San Jose Sharks’ fans may be upset that their team has yet to bring home a Stanley Cup despite consistent appearances in the playoffs, but the grief that Sharks fans have pales in comparison to what fans of the Edmonton Oilers must be going through at the moment.
The Oilers, who have been perennial bottom-dwellers in the NHL for several years, may have hit rock bottom on Saturday night in an 8-1 loss to the archrival Flames on their home ice. That was embarrassing in and of itself, but there was more to it. After promising young stud Taylor Hall threw down his water bottle in frustration, coach Dallas Eakin decided to bench Hall because the water wound up splashing all over Eakin’s suit. Then, a couple of fans decided to throw their Oilers jerseys onto the ice, clearly fed up with the dysfunction surrounding the Oilers.
Oh, and did I mention that they lost 8-1? To their biggest rivals?
As for the Sharks, they must be licking their chops at this point to rub some more salt in the wound, but they shouldn’t get too complacent. This is an Oilers team that defeated Sharks 3-0 back in January, and they possess a plethora of young talents in Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Additionally, with the Sharks playing the back-end of back-to-back road games and glossing over a 10th consecutive appearance, no victory is guaranteed.
Tale of the Tape
- Goals for per game: 2.93 (7th)
- Goals against per game: 2.32 (4th)
- Shots per game: 34.9 (1st)
- Shots against per game: 27.7 (5th)
- Penalty minutes: 658 (5th)
- Power play percentage: 16.0% (22nd)
- Penalty kill percentage: 84.7% (5th)
- Goals for per game: 2.43 (T-23rd)
- Goals against per game: 3.24 (28th)
- Shots per game: 27.1 (26th)
- Shots against per game: 32.4 (25th)
- Penalty minutes: 829 (21st)
- Power play percentage: 16.7% (20th)
- Penalty kill percentage: 82.6% (13th)
Sharks: Joe Thornton (11 G, 58 A), Joe Pavelski (34 G, 33 A), Patrick Marleau (30 G, 32 A)
Oilers: Taylor Hall (24 G, 31 A), Jordan Eberle (23 G, 31 A), David Perron (25 G, 25 A)
Sharks: Tomas Hertl (knee) is on IR. Raffi Torres (soreness) did not play on Monday. Logan Couture left Monday’s game after blocking a shot, and may not play.
Oilers: Nail Yakupov (ankle) did not play on Saturday.
SAN JOSE (46-18-9)
Opening Face-off: 6:30 PM PSTR
Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Rexall Place
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