Found March 19, 2013 on
The last time the San Jose Sharks saw the Edmonton Oilers, they were capping a high-scoring seven-game winning streak to begin the season.
Plenty has changed since.
With both teams lurking near the edge of the postseason picture, San Jose looks to avoid a sixth consecutive road loss Wednesday night versus surging Edmonton, which is seeking its first playoff appearance in seven seasons.
The Sharks began 2013 on a roll, beating the Oilers twice while outscoring opponents 27-12 in non-shootout goals.
Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture each had two goals and an assist, while captain Joe Thornton added three assists in a 6-3 win at Edmonton on Jan. 22. Couture scored again in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Oilers on Jan. 31 to conclude the winning streak.
San Jose (12-10-6), though, proceeded to go 0-4-3 over its next seven and has scored 36 non-shootout goals in 21 games since last defeating the Oilers.
It has lost six of seven, including 5-3 to Anaheim on Monday in its second stop on a five-game road trip. The Sharks scored more than twice away from home for the first time since the first meeting with Edmonton.
"Effort was better, results are the same," coach Todd McLellan said. "But (effort) doesn't get us anything. That doesn't put points in the bank, that doesn't help us climb the standings. That's a moral victory in the locker room. If we're counting on that, then so be it.
"Tomorrow when we wake up, it's still going to be a loss and we're going to be two points behind everybody else."
While San Jose expected to be amongst the Western Conference leaders, the Oilers (11-11-6) simply are happy to be involved in the tight playoff race. They improved to 3-0-1 over their last four following Sunday's 3-2 win over Nashville, rebounding after a disappointing 0-4-1 stretch as Jordan Eberle ended a 10-game goal drought and added an assist.
"When you get confidence it just builds and builds and builds," Eberle said. "It's fun right now. ... I haven't been in this situation before. It's exciting to be in the locker room when every game and every period means so much. It's great to be a part of that."
Calgary, though, is in 14th place and just two points behind the Oilers, making for an exciting finish to the lockout-shortened season. Edmonton hasn't been to the playoffs since a seven-game loss to Carolina in the 2006 Stanley Cup final.
"It's crazy how tight it is," said Devan Dubnyk, who made 29 saves Sunday and has a 1.64 goals-against average over his last three starts. "We'd like to be in the playoffs right now but it's a great situation compared to years before at this time of year and having every single game be meaningful.
"We need to continue to work to make sure that's the case right through to the end of the season and obviously to playoffs."
San Jose has expressed similar thoughts.
"We still have to clean up a lot of stuff," Marleau said. "We're going to try and focus on the positives. I think guys are seeing what it's going to take to win games and we need to do it more consistently."
Antti Niemi is 5-0-1 with a 2.27 GAA lifetime versus the Oilers, but he has a 3.71 GAA in his last six starts.
BEST OF MAXIM
The NHL trade deadline is two weeks away, and while it’s still not clear is Sharks GM Doug Wilson will work any deals, the rumors have already been circulating.
The latest comes courtesy of ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, who reports that the Rangers, on the lookout for a defenseman, are interested in reuniting Dan Boyle with former Lightning coach John Tortorella.
Dan Boyle got wind...
By now we all know the Sharks’ story this season. Started out the shortened campaign with a blistering 7-0 record. Stumbled to a 5-9-6 record since. As of gametime on Wednesday, they sit eighth in the West.
And with this once-proud franchise barely hanging on to a playoff spot for a second season in a row, Sharks GM Doug Wilson is reportedly in “full panic mode,” which includes...
The Edmonton Oilers didn't exactly open the month of March on the right foot. In fact, they went winless in their first five games. But, following a victory over Nashville on Sunday, Ralph Krueger's squad has now won three of four. What's more, they're just two points back of a playoff spot with 20 games to go. Could this be the year they finally get back into the...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Sources around the NHL tell ESPN.com that GM Doug Wilson has listened on several of his players. And he’s never been shy to act, one of the league’s more active traders over the past decade.
Boyle, 36, could possibly be on the move either before April 3 or this summer as part of that roster tweaking. He’s a name I’ve heard from other teams...
The Sharks try to keep the Oilers on the outside looking in, while holding on to the 8th and final playoff position in the west.
San Jose are looking for their first win on this five game road trip after dropping the first two against their in state rivals the LA Kings and the Anaheim Ducks. The Oilers currently sit two points behind the Sharks and are looking for their teamâs...
The Sharks woes continue on the road as the opportunistic Anaheim Ducks dealt San Jose another blow on their Southern California leg of this five game road trip.
The mantra for San Jose Monday night was to compete and bring more juice. And their effort was certainly better than what we saw Saturday in LA; however that was easy to do after the way they played against the Kings...
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal answers some email...
Q: If the Edmonton Oilers were to give up one of their young players, would it be realistic to think they could acquire Corey Perry from the Anaheim Ducks? He’s won a Stanley Cup, he’s a 50-goal scorer, he’s a tough, hard-nosed player. He would seem to be the player the Oilers need.
A: The only way the Oilers...
from Bruce McCurdy of the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
Here we go again. Every season National Hockey League referees start out calling everything in sight, and every season the crackdown peters out as the games gain importance. The 2013-13 season is no different.
This is bad news for clubs like the Edmonton Oilers who seemingly rely on special teams as a difference...
Coming off a big 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, Darryl Sutter made no changes to his lineup today, except in goal, where Jonathan Quick was back in net. After starting the Kings’ last five games, Quick sat on Saturday, as he struggled on the Kings’ two-game road trip last week, giving [...]