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San Jose Sharks blown out by Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

SAN JOSE – Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl both remember that the San Jose Sharks were a dominant team at home. With a big, deep lineup full of talented and tough players, the Sharks were notorious for setting the tone early on and chasing opponents on their heels, usually in front of sold-out crowds.

“I remember talking to other Czech guys before I went to the NHL,” Hertl said, “and they always said the first 10 minutes at SAP is the hardest building in the NHL.”

Things have changed by near-historic proportions.

With their 6-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, the Sharks completed their 40-game slate at SAP Center this season with a dismal record of 21-8-11, tying the franchise tally for fewest wins on home ice in a season. full season. The Sharks went 8-33-1 in 1992-93 in their second and final year at the Cow Palace in Daly City before moving to their current home the following season.

One of the Sharks’ home game games came against the Nashville Predators in Prague in October.

San Jose also lost it 3-2.

Remarkably, the Sharks went 0-8-3 in games this season in front of announced sold-out crowds of 17,562, as Saturday saw fans watch Oilers center Connor McDavid score two goals and assist on another, earning him an NHL-leading scored 151 points.

McDavid now joins Mario Lemieux as the only NHL players in the past 27 years to score more than 150 points in a season. Lemieux had 161 for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995-96.

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How do the Sharks get back to where they were just a handful of seasons ago?

“We’ve lost a lot of hockey games in a lot of different ways, so I’m sure when the season is over, everything will be digested,” Couture said. “The front office has a plan that they stick to here and we go from there.”

Some notes from Saturday:

KARLSSON’S DAY: The Sharks and their fans would have liked Erik Karlsson to become just the sixth defenseman in NHL history to reach 100 points on Saturday. Instead, he was held scoreless.

Hertl scored his team’s lone goal in the first period, off an assist from Jacob Peterson, as the Sharks went 0-for-2 with the man advantage. Karlsson went without a shot at the net, and his turnover on a power play led to a grueling Oilers goal near the end of the second period.

After Hertl won a faceoff in the Oilers’ zone, Karlsson took control of the puck and attempted a backhand pass through traffic back to Couture. Instead, Derek Ryan intercepted it, started an odd-man rush, then scored on a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pass to give the Oilers a 4–1 lead with seven seconds left in the second period.

“You just felt it after the shorthand goal at the end of the period,” said Sharks coach David Quinn. “It zapped us.”

Karlsson, who was named the Sharks’ Player of the Year by local media on Saturday, remains on 98 points as San Jose wraps up the season next week with games in Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton.

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“It’s hard. He’s frustrated. He’s trying to force things because he thinks he has to do more than he should to offend us,” Quinn said. . I understand his mindset. It’s easy to sit in the stands and make a judgment. But when you’re on the ice, and you’re on the ice level, and you see the things that could happen that don’t happen, and I can understand the frustrations of trying to force something because he wants to do what’s right for the team.”

A defenseman has reached 100 points in a season 15 times in league history, but the only ones to do so are Bobby Orr (six times), Paul Coffey (five times), Al MacInnis, Brian Leetch and Denis Potvin, who all agreed. Leetch was the last defenseman to reach the century mark in points, as he had 102 points for the New York Rangers in 1991–92.

Given the circumstances the Sharks find themselves in, there’s a chance Saturday’s last home game for Karlsson was in teal.

“(Karlsson) wants to create scoring opportunities for us and he’s done that remarkably all season,” said Quinn. “His attack doesn’t come at the expense of the defense more than any other high-scoring defender. Usually when you get high scoring defenders there will be some give and take and you have to live with that. He is a world class player.



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