141218 – pregame Oilers @ Sharks 7:30pm

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Sharks haven’t played since Saturday, with 3 game winning streak (and 6 game home winning streak). They had the day off Sunday (and team family party that evening), with practice Monday (with hospital visit), Tuesday (and team “Holiday Assist” party) and Wednesday. (13, 18, 81 and 83 have NOT been practicing. Nieto has been ruled out for game against Oilers; may not make it back into lineup before Christmas break. The other three are out “long” term it sounds like.)

The Oilers keep losing; losing streak now at five games. They lost Tuesday in Arizona, even after firing head coach Dallas Eakins on Monday, with GM Craig McTavish and AHL bench boss Todd Nelson taking the reins.  (Some pundits are calling for a wholesale firing of the “Old Boys Club” in Edmonton – including the entire scouting staff which has done a horrendous job drafting, the GM and most of the front office.) From the outside, not much has changed, and the status quo is not working.

Niemi starting; Scott in for McGinn.

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141213 – postgame Predators @ Sharks

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Sharks win.  Extend their home winning streak. Niemi returns to the net and gets a shutout. Vlasic returned to the lockout.

And my section won free yogurt!

Thornton-Hertl-Pavelski scored the game winner 5:01 into the first. Thornton got an empty netter for insurance late in the third.  Even though the Predators pushed hard in the third, they could not get past the Sharks defense. And their frustration ended up with a very physical game.

McGinn and Preds Weber fell on each other and had to retire to their respective dressing rooms for repair.  Both returned to the ice.

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141213 – pregame Predators @ Sharks 7:30pm

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The big news on the Sharks off-day Friday was the unveiling of their Stadium Series jerseys. Friday was another optional practice, with the majority of the team choosing to stay off the ice.

No roster changes (yet) announced for the Sharks. Nieto still out.  Vlasic did skate on Friday, but not clear if he’ll be in the lineup Saturday. Niemi may be getting the start.

While the Sharks were holding off the Wild on Thursday, the Preds were in Arizona, pounding the Coyotes 5-1.

Vlasic is scheduled to be back in the lineup on Saturday, with Niemi in net.

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141211 – postgame Wild @ Sharks

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Early postgame stuff

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141211 – pregame Wild @ Sharks

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Sharks had an optional skate Wednesday, with a number of injured not participating. It appears that Nieto (eligible to return 12/13) and Brown have been put on IR, with Tennyson (“in case” Vlasic not ready to go) and Tierney have been recalled.

Wild had a crazy game Tuesday, with Ballard taking bad hit (released from hospital Wednesday after concussion and facial fractures) causing team to rally and beat Islanders.  But Scandella made a nasty hit to the head and will be out two games (including this one).  That’s two D fewer, so Minnesota may be recalling someone from AHL to fill in on the blue line.

Stalock apparent starter.  Tierney and Tennyson in the lineup.  Vlasic out.

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141209 – postgame Oilers @ Sharks

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Stalock was the surprise starter. Niemi took a bad puck in morning skate, so Stalock was notified he’d be starting in the afternoon.

Vlasic left the first after a hard hit into the boards and was held out for precautionary reasons, but could be back soon.

Brown got an apparent knee injury in the second, and had to be helped off the ice and into the dressing room; sounds like he’ll be out “awhile”.

Karlsson, in his NHL debut, missed a chuck of the game, but did return.

But the Sharks rallied and after leading 2-0 and letting Oilers get back into the game, scored three more on the night to put an exclamation mark on the game, winning 5-2.

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141208 – pregame Oilers @ Sharks 7:30pm

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So, to distract the distraught fan base after Sunday’s loss, the team released their annual holiday video:  Holiday Sweater (you need to watch all the way to the end, including the credits).

Tyler Kennedy has been put on IR.  Forward has been recalled from Worcester and should be available for Tuesday’s game.  Troy Grosenick should be healthy enough to be activated from IR and assigned (back) to Worcester on Tuesday.

Karlsson recalled from Worcester. Niemi starting.

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141207 – postgame Sharks @ Oilers

So, the Sharks did not repeat their futile effort that was a 57-save shutout against Fasth last season.  Nor did they do what Edmonton did to them in the 1992-3 season (ultimate winning opponent in Sharks NHL record-tying 17-game loosing streak). But, they did not score more goals than the home team. There were a number of “just missed” connecting puck and stick and popping into an open net (not to mention the takeaways).

Retribution can come quickly, as the teams will meet in San Jose on Tuesday.

Nieto and Kennedy were out injured.  A bit hard to recall players from Worcester (who were in the Canadian Maritimes for weekend games), and because of the crazy intra-Canada charter rules.  If Nieto and Kennedy are not able to return for Tuesday’s rematch (and/or soon), I’d expect 1-2 forwards to be recalled.

(Sharks nominally fly home after a game.  No practice scheduled/day off Monday.  Back at things on Tuesday to face the Oilers again.  Edmonton will probably fly in on Monday to prep for Tuesday’s game.)

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