The Edmonton Oilers managed to get six defensemen on the ice on Friday, yet they struggled mightily to contain the San Jose Sharks in a 3-1 loss.
To little surprise, Joe Thornton was dominant, collecting three assists. He now has a ridiculous 21 helpers on the season. In mid-November. Tomas Hertl continues to look sharp as well, even if it obviously helps to have Jumbo Joe feeding you perfect passes.
Sure, 3-1 isn’t a bloodbath by any means, but San Jose basically ended the game about three minutes into the second period when they fattened their lead to 3-0.
As far as good news goes for the Oilers, here are a few bits:
Nail Yakupov scored, which might mean that people will lighten up for a day or two. Maybe.
The Oilers ended a three-game goalless streak in Edmonton.
Finally, Oilers fans might be depressed, but at least there are some creative types among their ranks. Feast your eyes on this charitable take on the paper bag tradition, which CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz shared:
If only the Oilers’ front office displayed such inventiveness …
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: