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Photo Credit: © Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Sharks 7, Oilers 2 post-game Oil Spills: Dominated from start to finish

The Oilers got embarrassed on Saturday in Los Angeles so they came out hard on Sunday and looked better in Anaheim. Then, last night, they got complacent again and got destroyed by the Sharks in San Jose. As Ken Hitchcock said, this team only shows up after they’ve been embarrassed. This is becoming hilariously predictable.

What happened?

The Sharks jumped out to a quick start in the first period. They grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Evander Kane was credited with a lucky goal that redirected off of Caleb Jones in front of the net. A few minutes later, Marcus Sorensen scored a goal on a penalty shot. Alex Chiasson scored a power play goal to make it 2-1, but Joonas Donskoi would make it 3-1 before the end of the period.

I post this Donskoi goal specifically because it’s so emblematic of goals we’ve seen other teams breeze themselves to against the Oilers. One defenceman gets walked, another defenceman is in a random position (Russell here is doing the starfish thing), and the forwards are all just watching. Donskoi is able to just walk through traffic and score an easy goal.

The highlight of the game for the Oilers was Milan Lucic finally breaking his goal drought. It’s been since the first period of the first game but Lucic is off the schneid. This is great work by Jesse Puljujarvi on the forecheck to cause a turnover and then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sets Lucic up with a gorgeous pass for the tap-in.

Neither Cam Talbot or Mikko Koskinen had good nights last night. Given the way the Oilers played, either goalie would have needed to be perfect in order to snag a win. Talbot allowed four goals on 17 shots and Koskinen allowed three goals on 19 shots in relief. To be fair to them, though, a lot of those goals came off of weird redirections and bounces. Again, neither were great, but I have a hard time pinning them on the loss last night.

Filed under the NHL ref grievances, Petrovic the latest victim of them. He left the game after taking this hit right between the 1 and 5 of his jersey.

By the numbers…

The most remarkable thing about last night’s game was how San Jose continued to put their foot on the gas and grind the Oilers into paste despite their lead. San Jose comes into the second period with a 3-1 lead and they hold the Oilers to five shot attempts at even strength. In the third, up 5-2, San Jose still managed to double the Oilers in shot attempts. Usually, in a game like this, you’ll see the winning team go into a shell that allows the losing team to even up the shot clock. There was absolutely zero pushback from Edmonton last night. San Jose, as you can see on the shot chart, came out hot and never gave up. The Oilers never stood a chance.

Thoughts…

  • Let’s start off with something positive because this whole thing has been incredibly depressing to write thus far. The Nugent-Hopkins line was quite solid last night. Milan Lucic, of course, broke his drought, which is great for him. Jesse Puljujarvi was engaged and in the mix, forechecking hard, going to the net, and moving his feet. And, most impressively, is Nugent-Hopkins, who managed lead an effective line (that went +1 in a game in which the team got outscored 7-2) with those two wingers. Seldom do we see players on this team accomplish much without Connor McDavid, but RNH has been the guy consistently doing that all season. Forget trading RNH for an upgrade at another position. This guy is part of the solution. Also, if you want to see a player who’s been to hell and back with this club sounds really, really agitated with the effort put forth last night, watch this. It’s refreshing to see something other than a shrug.
  • I don’t really want to beat a dead horse at this point. This is the second horrendous effort in three games on a pivotal road trip through the Pacific Division. Ken Hitchcock said after the L.A. game that there was a frustrating trend with this team in which they only play hard when their egos have been bruised and that’s what we saw last night. A win on Sunday in Anaheim allowed them to come out and be complacent last night in San Jose. And no, this isn’t a scheduled loss as some might suggest. The Sharks are a good team, but they were on the second leg of a back-to-back with their backup goalie in net. If the Oilers have virtually any playoff aspirations, they can’t be pissing games like these away and shrugging it off because the other team is ahead of them in the standings. If this is year four of a supposed five-year plan, the plan isn’t working.