Four goalies have combined for an .862 save percentage, which is second worst. Coach David Quinn has noted repeatedly in recent days that the club is collectively sacrificing far too much defense in a quest for more offense, and it is often tied to poor decision making and poor puck management.

San Jose will be in Anaheim for its 30th game of the season Friday night. The Sharks are nearing the end of a (relatively) soft section of the schedule, but that hasn’t mattered. They’ve played four teams currently in postseason positions in the past 11, and they’ve lost five of the seven contests against fellow non-playoff clubs.

Each week with squandered opportunities is one closer to some big decisions for first-year general manager Mike Grier. The biggest could be what happens next with Timo Meier, who remains on pace for his second straight season with at least 35 goals and 70 points after scoring in a 6-5 overtime loss Wednesday night against Vancouver.

Meier, 26, is a pending restricted free agent who has the potential to be unrestricted after next season. He’s in the final season of a four-year, $24 million contract, but it has a twist — his salary for 2022-23 is $10 million. That means for the Sharks must either sign him to a new contract before June 25 or tender him a qualifying offer for next season at $10 million.

The options for Meier would then include accepting the QO and playing next season on a one-year, $10 million contract, which would make him a UFA in the summer of 2024. Or he could sign an offer sheet with another team. Or he and the Sharks can continue to negotiate a new contract leading up to next season. If the Sharks decline to offer him a QO by June 25, Meier would become a UFA on July 1.

We dug into what Meier’s next contract could look like earlier this week. There is also the possibility of a trade. There are a number of reasons why that could be the end result for Meier, who was a first-round pick in 2015 and has developed into a star power forward in the NHL over the past two seasons after a promising but uneven start to his tenure with the Sharks.

Meier could decide that he wants a fresh start elsewhere, either because the Sharks appear headed for a fourth straight season without a playoff berth or other reasons. He and his agent, Claude Lemieux, could feel that Meier can make more money than the Sharks are willing to offer him.

Grier and the Sharks could also be OK with ending the relationship. They could determine their timeline for how long it is going to take to remake the roster into a championship contender is too far out into what will be a very expensive contract. And the Sharks already had several players on the back side of their aging curves with expensive contracts when Grier was named GM.