Oilers 3, Sharks 0: Who the hell is Stuart Skinner?
Facing a rookie goaltender after a week off? Who could’ve guessed that meant trap game.
I guess I’m not the only one having trouble coming back from the break, because the San Jose Sharks came out looking like it was the preseason against the Edmonton Oilers tonight.
The first five minutes of the game saw a Sharks power play, a dominate shift from the top line and no shots from the Oilers. Two goals from wonky deflections later, however, and suddenly it was a very different game before the first period even ended. Edmonton laid the shots on Reimer, fueled by the lead and San Jose’s defense slowly wearing down.
Too much of the game was spent on the penalty kill, or on an ineffective power power that exhausted the top players with no payoff.
Though the Oilers’ offense eventually got it together, adding a third goal from Connor McDavid and ending the game doubling up on San Jose’s shots total, 41-20, it wouldn’t be a trap game for the Sharks without a standout performance by an unknown goaltender. Rookie Stuart Skinner, who has been exceptional for the Bakersfield Condors in the AHL this season, made crucial saves to earn his first ever shut out.
The Sharks looked disjointed and hungover. It was just sloppy hockey, through and through. Reimer mostly kept Connor McDavid at bay, but he shouldn’t have seen the volume of shots he did in the first place.
Embrace the tank, I suppose.
Comment of the Game
This game may have sucked, but this exchange made me snort:
I wonder if he ever got around to reading that Gambling For Dummies book he was allegedly gifted.
Welcome back, y’all. Hope everyone had a lovely midseason break.
Personally, I’d love to never have to watch Evander Kane play hockey again, but here we are. I might have to actually watch the Sharks’ broadcast if Sportsnet can’t stop doing free PR for Kane.
20:00: Edmonton going with 7 defenders and 11 forwards.
19:02: Jesse Puljujarvi called for interference on Mario Ferraro, and Sharks get a power play opportunity early. Kind of a weak call, but I don’t have high expectations, anyway.
18:14: The top unit has actually spent most of their time so far in the offensive zone, that’s not bad, considering their track record.
17:02: Penalty expires.
16:19: Jonathan Dahlen quickly made a little chance for himself, but Stuart Skinner is quick to react and makes the save.
15:25: Timo Meier is terrorizing the Oilers. What a beast.
14:59: Five minutes down and the Oilers have yet to get a shot on goal. You love to see it.
14:11: Honestly, half of these Oilers players, I either don’t know who they are or I have no idea when Edmonton acquired them, but I am surprised Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is still around. I thought for sure he was traded like three years ago.
13:55: Evan Bouchard with a shot from the blueline that probably would’ve gone wide, but was deflected off either Warren Foegele or Radim Simek. Wonky goal, but still a goal. 1-0, Oilers.
12:50: Well, fuck. Darnell Nurse with a point shot off the face-off and Derek Ryan gets a deflection up front. It’s going to be one of those kind of games, huh? 2-0, Oilers.
12:21: Kane touches the puck and gets booed, as is right and good.
10:33: Apparently the last goal is determined to go to Nurse, as it deflected off Nicolas Meloche, not Ryan. Cool cool cool, no doubt, no doubt.
9:41: The soundtrack at SAP Center has been so good tonight.
9:18: Kane got booed and then slammed into by Lane Pederson.
7:20: It’s been a lot of back and forth for the last couple of shifts.
6:36: Frustrating offensive zone shift from the second line.
6:03: The Sharks’ fourth line came out in relief and while they continued to maintain the offensive zone, they struggled to do much more than skate the puck.
5:35: Nurse catches Meier in the face with his stick blade and that’s a power play for the Sharks.
3:35: Penalty is over. Both units controlled the puck and maintained the zone, but the Oilers clogged the slot, blocking attempts and would-be attempts.
2:25: Jonah Gadjovich and Dahlen with an opportunity.
2:14: And just as quickly, the Oilers come back the other way, but Reimer holds down the crease.
2:11: Oh my god. Reimer has an issue with his skate blade and they can’t get a new one in, so Zach Sawchenko is coming into the net for the remainder of the period so Reimer can have it fixed.
Shots are 11-10, slightly favoring Edmonton, who got some energy after a couple of goofy goals.
END FIRST: Sharks 0, Oilers 2
19:45: Meloche laid out Kane, good for him.
19:00: Oilers coming out with some jump so far.
Reimer is back out — not that we had any doubt, but his skate blade has indeed been fixed.
17:51: Oilers get a delayed penalty and Skinner goes off for an extra skater.
17:41: Sharks touch the puck and Jacob Middleton finally goes off for tripping. Oilers to the power play.
16:34: Was just thinking the Sharks were doing a great job of keeping the Oilers in the neutral zone and then Tomas Hertl takes a penalty.
What a trash call. Hertl was boxing out McDavid, who then linked his arm around Hertl’s and wouldn’t let go. The Sharks thought Hertl drew a holding penalty, but instead it is called on him. Ridiculous. Oilers will get a little bit of 5-on-3, then an extended power play.
14:33: Finally back at even-strength. I’m still not over that bogus ass call.
13:22: Oh shit, Meloche just took a puck to the face. He went down hard, but came back up pretty quickly and seems to be laughing about it on the bench, so hopefully that means it hit his helmet. I think it deflected off of another player, which would make the impact a little better.
Replay shows it deflected off of Kane’s shoulder and hit the underside of Meloche’s visor. Lucky, lucky boy.
11:38: Foegele goes off for slashing and San Jose is on the power play.
10:46: Look the Oilers got a shorthanded 3-on-1 and that alone is both expected and hilarious, but the one was brent Burns and Edmonton flubbed it so badly, I’m dying.
Sharks get a 3-on-1 going back, but nothing comes of it.
9:37: Power play is over.
8:38: Nice little play by Nick Bonino to break out of the defensive zone.
7:55: Reimer makes a stop on Puljujarvi.
7:31: Noah Gregor with his obligatory drive to the net that goes nowhere.
6:14: Meier makes a pretty boneheaded play, though I’m not sure how much of it was intentional. First he sweeps Foegele’s feet out from under him, maybe accidentally, and then goes on to slash another player’s stick when he loses the puck, on purpose. Four-minute power play for Edmonton coming up. Yikes.
4:17: Major break for San Jose. Zach Hyman takes a penalty for interference on Andrew Cogliano, as McDavid was attempting to enter the Sharks’ zone. Most of the first penalty had been killed, so the Sharks won’t get a man-advantage really, but it will take things to 4-on-4 for what would’ve been a 5-on-4 situation for another 2 minutes.
3:31: Draisaitl gets away with a high stick, cool cool cool.
2:12: Back to even-strength.
0:30.1: The Oilers have put up 13 shots this period. The Sharks have 2.
0:05.1: Rudolfs Balcers just went down blocking a slapshot. He spun to take it to the back/shoulder and as Hedican points out, there’s not a lot of padding there. That’s going to bruise up good, but he’s able to get up and get back to the bench.
END SECOND: Sharks 0, Oilers 2
19:27: Meier with a shot on net early. If the Oilers can get two fluky goals on basically no shots, the Sharks can tie this up, right?
18:31: Reimer with a save on McDavid.
18:22: And now a series of three saves on the McDavid line from Reimer, coming up huge.
18:10: Well, just like that, McDavid gets around Burns to get a shot through to Reimer and it goes in. 3-0, Oilers.
16:34: Meloche is so much bigger than I expect. He throws his body around.
15:51: SAP Center has gone fairly quiet and the Sharks are playing on fumes.
12:14: Gadjovich with a beautiful shot in the shot, Skinner makes the stop.
11:50: Meloche has a chance, then McDavid takes it the other way for a shot on Reimer.
11:24: Alexander Barabanov with a shot up close, but Skinner is too good.
10:39: Meier just got beaten up while trying to deliver a check on Foegele, and the Sharks are on the power play.
8:39: Sharks have a couple of shots, but no dice on the skater-advantage.
7:26: Gregor with a speedy little breakaway and unsurprisingly, cannot finish.
It’s official, Balcers will not return to tonight’s game.
3:38: The rest of this game is slogging by. This sucks to watch.
1:29: Shots are 41-20, Edmonton. Jesus.
FINAL SCORE: Sharks 0, Oilers 3
After a week and some change off, the San Jose Sharks are back in action for a couple of make-up games from the end of 2021. Tonight, it’s the Edmonton Oilers visiting the Bay, making up a game originally scheduled for Dec. 21. The delay has allowed for disgraced former Sharks winger Evander Kane to sign with Edmonton, as the Oilers attempt to salvage a season that rests solely on the shoulders of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Here’s everything you need to know to tune in:
SAN JOSE SHARKS
Timo Meier — Tomas Hertl — Alexander Barabanov
Jonathan Dahlen — Logan Couture — Rudolfs Balcers
Andrew Cogliano — Nick Bonino — Matt Nieto
Jonah Gadjovich — Lane Pederson — Noah Gregor
Mario Ferraro — Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic — Radim Simek
Jacob Middleton — Nicolas Meloche
Expected Scratches: Ryan Merkley, Jeffrey Viel, Adin Hill
Injured Reserve: Erik Karlsson (upper body), Kevin Labanc (upper body)
Zach Hyman — Connor McDavid — Jesse Puljujarvi
Evander Kane — Leon Draisaitl — Kailer Yamamoto
Warren Foegele — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Derek Ryan
Tyler Benson — Ryan McLeod
Darnell Nurse — Evan Bouchard
William Lagesson — Cody Ceci
Philip Broberg — Tyson Barrie
Expected Scratches: Brendan Perlini, Devin Shore
Injured Reserve: Kris Russell (undisclosed), Zack Kassian (fractured jaw), Duncan Keith (upper body)
COVID-19 Protocol: Mikko Koskinen
How to Watch
Tonight’s game will be broadcast regionally on NBCSCA, SN1 and SNOL. Streaming is available with a subscription to ESPN+ (blackout restrictions do apply). The radio call will be streamed through the Sharks Audio Network. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET at SAP Center in San Jose, California.