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Oilers @ Sharks Game 51 Preview

Oilers look to get back into the win column after deflating loss to Flames

Finding Nemo.  There he is.
Finding Nemo. There he is.
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

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San Jose
14-27-9, 35 points, .7 p/g Ranks 27-17-6, 60 points, 1.122 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Western Conference - 5th
29th P/G 12th
25th ST 10th
27th ES 22nd
28th Goal 17th
8:30 PM - SNOL
SAP Center
The opposing view:  Fear The Fin

This Again?  You know it.

Edmonton scored the first two goals in Saturday's tilt with the Flames.  A chippy first period and two goals looked pretty good on the score sheet.  Finally, the Oilers were going to come into Calgary and run their show.  How about those apples, Giordano?  After forty minutes, the Oilers looked pretty with that same 2-0 lead.  Take that, Cowtown.

The only problem with this is that the Oilers got housed in the third period, yielding four goals in fourteen minutes of play.  They got handled on the shot clock, only amassing 19 total shots in sixty minutes of play.  Sean Monahan scored the game winner for Calgary, while Lance Bouma took first star honours netting a pair.  Paul Byron scored Calgary's first goal three minutes into the third.  Jordan Eberle had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, while Benoit Pouliot had Edmonton's other tally.


The Oilers are in San Jose tonight to take on a Sharks team that shutout the Blackhawks at the Shark Tank on Saturday night.  Can Edmonton bounce back with a victory in California?

The Oilers are saying

"We only played 20 minutes tonight.  We let our foot off the gas and they're a good team"

That's Oilers forward Rob Klinkhammer on Edmonton's 4-2 loss to the Flames on Saturday night.

If you've made it this far, you know that the Oilers have about a dozen and a half things wrong with the team.  They're not very good, and when you hit the net only nineteen times in sixty minutes, you're not going to come out on top all that often.  The Oilers are 25th in the league in shots per game. Sky blue.  Water wet.

The Opponent is saying

"We believe we're a good hockey team...It's just a matter of winning, that's all it comes down to, getting points.  I think throughout the year we've had some good winning streaks.  It's just about putting points in the bank every night."
That's Sharks defenceman Brent Burns on his team's recent 2-0 shutout victory over Chicago.

The Sharks are on a 5-0-2 run in their last seven games, and that's pretty good.  They've got sixty points, which puts them at fifth in the West, which looks pretty good on the surface.  Winnipeg (!) also has sixty points, and just three points separates the Sharks and eighth place Calgary.  I think the Sharks are going to hold on and make it, but LA's sitting there in ninth place.  I'm also ready for Winnipeg to take the late season dip unless

Have some of this
  • TAYLOR HALL - I've ridden the Oilers for bringing their players back from injury too soon on many occasions, but man, I hope Taylor Hall is ready to go tonight.  Hall has been out for a week after taking a shot on the leg during practice on Monday.  Benoit Pouliot's a damn fine player, but this team needs Taylor Hall.
  • ONE MONTH UNTIL THE TRADE DEADLINE - Other than Jeff Petry, who else is going to get moved?  Will anyone take a stab at Viktor Fasth?  Will a team make a call about Matt Hendricks?   Can MacTavish hurry up and pick up the phone to call Don Maloney about Oliver Ekman-Larsson?   Can the Oilers get anything in return other than mid draft picks?  Craig's on it.
  • *throws dart* I've got Viktor Fasth (4-11-2, .891 SV% / 3.29 GAA) in tonight.  Antti Niemi's coming off a shutout (21-11-5, .914 SV% / 2.51 GAA), so look for him to get the nod for the Sharks.
  • Anybody got that not so fresh feeling like the Oilers are going to throw a boatload of cash at a goalie this offseason?  Think it might be Antti Niemi?  They could do worse, but I'm starting to get the feeling that someone is going to throw Mike Smith money at him.  Or, David Clarkson money.  If Niemi makes it to the offseason sans contract, lookout.
  • QUESTIONABLE CONTRACTS - John Scott and Mike Brown are both San Jose Sharks.  Scott has played in 21 games this season, while Brown has found his way into eight.  Mike Brown's only got one more year go on his deal.  Scott was on the ice for seven minutes against Chicago, which seems like a lot. Small prediction:  as the playoff race gets tighter, you'll see these guys even less.