As old as the company line might be getting, the Sharks advanced numbers show that they are a much better team than the record indicates.
Unfortunately, again, those numbers meant little in the standings. After another game where they extremely outchanced their opposition, the Sharks still lose ground in the playoff hunt, earning only a point with Los Angeles, Colorado and Dallas all winning games in regulation.
There's being unlucky, and then there's getting scored on ten seconds into a game after a few fluky bounces. It's amazing how many things have gone wrong for San Jose when they seem to be doing so much right, especially tonight. For a team that was already coming in with a limp, Jordan Eberle's goal just seconds into the first period cut the Sharks off at the knee. San Jose gave it everything they had for the rest of the night, but again, fell short of the expected outcome.
Eberle's goal would not be a backbreaker, as Jim Vandermeer would blast a shot from the point to beat Devan Dubnyk far side. From that point on, it was all San Jose, who even took a lead off a nice behind the net feed from Logan Couture to Ryane Clowe. That lead was short lived.
Less than a minute later, Jeff Petry shot a puck off Ryan Smith's arm, which changed direction just enough on Niemi to prevent him from making the save. The goal, while deflating, didn't cause San Jose to turtle, as they would put up twelve shots in the third period. In thirty shots on the night, however, the Sharks were only able to beat Dubnyk twice, and Sam Gagner would score on Antti Niemi in the shootout to give the Oilers the win. Again, a shame that a game where the Sharks dominated everywhere but the score is decided in a skills competition.
It's often said that a team is about to come out of a losing streak when it's losing games it should have won. If you can take any positives from another loss, it's that. San Jose looked absolutely dominant, pumping 30 shots on net to go along with 23 shots that were blocked by Edmonton players. They won 60% of the faceoffs. They just couldn't convert that success to results on the scoreboard, which has been the unfortunate case many times this season.
The Sharks head to Dallas for a matchup Thursday that is absolutely crucial. We'll have more on this tomorrow, but the Sharks are going to live (or die) based on their performance against their Pacific Division opponents. It's crunch time.