Edmonton Oilers (24-18-3), 5th, Pacific)
San Jose Sharks (22-20-4), 7th, Pacific)
14 February 2022
830 PM MT
TV: Sportsnet One
Radio: 630 CHED
ONE FOR ONE
Coach Jay Woodcroft’s Edmonton Oilers debut was a successful one, as the Oilers defeated the New York Islanders by a 3-1 score on Friday. Mike Smith picked up his third win of the season, while the Oilers picked up goals from Cody Ceci, Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujärvi. The Oilers appeared to respond well to Jay Woodcroft, and I’m hoping to see another effort similar to what we saw Friday. Can the Oilers pick up two more points in a divisional matchup?
Let’s go to the tape.
THE OILERS ARE SAYING
“From a personal standpoint, it’s difficult, but it’s part of the business and we have all been through it a time or two. For [Woodcroft] to come in and [Dave Manson] to come in on short notice on a game day, they were able to get their message across and we were humming right from the drop of the puck. It was nice to see, and to win is the important thing, so that was great too.”
That’s Oilers goaltender Mike Smith after the Oilers victory over the Islanders on Friday.
Smith no doubt feels some loss with the quick exit of Dave Tippett, but Smith played very well in picking up the win. Not sure how we’ll see Woodcroft deploy the goaltenders going forward, but I doubt it’ll be Smith in both nights of a back-to-back after allowing four in the first game. Just a hunch.
THE SHARKS ARE SAYING
“He says he’s feeling pretty good. I think he’s going to be ahead of schedule at the end of the day.”
That’s Sharks head coach Bob Boughner on the recovery of defenceman Erik Karlsson.
Karlsson underwent forearm surgery late last month, and is expected to be out until at least March. The Sharks have platooned a left side defence that features Mario Ferraro and Jacob Middleton along with veteran Marc-Edouard Vlasic in his absence.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- I’ve got a positive first impression of Jay Woodcroft in his first game with the Oilers. One, the pace of play was noticably faster. The Oilers need to win and they need to win a lot over the remaining 36 games, and having a game where they scored first seemed to help shift the tide. Wanna know what else? Woodcroft had the keys to the garage for about ten minutes when he decided that he was going to go 11/7 in his first game. It’s particularly impressive that it took Woodcroft almost no time to decide that the best lineup was a lineup that only contained eleven of this club’s forwards. Both Niemeläinen and Broberg were among the 7 D as Duncan Keith will be off for at least the next couple of weeks.
- Maybe instead of 11/7, we see a young forward come up from Bakersfield. Just an idea.
- The Sharks haven’t played a game in two weeks. I’m hoping to see the Oilers push hard against a team that might need to kick some cobwebs off.
- Evander Kane plays against his old club for the first time since joining the Oilers. Kane has had four points in six games (2-2-4) since joining the Oilers in late January. The Oilers and Sharks play three more times this season after tonight.
- It’s good to see Jesse Puljujärvi score a power play goal like he did on Friday versus the Islanders. It’s almost as much fun to see him in front of the net covering everything in his reach when Cody Ceci’s pulling the trigger.
- I’d expect the goaltenders to split between tonight and tomorrow’s game in LA. I’m not the coach, but I’d reason Skinner to get a start tonight and Smith to go tomorrow. I’d expect to see James Reimer (13-9-3, .915 SV% / 2.81 GAA / 1 SO) go for the Sharks.
- How big are the two games coming up tonight and tomorrow? Big. Two wins would equal a four point shift for the Oilers against Pacific Division opponents. Score some goals out there tonight.