Comments / New

Quick bites: Sharks help Oilers prep for playoffs

The San Jose Sharks lost to the Edmonton Oilers 9-2. Fabian Zetterlund and Daniil Gushchin scored for the Sharks. Connor McDavid got his 100th assist.

Last night’s game between the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers looked more like a scrimmage to help the Oilers prepare for the playoffs than an actual NHL game. The Sharks made plenty of errors and Edmonton seemed to capitalize on each and every one of them. What resulted was a 9-2 final score that could have been a lot worse.

Communication breakdown

One of the biggest issues in the game was the breakdown of communication from what seemed like all of the Sharks on the ice. There were several issues early on with the defensive pairing of Henry Thrun and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. At one point early in the game, Thrun reversed the puck behind the Sharks net to avoid the forecheck and hopefully get it out of the zone cleanly. Trouble is, Vlasic had no clue it was coming and he had already started in the other direction up the ice. It was an easy turnover that led to a scoring chance.

Other players had similar issues. Several attempts to take the puck out of the Sharks’ zone failed at the Sharks’ blueline because the receiving player simply didn’t know the puck was coming. The end result was four Edmonton goals in the first period and five in the second.

Devin Cooley and Georgi Romanov never had a chance.

Testing Cooley’s psyche

The game against the Oilers should be a true test of Cooley’s ability to let the past be the past and not dictate what happens tomorrow. Following his 49-save performance over the Seattle Kraken, Cooley received a lot of praise and NHL media attention. Many people learned about his ability to live in the moment and not think about the save he just made, no matter how impressive it was.

But coming off an impressive win is one thing. Coming out of the agonizing defeat that Cooley suffered last night is another. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the loss and whether he gets another chance to show what he’s made of in the final game of the season on Thursday. It would be nice to see Head Coach David Quinn start Cooley and let him prove that he truly has the ability to rebound after a difficult outing.

Other game notes

Daniil Gushchin scored for the Sharks after being recalled from the Barracuda earlier this week. It was a simple toss the puck to the net play and see what happens. Credit to Gushchin for thinking, “shoot first.” Thomas Bordeleau got the only assist.

Fabian Zetterlund scored his 23rd of the season. William Eklund and Mikael Granlund received assists. For Granlund, the assist helped him continue his 12 game point streak.

Romanov made his NHL debut in the waning minutes of the second period. It was a mercy pull for Cooley more than a “let’s see what the kid can do.”

Adam Henrique, Dylan Holloway and Darnell Nurse all had three points for the Oilers. Warren Foegele had two goals. Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist. The assist was McDavid’s 100th assist of the season, a mark that only a handful of players have reached in the league’s history.

Defenseman Jack Thompson had 15:58 of total ice time in his debut with the Sharks and spent most of his time paired with Vlasic. Thompson didn’t look particularly good in the game, but then again, neither did any of the Sharks so it’s hard to fault the kid.

Highlight of the game Sharks at Oilers April 15, 2024

I’m going with the second goal of the night, the one from the Lund line.

Look at how Granlund is patient with the puck and waits until the defenseman commits before shooting. Emphasis on shooting because he understands that the pass isn’t there so he might as well create havoc in front of the net.

Props to Zetterlund and Eklund for following up on the play and both being there to get sticks on the puck in the crease. What’s more, I love the no celly, simple fist bumps. A group of guys that aren’t worried about individual points when the team is getting the crap kicked out of it.

The Sharks play on Thursday against the Calgary Flames in game 82 of the season for both teams.

fear the fin logoAs many of you know, Fear the Fin is an independent site run by Sharks fans for Sharks fans. Help keep Fear the Fin independent by contributing to our GoFundMe or buying merchandise. Proceeds help us pay our writers and fund subscriptions to our favorite analytics sites.

Looking for an easy way to support FearTheFin? Use our Affiliate Link when shopping hockey merch this holiday season!

Talking Points