Posted March 11, 2012 on
AP on Fox
San Jose Sharks
It has been a disastrous last month for the San Jose Sharks, who are tumbling down the Western Conference standings.
The lowly Edmonton Oilers have already contributed to their woes.
The Sharks, the NHL's only winless team in March, again try to break out of their funk and avenge last week's home loss to the Oilers on Monday night at Rexall Place.
San Jose (33-25-9) has lost five straight since a 1-0 win over Philadelphia on Feb. 28 and is 2-8-3 since Feb. 16, when it owned a four-point lead atop the Pacific Division. The Sharks are now six points behind division-leading Dallas and one back of eighth place in the West.
A sputtering offense has been the biggest reason for the struggles. San Jose has scored three goals or fewer in 12 straight games and no more than two in nine of them. It has also failed to score on all 13 power-play chances during its March skid.
The team's leading scorers, Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau (27 goals apiece), have been slumping. Couture has gone a season-worst seven games without a score, while Marleau has one goal in his last seven.
The Sharks failed to light the lamp for the second time in five games Saturday at Phoenix, losing 3-0 to drop to 1-6-2 on the road since Feb. 16. Antti Niemi fell to 0-3-2 this month despite a 2.34 goals-against average that's slightly lower than it was through February.
"We didn't score and did not give our pitcher any runs," coach Todd McLellan said. "Not getting any goals is a slide, and not winning is a slide.''
The Sharks once again had plenty of opportunities, outshooting the Coyotes 42-29. They fired 48 shots on goal in Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to Dallas and lead the league in shots with 34.5 per game.
"It seems to be a similar pattern here,'' Dan Boyle said. "We had several grade-A chances, but didn't put the puck away.''
In Tuesday's home game against Edmonton (26-35-7), it was the Oilers who took advantage of an early scoring opportunity off a misplay by Boyle. The defenseman couldn't control Ryan Whitney's dump-in in front of the net and Jordan Eberle batted the puck out of the air for a goal 10 seconds into the game - the fastest score ever allowed by San Jose.
Edmonton went on to win 3-2 in a shootout, its only victory in the last six games.
Ryan Smyth also scored in regulation and Sam Gagner recorded the only goal in the shootout to help the Oilers earn their second straight shootout victory over San Jose. The Sharks, who have 16 more points than Edmonton, were 10-2-0 in the previous 12 meetings.
Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves while allowing goals to Jim Vandermeer and Ryane Clowe, but he has given way to Nikolai Khabibulin in Edmonton's two games since.
Khabibulin stopped 26 of 30 shots in a loss to Montreal on Thursday and 30 in Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss at Colorado. He is 0-3-2 with a 3.33 GAA in six games since Feb. 15 and has a 3.72 GAA in losing his last three starts to the Sharks.
Dubnyk has posted a 1.58 GAA in winning his last three games versus San Jose.
BEST OF MAXIM
from David Pollak of the Mercury News, The Sharks are in unfamiliar territory. Their 75 points are fewer than any Sharks team has accumulated in 67 games since Wilson took over in 2003. A year ago at this point the team had 84 points; two years ago, 96.
The Sharks have had to deal with injuries to top players such as Logan Couture, Ryane Clowe and Douglas Murray during the stretch...
The Edmonton Oilers season hasn’t been a good one. They are second last in the league. This is an improvement over the previous two seasons where they finished in dead last, but it’s not a good year. There is one sign that things will be okay in the near future. Edmonton has the top power play in the league with a 22.0% success rate.
Power play is a place where players...
The San Jose Sharks have broken their five game losing streak with a win over the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 backed by two power play goals.
It was a huge two points for the Sharks who are fighting for their playoff lives with Colorado, LA, Phoenix, and Calgary who they face-off against tomorrow night.
This was a game where the Sharks won more battles than they lost and had good energy led by...
When it comes to the most consistent teams in the NHL over the past number of years, one will always hear about the likes of the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks and so on and so forth.However, one club that does not get the recognition that it deserves is the San Jose Sharks. While the Sharks are now six points behind...
Oilers lose 3-2 to Sharks
The Edmonton Oilers and their fans remember when Jerome Iginla commented that “It’s always fun to play spoilers to the Oilers” as the Calgary Flames knocked the Oilers out of the playoff running. Well Mr. Iginla, revenge is a dish best served cold. Ice cold. It’s true, there are still several more games, but this game has an impact on the standings...
Tom Renney, hit the bricks. Kevin Lowe, you're fired. Steve Tambellini, you are the weakest link. Everyone get out. It's time to say hello to Team Cloutier. This is my team now, and it's about time someone stepped in to fix things.
A few rules before I get into this Sunday-inspired daydream:
1. I'm assuming the Oilers will finish 29th in the NHL and the draft...
Oilers lose 3-2 to Avalanche in SO
Oh to be an NHL on ice official. You’re never right by everyone’s eye. You have to make split second decisions in the game setting that directly affect the outcome of the game, and you cannot let personal feelings about a player influence your calls or it will mean you job. How easy it is a fan, a broadcaster, or a player to say that it was...
The San Jose Sharks continue to lose ground in the hunt for a playoff spot after they lost for the second time in a row against a divisional rival that is ahead of them in the standings.
The Phoenix Coyotes handled the Sharks in a 3-0 win in the desert with opportunistic scoring and brilliant goaltending from Mike Smith. Smith stopped 42 shots in the win and many were difficult saves. The S...
Red Deer Rebels fall 5-3 to Calgary Hitmen
After watching the Edmonton Oilers suffer through injury riddle season after injury riddled season, it’s easy to see similarities and have sympathy for the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. The team has been playing with their depleted roster for months now. Some games they were only short a couple of players, but other games they were down...
Good news everyone, the Avs are back into the playoffs.
The Avs slipped past the Edmonton Oilers for an ugly 3-2 shootout win to provisionally move past the San Jose Sharks and into the playoffs.
Granted the Sharks have to lose to the Coyotes in regulation but for now the Avs are in the playoffs.
Milan Hejduk and Peter Mueller scored in the shootout and Semyon Varlamov continued...
Tonight won't be remembered as another Oilers loss to the San Jose Sharks. Nope.
Instead, tonight will be remembered as the point where the pot boiled over. The Coach, the players...THE TEAM...has finally figured out there is something seriously wrong.
A few quotes from the post-game, via Twitter:
Tom Renney: "Doesn't take many for wrong approach, the wrong...
Ten points separated the Calgary Flames from the San Jose Sharks at the beginning of February, though Calgary's recent surge has coincided with San Jose's swoon to close the gap.
The Flames host the Sharks in a crucial Western Conference matchup Tuesday night with both teams looking to get back into the playoff picture.
Calgary (32-25-12) has won three straight games including...
Yes!YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! 9th never tasted so good!Ok, ok, I know, it's really nothing to be excited over. The Sharks are still out of the top 8 spots in the West and they still have a helluva hill to climb if they want to make it back in, and STAY back in playoff contention, but they HAD to get this win. There's not time to fart around anymore. You win, or the season ends, and...