3/11 SHARKS 3, edmonton 0
It's been a month, so let me reintroduce the words into your vocabulary. Sharks-win-at-home. Simple as that. 37 days after their last home victory, the Sharks did it again, by winning in the Tank on Sunday 3-0. Granted, this was only the 5th game since their last win at home on February 2nd over the Chicago Blackhawks, (in that time they went 0-2-2), but home is supposed to be the one place you can always pull out the two points (what you get for a win), something the Sharks have had trouble doing lately.
The Oilers have given the Sharks fits over the past couple seasons. We all know what happened last April, and that stigma carried the Oilers to victory in the first two meetings this year (6-4 in Edmonton, and 3-2 in SJ). Since then, the Oilers have cooled off, dropping 5-1 to the Sharks at Rexall Place in January, and have hit a huge skid since the trading of Assistant (or Alternate, which ever way you like it) Captain Ryan Smyth. Dubbed Captain Canada (because of his roles for Team Canada in the World Championships), the Oilers have not been the same since trading Smyth, and it showed last night. The Oilers managed just 22 shots, none of which were taken with a Smyth screen in front of Evgeni Nabokov, and subsequently none of which were taken by Smyth on the rebound.
Jonathan Cheechoo kicked a puck in midway through the 1st, waking up the crowd, despite not counting on the scoreboard. Steve Bernier changed that , whacking in a rebound to give the Sharks a legal 1-0 lead (Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Ryane Clowe). The game remained 1-0 until 16:09 of the 3rd, when Kyle McLaren picked a tiny spot top shelf on Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson , and promptly put the puck there (Patrick Rissmiller, Curtis Brown). A rare empty net powerplay goal by Matt Carle , sealing the game in favor of the teal (Craig Rivet, Joe Thornton). Nabokov made 22 saves for his 17th win of the season, 3rd shutout in the last 4 games, and 7th overall.
The Sharks finish this homestand on Tuesday with a match against Tuomo Ruutu and the Chicago Blackhawks (7:30 pdt). McLaren took a Ruutu elbow towards the end of the Sharks/Hawks game in Chicago on 2/21, a hit that hasn't been retaliated on yet. The Sharks lead the season series 2-0, with wins in SJ (4-2 on 2/3, and 2-0 in Chicago on 2/21).
Go Sharks (beat the Oil finally)