As the San Jose Sharks look to rebound from a disappointing effort last night in which they tasted the bitter pill of defeat, the team will return home to the SAP Center to take on the Edmonton Oilers. In the last game that these two teams played, the clubs had one of the games of the season in terms of the storylines. Elliotte Friedman described fans who wanted to watch it just for the chaos on 32 Thoughts as the fans that watch motor racing just for the crashes, giving you a good indication of how bad it was.
However, these are not the same two teams that met back in November. That was a game which the San Jose Sharks got the 3-2 win over the Oilers, and it was the game that effectively sealed the end of Jay Woodcroft's time as the bench boss in Alberta. He was fired in favor of Kris Knoblauch. That change as seen a huge change in the direction of the Oilers, as they are now at NHL .500 and looking to cement themselves in the playoff places.
Since that game, the Sharks heated up too. That win over the Oilers was San Jose's second win of the season, coming into it off the back of their first win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Now, they will be looking for win number 10 against the divisional rival, as they try to end a six game slide. It would be quite the game to see that happen, but on the second half of a back-to-back with travel, the odds do not seem favorable for the Sharks.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Connor McDavid - Zach Hyman
Ryan McLeod - Leon Draisaitl - Warren Foegele
Evander Kane - Derek Ryan - Mattias Janmark
Adam Erne - James Hamblin - Connor Brown
Darnell Nurse - Cody Ceci
Mattias Ekholm - Evan Bouchard
Brett Kulak - Vincent Desharnais
San Jose Sharks
William Eklund - Tomas Hertl - Filip Zadina
Anthony Duclair - Mikael Granlund - Fabian Zetterlund
Mike Hoffman - Luke Kunin - Alexander Barabanov
Kevin Labanc - Jack Studnicka - Justin Bailey
Mario Ferraro - Kyle Burroughs
Nikita Okhotyuk - Jan Rutta
Henry Thrun - Calen Addison
This will be a 7 p.m. puck drop from the Shark tank. San Jose has been better at home than they have been on the road. Perhaps a return to home ice after the Christmas break will bring the end of this slide the team has been on. If we could see that result tonight against the Edmonton Oilers, it would be a good sign that this is a team trying to progress to be competitive.