Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Pre-Game: Game #2 Sharks vs. Oilers
The Oilers start the season 1-0 with a 3-2 shootout win in Vancouver, now take their show to home ice for the home opener against the San Jose Shakes. Each game will be a sort of litmus test to see where the Oilers are in their team development and how far away they are to being a comptetitive team, game in, game out. The Oilers really used their speed in Game #1, keeping the board battles to a minimum, a formula they would be wise to keep trying to produce. The Sharks come into this game 1-0 as well, beating the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Sunday night. The Sharks have been a team that is strong on paper but leave one wanting more for quite some time. The Sharks are no different this season although the depth is slowly starting to erode, a sign of a team that has been highly competetive for a long time. For the Oilers, its another game to prove themselves and prove that they just aren't just a team that is building but a team that is starting to emerge. Every game will prove a new test for them.
- Might not have the depth they once did but the high end, proven talent is still their. Might have the best top 6 in the Western Conference when healthy.
- Sharks have an excellent blend of puckmovers and defensive defensemen. Adding Brad Stuart to this group makes them much stronger.
- Slight edge to Antti Niemi and his body of work over the last few seasons but Devan Dubnyk is starting to prove he is no slouch either.
Special Teams Oilers
- Though the Sharks have high end talent, their penalty kill has been poor over the last couple of seasons. Oilers had an off night on the powerplay on Sunday but the penalty kill looked very strong.
- Brian McLellan has garnered an impressive regular season recod over his tenure with the Sharks but not a lot of playoff success to show for it. Addition of Larry Robinson should tie up loose ends.
- No real advantage as both teams played their first games of the year on Sunday. Oilers do have home ice advantage and with it being the home opener, might give the young Oilers an extra boost.
Game Time - 8 PM MT @ Rexall Place on TSN.