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Sharks 5, Oilers 2, post-game Oil Spills: Second-period meltdown

The Oilers looked to sweep their California road trip after getting swept on it a few weeks earlier. After starting strong in the first period, the Oilers lost it all in the second and couldn’t recover.

Highlights

Connor McDavid can do it all and even with Milan Lucic on his wing. What a guy. McDavid flies down the right side and wisely opts to shoot and puts the Oilers up 1-0. McDavid’s been on fire lately and watching him make a go at the Art Ross and another 100-point season is one of the few positives down the stretch.

Evander Kane cross-checks/boards Matt Benning and no call is made. The play continues while Benning is in the corner and the Sharks score. Oilers fans were furious, and while it should have been a call, it’s also on the Oilers to not give up on the play. The missed call shouldn’t mean you allow four goals in one period.

Ryan Strome alludes Brent Burns and gets the puck to new Oiler Pontus Aberg who feeds Jesse Puljujarvi for his 10th goal of the year. Aberg has a decent history of scoring in the minors and didn’t get much ice time in Nashville. It’s good to see Puljujarvi not playing on the fourth line.

By the numbers

The Oilers had a strong start, but that’s where it ended. The Sharks took control after the first period and had a bunch of quality scoring chances. Shot attempts were 57-49 for San Jose, with a lot of those coming in the second-period bombardment. The Sharks outshot the Oilers 25-11 after the first period. That’s not good.

Thoughts…

  • I don’t think the Oilers needed any response to Kane’s hit. It didn’t seem malicious and any retribution would have put the Oilers on the penalty kill, although that matters less in a lost season.
  • I get why Lucic is on the McDavid line and top power play unit. But it’s time for a change. I know they’re trying to get him going and there’s not much else to play for anymore, but playing him 19-20 minutes a night isn’t helping. Slot him down the lineup a few games, maybe alongside Strome or Khaira and have him play against lesser competition. He had a decent night against the Sharks but the play dies with him far too often.
  • Here are a few players on the ice with the goalie pulled: Milan Lucic, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Larsson. No disrespect to those guys, but two of them haven’t scored in nearly a third of the season, and the other is a defenceman with eight points on the season. I don’t understand not throwing Puljujarvi, who scored in the third period, or someone else on with the extra attacker to get a goal.
  • This is the time of year you get odd line combinations. Ty Rattie and Pontus Aberg will probably finish the season in Edmonton. Ethan Bear was called up and should get into a few games.

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  • Hemmercules

    I disagree 100% that there didn’t need to be retribution for that hit. Cross check to the numbers 4 feet from the boards. That ref should be fired for negligence standing there 5 feet away and watching the entire thing making no call. That was at least 2 minutes for Kane in my opinion. With the team out of the playoff hunt Kane should have been jumped immediately by any Oiler on the ice not named Matt Benning.

      • Hemmercules

        I think I’m just generally frustrated with the Oilers right now. Even little things sometimes seem bigger than they probably are.

        The window is open next year for a lot of guys to rebound. Klef, Larson, Sekera, Talbot, Lucic and Russel will all be key contributors again and need to rise up to where they can be again unless last season was the biggest fluke ever. If JP, Aberg and Yama can progress like superhumans that would be great as well. Im sure they add a couple new faces and probably ship 1 or 2 out but next season is a real mystery right now. Could see new management, new coaches, both, or non of the above.

  • Randaman

    After there was no retribution for that cheap shot, I turned off the game. I can’t be associated with this team if we are regressing back to the Taylor Hall turtle, tail between your legs days.
    NO MORE!!

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    No response required for the Kane hit? I’ll take the polar opposite stance and say Nurse should’ve immediately found him next faceoff and crushed his skull, regardless of intent. Last year the Oilers made Manning’s life a living hell for something that happened a calendar year before. Lucic, Kassian, Nurse and Draisaitl all pestered him nonstop until Maroon did the honours and dropped him.

    The team won’t develop the pack mentality needed in the playoffs with displays like last night.

  • Oiler Al

    Was nice to see …Deadstick McLellan…., getting excited about the infraction! I sure hope he and the other knobs behind the bench are not there in Sept.

  • RIP

    How pathetic it has become to see results like this and be OK with it. No physical pushback, no competition, no problem? This team is turning into a laughing stalk. The worst part is that a fix is not quick or easy. Lucic needs to be sat. He is an utter disappointment. How much longer can this go on before we ruin more young players?