After last night’s effort in Calgary, the Oilers are back at Rogers Place to take on Brent Burns and the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks are currently 2nd in the Pacific division (37-23-9), while the Oilers are in 6th (30-35-4).
The Sharks have a +14 goal differential, and the Oilers have a -29 differential.
The Sharks have more regulation wins than the Oilers have wins.
On paper, it’s probably no contest.
Sharks win, 4-1
Keys to the Game
- Score first. Score often. Keep the puck with Connor or Leon because there’s not much else to hope for.
- Stay out of the box and try not to force the Sharks to take penalties either. The penalty kill is still real bad, and the power play isn’t much better.
- Force the Oilers to take penalties. It’s a strategy that has worked for most other teams in the league this season.
- Honestly, keep the Oilers to the perimeter. They can’t seem to get too many pucks through from the outside, so it’s easy to defend.
Players to Watch
- Oscar Klefbom is the player to watch tonight, because it was made public today that he’s going to hav ea procedure to “clean up” his shoulder, but not right away. So he’s not at 100%, but they’re letting him play even though they’ve decided to shut him down at a later point. That’s so Oilers it hurts.
- Dylan DeMelo has seven points (all assists) in his last six games and has slid quite nicely into his role on the Sharks powerplay. Not bad for a 3rd pairing guy making *squints* $650K.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Pontus Aberg
Milan Lucic – Leon Draisaitl – Mike Cammalleri
Anton Slepyshev – Ryan Strome – Jesse Puljujarvi
Drake Caggiula – Jujhar Khaira – Zack Kassian
Darnell Nurse – Adam Larsson
Oscar Klefbom – Ethan Bear
Andrej Sekera – Kris Russell
Evander Kane – Joe Pavelski – Joonas Donskoi
Tomas Hertl – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Kevin Labanc
Melker Karlsson – Eric Fehr – Marcus Sorensen
Joakim Ryan – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo
The Klefbom thing is weird. It’s been obvious for weeks (if not months) that he’s been playing hurt. He missed a couple games becuase he had a procedure of some kind. So finding out today that he’s going under the knife again, but not right away but before the end of the season but he’s playing tonight, is a little strange.
It’s possible that he’s a little hesitant to go in for season-ending surgery again, considering what happened the last time he had surgery, but the timing of this seems peculiar. Unless there’s no way he can make the lingering injury worse, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to start him for what might be one final game before shutting him down.