I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the San Jose Sharks played a fun game of hockey, pulling out a win over the Calgary Flames and I don’t totally dread tonight’s match up against the other half of the Battle of Alberta, the Edmonton Oilers.
Does this mean the Sharks are good by any measure? C’mon now. Of course not. But thanks to some truly excellent goaltending from Aaron Dell (who — don’t be fooled — is just as likely to put up a real stinker of a game) and wingers deciding they will have to lead the charge without a true top-six center, the Sharks staved off total embarrassment and you know what? I had fun.
Let’s hope they can keep it rolling tonight against a team that is more smoke and mirrors than the Sharks’ last win. Though the Oilers sit second in the Pacific with 62 points, they are also only two points ahead of the fifth-place Flames with one game in hand. Their 28-19-6 record would put them well out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
This is a team that can put up eight goals on Calgary one night and get shut out by the Arizona Coyotes the next — which is exactly how their last two outings have gone. You can’t ever really count out Connor McDavid, though, and with the Sharks’ lack of center depth, it could be feast or famine tonight in Alberta.
Expected Scratches: Antti Suomela, Tim Heed
Injured Reserve: Dalton Prout (upper body), Logan Couture (ankle), Joel Kellman (undisclosed), Tomas Hertl (knee)
OILERS (via NHL.com)
Josh Archibald — Connor McDavid — Sam Gagner
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Leon Draisaitl — Kailer Yamamoto
Jujhar Khaira — Riley Sheahan — Zack Kassian
Tyler Benson — Gaetan Haas — Alex Chiasson
Darnell Nurse — Ethan Bear
Oscar Klefbom — Adam Larsson
William Lagesson — Matt Benning
Expected Scratches: Patrick Russell, Caleb Jones
Injured Reserve: Joakim Nygard (hand), Kris Russell (concussion), James Neal (foot)
Where to Watch
Puck drop from Rogers Place is at 6:30 PT/9:30 ET. Tonight’s broadcast will be available on NBC Sports California in the Bay Area and on SNW in the opponents’ market. Streaming will be available on NHLtv. The radio call will be on 98.5 KFOX or available to stream through the Sharks + SAP Center app.