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Oilers @ Sharks Game 33 Preview

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Oilers searching for a thirst-quenching victory on a dry desert island of losses.

Top Line Farmer Ted
Top Line Farmer Ted
Chris LaFrance-USA TODAY Sports


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@

sharks logo
7-19-6, 20 points, .612 p/g Ranks 17-11-4.  38 points, 1.188 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Western Conference - 13th
30th P/G 12th
25th ST 5th
29th ES 18th
29th Goal 8th
8:30 PM MDT - SNW
SAP Center
The opposing view: Fear The Fin
Tickets - TiqIQ

Got A Second?

Todd Nelson's Edmonton Oilers debut had it all, man.  Good hockey!  Bad hockey!  Overtime!  Oh, and the soul-crushing defeat with three tenths of a second left.  Seriously, you can't script this stuff.  An absolute meltdown with seconds remaining in overtime allowed a golden escalator to appear for former Oiler Sam Gagner.  Gagner dished a pass off to Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who rocketed a beam past Ben Scrivens for a 2-1 Coyotes victory.  In OT.  With three tenths of a second remaining.  Of course.

The Oilers have lost sixteen of seventeen games.  Tonight, they're in San Jose to take on a Sharks team who has actually won seventeen games on the year.  Funny how that all works out.

The Oilers are saying

"We're trying to funnel pucks to the net, have a good net-front presence"

That's Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson on how he's trying to crank up the scoring.

The Oilers played about two periods of decent hockey against Arizona on Monday.  If you can forget some key facts like how the Oilers were able to score only one goal in 64:59:57 of hockey, and the fact that they yielded twenty-seven shots in the second period, then it wasn't that bad of a game.  Ben Scrivens did his fair share in turning aside 36 of 38 total shots, and you can seal this one up in a vacuum tube.  The Oilers were able to squeeze a point out in Arizona. Normally this would be a fair consolation prize, but the Oilers sit sixteen points out of eighth place today. Maybe if they play in some ten point games, things could turn around.

The Opponent is saying

"Normally, at the beginning of the season I think it takes 15-20 games for all the teams to get all their players and all their systems down"

That's Sharks defenceman Marc Edouard-Vlasic on the Sharks finding their groove.

20 games seems like a pretty good number to figure out what you've got.  By that point, the Oilers had hockey fans strapped to the edges of their seats with a 6-12-2 record.  (Don't worry guys, they've gone 1-7-4 since.  It's all gonna turn around)

Have some of this

  • GOODBYE, OKLAHOMA CITY - Edmonton's AHL affiliate will cease operations at the conclusion of this season.  This sucks for fans in OKC, especially the ones who I've taken a shine to.  Check out Neal Livington's take over at Tend The Farm.
  • Boyd Gordon looks to be back in the lineup.  This is a good thing.  The Oilers allow a boatload of shots on net, and Boyd Gordon is usually good about getting in front of as many as he can.  Gordon had been out with a back injury.  He's also a scintillating 56.1% at the face off dot.
  • The Sharks are winners of seven of their last eight.  What's fuelled their success?  Mike Brown Allowing just fifteen goals over their last eight games (an average of 1.88 per game) certainly helps.  Goaltender Antti Niemi has a pretty fine .919 SV% in 22 games, while backup Alex Stalock has done mighty fine in limited action (.926 SV% in eight).  It doesn't hurt that the Sharks are also averaging almost three goals a game either.
  • Who starts for the Oilers tonight between the pipes?  *throws dart* I'm going to guess Viktor Fasth.  Scrivens had a very good outing, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Fasth get a look tonight in Todd Nelson's Big Shiny New Thing™
  • LINE SWITCH - Listening to Jack Michaels yesterday, he seemed to suggest that the Oilers are going to put Teddy Purcell on the top line while Pitlick and Draisaitl on with Yakupov. No matter how many times you say Pitlick with Draisaitl and Yakupov, it doesn't sound as nice as you'd like it to.
  • TIME HAS COME TODAY - Edmonton's last victory was against the Sharks two Sundays ago.  Their last victory before that was on November 9th versus the Rangers.  Their last victory before that was on November 26, 1766.  How about a win today?  What do you say?
  • GOILERS