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Matheson: Oilers look to stave off catastrophe on the Shark Tank

“It is a nice alternative for us towards a staff that obtained their first win the opposite night time…hopefully we will use it to our benefit,” mentioned ex Shark Evander Kane

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Whew!

The San Jose Sharks lastly received a hockey sport Tuesday with goalie Mackenzie Blackwood standing on his head to beat Philadelphia 2-1 so the Edmonton Oilers aren’t heading to the Shark Tank Thursday night time with an indignant fish on their palms, with historic warmth on the house San Jose aspect to not get burned any extra.

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The Sharks had been tied with the 1943-44 New York Rangers, who received six of fifty league video games that 12 months, and the 2017 and 2021 Arizona Coyotes, for the longest (11) dropping streak to open an NHL season.

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Perhaps the Oilers can simply attend to enterprise now, with no fuss or muss, after beating the Sharks eight straight instances.

“It is a nice alternative for us towards a staff that obtained their first win the opposite night time…hopefully we will use it to our benefit,” mentioned ex Shark Evander Kane, in reply to a query from the Oiler web site people.

The Oilers are off to their worst begin in franchise historical past via the primary 11 video games, tied with the ’92-93 and 93-94 staff that present Oiler assistant Dave Manson suffered via as their greatest D-man. The flowery stats nonetheless present some positives, no less than when the puck’s on their stick, however the eyeball check says 2-8-1 within the standings.

“There’s going to be regression to the imply…any analytic man will inform you that, whether or not it’s particular person performances or these of the staff. Every little thing averages out so long as you set within the work,” mentioned Zach Hyman, who isn’t sweating the standings.

“Typically if issues are going effectively for the staff and me personally, I’ll test the scores…when issues aren’t going effectively I don’t need to take a look at it.”

‘It is a wakeup name’

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The Oilers need to cease coughing up one other in an extended line of defensive hairballs. The 6-2 loss in Vancouver Monday, led to standard goalie Jack Campbell happening waivers and clearing, so off to the Bakersfield farm —actually a message-sending to the staff by GM Ken Holland {that a} jolt was wanted.

“It is a wakeup name for everyone within the locker room. Jack is such a preferred man. You lose a man like that and it sucks to not have him round for the subsequent whereas,” mentioned Hyman, who was a teammate of Campbell’s in Toronto, earlier than right here.

Canucks Oilers
Vancouver Canucks’ J.T. Miller, from left to proper, Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson, Andrei Kuzmenko and Brock Boeser, again left, have fun Boeser’s aim towards Edmonton Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner (74) throughout the first interval of an NHL hockey sport in Vancouver, on Monday, November 6, 2023. Photograph by DARRYL DYCK Darryl Dyck /THE CANADIAN PRESS

“It’s a part of the journey for him. You go searching on the historical past of any participant, there’s been ups and downs (OK, not Connor McDavid a lot). Realizing Jack, he’ll go down and get his sport on observe and I wouldn’t be stunned if we see him quickly,” mentioned Hyman, in reply to a query from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector.

“As a teammate it sucks that we let him down. We’ve given up a ton of high-danger possibilities for our goalies. Everyone seems to be at save share however not each shot is similar. As a staff we haven’t put Stu (Skinner) or Jack to be one of the best of their skills.”

“This is a chance for Jack to go down, play quite a bit, refine some points of his sport and get again to feeling assured. We’re portray this as a constructive for Jack,” mentioned Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft.

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Perhaps not the identical thought course of for Campbell, however…

“Shocking information (Campbell on waivers). It’s a wakeup name for us. I’m very assured he’ll be again,” mentioned Kane. “We let him down. Soupy, no matter his numbers, I feel he’s performed extremely effectively for us. Would he like some objectives again? Certain. However that Minnesota sport, he let in seven objectives however he might need been one of the best participant on the ice.”

It’s been a bizarre NHL 12 months. Campbell off to the minors. Columbus sits Johnny Gaudreau for a lot of a interval, Calgary benches Jonathan Huberdeau for the entire third on Wednesday towards Nashville. Is it a special time?

“Yeah…I don’t know should you would have seen that just a few years in the past, however groups are on the lookout for solutions or change issues,” mentioned Kane.

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Often, McDavid, who had 153 factors final season and Leon Draisaitl, who had his third 50-goal season, can out-score staff errors. Like, as Jamie McLennan, the TSN commentator and former goalie mentioned, “(Auston) Matthews dug the Leafs out the opposite night time towards Tampa.” Matthews has 13 objectives, however McDavid has two. Draisaitl has 5 objectives, however just one within the final eight, uncommon stuff for him.

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McDavid is damage, though he received’t say the place, telling Spector that he’s effectively sufficient to play after lacking two video games with what many suspect is an indirect muscle or hip problem, which has rendered 97 not the supernova he usually is. He hasn’t scored in six video games, one thing that he’s gone via 4 instances in his profession. That’s a great distance from his profession longest 10-game drought in 2016, his second NHL season when he was an adolescent.

He’s nonetheless quick, however possibly not sooner than the remainder of the NHL world.

He’s obtained two objectives and 10 factors in 9 video games, presumably prepared for a kind of explosive 4 or five-point nights. However, for now, he’s shockingly a single level behind Trevor Moore and Sean Monahan, two of the NHL’s mere mortals. That factoid could final the one sport in San Jose, in fact.

“What’s bizarre for me is these little contact performs that Connor usually makes…he’s turning the puck,” mentioned McLennan. He’s not taking pictures like he can, there appears to be one thing together with his stride.”

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