Posted January 31, 2013 on
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San Jose Sharks
While the San Jose Sharks are enjoying their best start in franchise history, coach Todd McLellan feels they still need to tighten some things up.
The Edmonton Oilers can't be happy to hear that.
San Jose, the NHL's last remaining unbeaten, tries to pick up another two points and continue its recent dominance of the visiting Oilers as these clubs meet for the second time Thursday night.
After outscoring their first five opponents 23-8, the Sharks (6-0-0) found themselves in a bit of trouble Tuesday before pulling out a 3-2 shootout win over Anaheim. Logan Couture notched his fourth goal 17:15 into the third period and Michal Handzus recorded the shootout's lone tally to keep San Jose undefeated.
"We've got to be excited that we put points in the bank and were able to come back, but we have to tell it like it was, they were the better team," said McLellan, whose club was outshot 30-18. "It was a frustrating night but at least we found a way to win.
"Overall we'll take the lack of execution as a team and we'll move on and try to make it better. ... We'd like to refresh it a little bit and go over some things in practice so that when we play against the fast Edmonton team we're ready to go."
The Sharks had their way with the Oilers (4-2-0) last Tuesday, scoring all of their goals in the first period of a 6-3 road win. Couture and Patrick Marleau each scored twice and added an assist while Joe Thornton set up three goals as San Jose improved to 12-2-2 against Edmonton dating to 2009.
Couture, Marleau and Thornton have all been instrumental to the Sharks' success in this series. Couture has six goals and three assists in his last eight games against the Oilers, Marleau has 12 goals and 20 points in his last 15 and Thornton has five goals and 20 assists since 2009.
Since losing to San Jose last week, the Oilers have won three of four, allowing one goal in each victory. After blowing a shutout with 19 seconds left in regulation Wednesday, Edmonton escaped with a 2-1 overtime win at Phoenix thanks to rookie sensation Nail Yakupov's goal 3:52 into OT.
Edmonton hasn't won five of its first seven games since opening 6-2-0 in 2006-07.
"Dealing with that late goal and to be able to get the two points showed a lot of character," coach Ralph Krueger said. "It was another real big growth opportunity for our team."
Selected No. 1 overall in the 2012 draft, Yakupov, who leads the team with four goals, is quickly starting to emerge as a legitimate threat for the Oilers.
"It's another big goal for Nail and he seems to have a knack for scoring those," Sam Gagner said of the 19-year-old.
Devan Dubnyk, who's started all six games, made 27 saves Wednesday. Dubnyk is 4-4-0 with a 3.08 goals-against average lifetime against San Jose, allowing two goals or fewer in the wins and a combined 17 in the losses.
While the Sharks are averaging 4.2 goals to rank second in the NHL, they're also second in goals allowed with 10. San Jose has killed off all 13 of its opponents' power-play chances over its last three games.
"We try to play good defense, a lot of our offense comes from playing good defense and getting out quick," said Thornton, whose 14 points are tied with Marleau for the league lead.
Antti Niemi has been a huge part of that success, going 5-0-0 with a 1.97 GAA. The Finland native is 4-0-1 with a 2.36 GAA lifetime against Edmonton.
It's unknown if star defenseman Dan Boyle will be available after sitting out Tuesday with the flu. He has two goals and four assists.
BEST OF MAXIM
STRIKE THE POSE
Tweet Eight days after 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick trademarked his “Kaepernicking” celebration, he’s already being mimicked in the sports world. On Thursday in the San Jose Sharks’ game against the Edmonton Oilers, Logan Couture scored a goal in the middle of the second period. To celebrate, he decided to borrow from the man taking snaps [...]
The reports about Jason Demers and Brent Burns should be considered positive developments. The reports I mean are things like:
Jason Demers practiced with the team and took line rushes with Matt Irwin this morning while Nick Petrecki and Brent Burns skated together. Still, McLellan stopped short of declaring Demers good-to-go. -Working the Corners
Even if Demers isn't expected...
San Jose Sharks majority owner Hasso Plattner has purchased the shares formerly held by investors Kevin Compton and Stratton Sclavos and will now serve as the team's representative on the NHL's Board of Governors.
The Sharks announced the change on Wednesday.
Plattner says there will be no changes to the day-to-day operations with general manager Doug Wilson overseeing...
The Sharks blue line is getting a boost Thursday vs. the Oilers, but it won’t be the double boost they had hoped for.
Dan Boyle will return to the team’s defensive lineup, but Jason Demers will still be held out after returning to the team’s active roster on Wednesday.
Boyle missed Tuesday’s shootout win over the Ducks with some type of undetermined illness. From David Pollak...
Previously on Outside the Boxscore, we featured a post talking about the art of "Kaepernicking" as made famous by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick.
During last night's San Jose Sharks/Edmonton Oilers affair, Sharks center Logan Couture scored a goal in the second period and decided to "Kaepernick" with his goal celebration:
Ryan Leong filling in for Cam who is on assignment.
The Sharks continue to find ways to win and remain perfect on the season at 6-0-0.
It was another milestone night for team teal as Justin Braun played in his 100th career NHL game. For once, Patrick Marleau did not score a goal but his teammates picked him up and the Sharks beat the Ducks 3-2 in a shootout.
The Sharks put their undefeated 6-0 record up against the young but promising Oilers from Edmonton. People around the league are waiting for the Sharks to falter however they have been winning with experience from the veterans, solid and sound goaltending, and contributions from everyone.
San Jose schooled the Oilers 6-3 on the road in game two of the season. They led 6-1 after...
Michal Handzus scored the lone goal in a shootout on the first attempt to give the unbeaten San Jose Sharks a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.
Logan Couture scored for San Jose with less than 3 minutes left in the third period to tie the game at 2. He ripped a shot that appeared to deflect off the skates of Bryan Allen and trickled past Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller...
Jason Demers is ready to play. He took slapshots Tuesday and Wednesday, and spent some extra time working with both Larry Robinson and Jim Johnson after Tuesday's practice. Wednesday, he was practicing with a power play unit. That would argue for Demers being in sooner than later. My guess is that sooner would be even sooner if Boyle is still out Thursday. Today, Frazer...
SAN JOSE -- Michal Handzus and Dan Boyle scored in the shootout to keep the Sharks perfect with a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. Edmonton tied the game 2-2 51 seconds into the third period when Taylor Hall capped a 2-on-1 break with his second goal of the season. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle was caught behind the play leaving only rookie Matt Irwin to defend...
SAN JOSE -- Edmonton's Devan Dubnyk became the first goalie to stop Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, but his Oilers teammates couldn't end the Sharks' other streak. San Jose improved to a perfect 7-0 as Michal Handzus and Dan Boyle scored in the shootout for a 3-2 win over the young Oilers on Thursday night. "It was a pretty good road game," Dubnyk said...
SAN JOSE -- Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau called it the best game of the season for his Ducks, yet it still wasn't enough to beat the red-hot San Jose Sharks. The 6-0 hosts scored late in regulation and converted the only goal of a shootout to post a comeback 3-2 win over their Pacific Division rivals on Tuesday night. "It was our best game of the season without a doubt...