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Edmonton Oilers hit all-time low with loss to hapless Sharks

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Nicely, we are able to add the San Jose Sharks to the record of issues which have gone horribly incorrect for the Edmonton Oilers this yr.

In a brand new low that followers didn’t imagine was attainable, however braced for nonetheless, the Oilers doubled down on their distress Thursday, capping the worst begin in franchise historical past with the worst common season defeat in franchise historical past.

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There are not any phrases. With a lot on the road in a must-win recreation towards probably the most hopeless staff within the NHL, the imploding Oilers couldn’t get it achieved.

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A 3-2 Sharks victory drops Edmonton to 2-9-1 and might need simply set in movement an enormous shakeup. There isn’t a means to take a look at what simply occurred and never assume that this staff is damaged and in dire want of one thing huge.

“Not enjoyable to not win that recreation,” stated embattled head coach Jay Woodcroft. “We have now to do a significantly better job of securing two factors. We’ve had moments, however we might be higher for a full 60 minutes. In the long run some expensive errors ended up behind our internet.”

Edmonton outshot San Jose 41-18, most of that injury coming in a frantic third interval, however it issues not. Getting crushed by a 1-10-1 punching bag when your coach’s job could be on the road, when one in every of your buddies could be getting traded should you lose, is as dangerous because it will get. However that’s the place the Oilers are proper now.

And who would have guessed that Edmonton’s offence, the one factor they’ve at all times been in a position to depend on, can be the weak hyperlink that broke their chain. However the energy play went 0-for-4, Connor McDavid prolonged his goal-scoring drought to seven video games, Leon Draisaitl pushed his drought to at least one aim in 9 video games and Edmonton’s territorial benefit went proper down the drain.

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“We’re battling by one thing collectively, we’re working our asses off,” sighed ahead Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “We’re not discovering methods to attain. We’re saying the correct issues, we’re making an attempt to make it onerous on goalies… it’s not going.”

This was speculated to be their likelihood to catch a breath and get issues transferring in the correct course. Enjoying the Sharks at hockey proper now’s the equal of truly enjoying sharks at hockey — actually throwing just a few hammerheads on a sheet of ice and transferring the puck across the exterior of the zone till they run out of oxygen.

Come to think about it, that’s just about what San Jose did to Edmonton. They hung round lengthy sufficient for the Oilers to start out gasping on their missed probabilities and obvious errors and pulled away for good.

Anybody hoping that Edmonton’s pure expertise and urgency would supply clear separation from the worst staff within the league didn’t see it. You couldn’t actually inform which staff was thirty first and which staff was thirty second. And it was apparent from the beginning that the Oilers had been in for a struggle.

With each side wrestling with fragile psyches, it was a matter of which staff can be first to get the opposite staff muttering, ‘Right here we go once more.’

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That staff was San Jose, who got here out of the primary interval with a 1-0 lead. 

In yet one more microcosm of their season, the primary interval informed you all you wanted to learn about how the Oilers are going. They outshot the Sharks 14-6 within the opening 20 minutes however the Stone Hand Children couldn’t convert something and fell behind 1-0 once they left Fabian Zetterlund broad open within the slot.

It was the EXACT similar factor that occurred final recreation in Vancouver, solely the pictures had been 21-8 and the deficit was 3-1.

One aim every within the second (Darnell Nurse for Edmonton after which Tomas Hertl for San Jose) all of it got here right down to the third interval, the place the Oilers had been outscored 14-5 this yr.

Two minutes into the third interval, Nurse turned the puck over on the blue line and San Jose went up 3-1.

Regardless of a livid Oilers push down the stretch, and a Nugent-Hopkins aim to make it 3-2 with 2:26 to go, it was made official on the closing horn: Edmonton is at present the worst staff within the NHL.

“We’re the identical staff we’ve at all times been,” stated Nugent-Hopkins. “The simple factor to do is give up on one another however that’s not the group that is. We have now to search out one thing inside ourselves proper now.”

POWERLESS TO HELP

The ability play had an opportunity to set the tone with a pair of alternatives within the first interval and whiffed on each, with McDavid turning the puck over for a short-handed breakaway on one in every of them. They at all times say it’s not what number of you rating, it’s if you rating them they usually may have used a lift within the opening 20 minutes.

ROUGH ONE FOR CAMPBELL

Jack Campbell had a extremely tough begin to his AHL stint with the Bakersfield Condors. He allowed 4 targets on his first 17 pictures together with a protracted trickler that went between his skate and the publish.

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