Oilers at Sharks Preview – A classic Lottery vs Playoffs matchup

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Game: Edmonton Oilers (76 gp, 29-40-7, 65 pts, DFL in the Pacific Division, 4-6-0 in their last 10) at San Jose Sharks (73 gp, 41-26-6, 88 pts, 3rd in the Pacific Division, 6-4-0 in their last 10)
Location: SAP Centre, San Jose, CA
Time: 8:30 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet Oilers – Radio: 630 CHED

Edmonton Oilers Preview:

Hey, another 40 regulation loss season!

Coming off a hard-fought but seemingly inevitable loss to Bettman’s Pet Puppies, there are three interesting threads to tonight’s game:

  • How many scraps will Darnell Nurse be in?  The Sharks have brought up their minor league enforcer Mike Healey for the game, but with Nurse joined by Kassian, Maroon, Cracknell, and Reinhart, the Oilers have no shortage of thorned beef.
  • Will the Oilers finish in 30th?  Or can they scrape themselves out?
  • The Sharks can clinch a playoff spot with a win.

Nurse had this to say about the incident with Polak:

“It was a heat of the moment thing,” said Nurse. “Obviously, you don’t want to ever see guys hurt or anything like that. It was probably crossing the line, but it’s over now. You guys are worried about what’s going to happen tonight. We’ll see. Both teams are looking for wins, so I’m looking forward to going out there and playing.”

A good starting point for the Oilers would be to score a goal, which they were unable to do the last time they faced James Reimer, who gets the start.

The injury bug remains the story for the Oilers, as the Golden Nuge is once again on the shelf, this time with a mild concussion.

Jordan Oesterle and Griffin Reinhart had a terrific game against Arizona; the Sharks represent a major step up in competition, so it will be interesting to see if the two can achieve similarly good results tonight.

Nurse and Clenden were torched against the Yotes – don’t think we can reasonably expect better against the Sharks … but then again, Nurse will probably be on high alert the whole game, so what effect might that have on his overall game?

Cal-Bot 3000 (19-25-4, 2.51 GAA, 0.919 sv%, 3 SO) starts for the Oilers.  Expect a rough and tough game tonight, and Cam will need to be at the top of his game for the Oilers to have a chance.


Nurse quote from oilers.nhl.com.

Oilers Projected Lineup (from LeftWingLock):

Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Jordan Eberle

Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl -Zack Kassian

Lauri Korpikoski – Mark Letestu – Nail Yakupov

Matt Hendricks – Adam Cracknell – Iiro Pakarinen

Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne

Griffin Reinhart – Jordan Oesterle

Darnell Nurse – Adam Clendening

Sharks Projected Lineup (from FearTheFin):

Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski

Melker Karlsson – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi

Patrick Marleau – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward

Dainius Zubrus – Nick Spaling – Tommy Wingels

Paul Martin – Brent Burns

Dylan DeMelo – Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon – Roman Polak

Fancy Stats Bonus Material:

OilersNerdAlert player dashboards for the Oilers and Sharks (click to embiggen – click here for an explanation of how to read this chart).  Damn these Sharks are dangerous, and Jumbo Joe is ridiculously good – period – never mind “for his age”.

Oilers Mar 23, 2016 player dashboard

Sharks Mar 23, 2016 player dashboard

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