Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates after scoring an empty net goal with teammate Leon Draisaitl (29) during the third period in Game 6 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Saturday, April 22, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. The Oilers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)o97/
By Barbara Mason
SAN JOSE–Saturday night the San Jose Sharks took on the Edmonton Oilers at SAP in game 6 of their playoff series only to drop the final deciding game 3-1. The Sharks have to shake off the bitter disappointment that came with their loss in game 5 in Edmonton. The bottom line is that San Jose could have won that game. It came down to a delay of game penalty in the waning minutes of the second period. Edmonton scored a power play goal to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Sharks as both teams went into their locker rooms. While it is the playoffs where anything can happen, many believe that San Jose would have taken a 3-1 lead into the third period had it not been for that penalty. I would say the odds were highly in favor of that thought process.
As captain Joe Pavelski had said, this is the way things go sometimes and the team just needs to go home and get it done. Well the team is home and it’s crunch time and they do need to get it done. The major key for this game is aggressiveness and it has to happen from start to finish for the Black and Teal.
The first period was a sparring match with neither team able to find the net resulting in the 0-0 score. The shots on goal had the Oilers with 9 and San Jose with 6. The Oilers controlled the puck for much of the period and the sell-out crowd had quieted down at the mid-way mark. It seemed the excitement had completely worn off and there was only one thing that would bring the crowd back to life. The first period was frankly a very boring affair.
At 54 seconds it would be the Oilers up on the board for the first score of the game courtesy of a San Jose turnover. Leon Draisaitl would score assisted by Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson. At 1:50 Edmonton would strike again off the stick of Anton Slepyshev for an unassisted goal off yet another turnover for a 2-0 lead. The Sharks were headed on a disastrous course. Watching this game made one scratch their head. Where was the team that scored 7 goals last Tuesday night? The major issue with the San Jose Sharks right now is that you never know from one game to the next what team you are going to see. The inconsistency is mind-boggling.
San Jose would go on the power play once in the second period but Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot fought off some great shots to keep his team ahead 2-0 after two. San Jose had taken more shots on goal with 18 while the Oilers had taken 15, two of which struck gold. Through two periods Cam Talbot was without doubt the number one star and as the third period got underway he showed no signs of letting down. He is an amazing goalie.
This game became a little more interesting when number 12 scored at 12:12. This was Patrick Marleau’s 3rd goal of the post-season. He was assisted by Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi. The crowd came alive as the Sharks went on the power play with a little under five minutes left in the game. The Sharks were unable to take advantage of the power play and the Oilers would go on to win the game 3-1 when Edmonton scored an empty net goal. Edmonton will now take on the Anaheim Ducks in the next round of the playoffs.
Without a doubt the San Jose Sharks had another great season reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They consistently make appearances in the post-season and they just met a road block at season’s end this year. They were never able to truly get back on track. No one can even imagine the depths of disappointment these players are feeling right now, not the coaches and not the fans. There is a light at the end of the tunnel however. This talented team will be back in contention next season and we will have months and months of exciting Sharks hockey to look forward to. And so it is adios to San Jose hockey for just a little while.