Everyone is looking at the stretch of games at the end of the season as being the most important. While it will likely decide where the sharks end up going into the playoffs, I believe that the most important game of the season now is tomorrow night versus the Oilers. They are the second worst team in the NHL and while we got smacked by the worst team, this is a chance to get that chemistry and confidence back in the lineup. As the sharks continue to get healthy, players are forced to get their chemistry going for the playoffs. This is the time where Mclellan will decide his final lines and should start to stick to them no matter what.
Now back to the Oilers. They are a young team with nothing but pride to play for. This is not to put them down in any way. They are a very good young club and in 2 to 3 years, will be very hard to contend with, but now is not 2 to 3 years later. If the sharks can finally clamp down defensively and start producing offensively, the tension will be eased a little. This is huge for the sharks since right after, they play the stars and the coyotes. If the sharks lose against the Oilers, they will be very timid and expect a slow start against the stars. Right now, the Sharks need a big win to get them back on track, and it has to be the Oilers who provide that spark. After this game, the mental state for the Sharks will be very hard to fix as most of the remaining games are against the Pacific Division. While it seems as though no breaks have gone the sharks way for a while now, getting the Oilers at home right before starting maybe the toughest stretch of games that the sharks will play is great. It is the outcome and the way that they get the outcome that will matter the most. So lets hope the Sharks get it back on track, because if they don't, it is going to be a very tough first round.