Our event of the day is the NHL match between the San Jose Sharks and the Edmonton Oilers at the SAP Center in San Jose. The Sharks have enjoyed a successful season so far and currently hold a narrow lead at the top of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. The Oilers, on the other hand, continue their poor form from last season and currently sit in 6th position in the Pacific Division. Be sure you don’t miss this match, as the Oilers look to turn their fortunes around and upset their division rivals. The Sharks have played decent hockey this season. Through the first 21 games of the season, they have amassed 11 wins, scoring 68 goals in the process. While by no means dominant in terms of their record on the ice, their longest winning streak stands at 3 games, they have won the games that they have needed to win. A strong defensive core, led by talented offseason acquisition Erik Karlsson, have helped keep them a winning team, despite goaltending troubles that have led to the worst save percentage in the league.
However, concerns remain as the season enters its second quarter and the Sharks struggle to find consistency. With the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks posing a threat to the top of the division, the Sharks can’t continue to bounce between winning and losing. While they currently boast an elite offense, that will not be enough alone to get them to the Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, the 2018-19 season looks set to be another disappointment for the underwhelming Edmonton Oilers. The two biggest problems for the Oilers are a lack of line depth and the sheer talent of Connor McDavid. McDavid, the team captain, is one of the most talented modern hockey players and has posted consecutive 100-point seasons, leading to back-to-back Art Ross trophies. However, McDavid can’t play every minute of every game and so Edmonton suffers due to lacklustre second and third lines as they over-rely on McDavid. This problem is most clearly seen in the goal distribution for the season so far. McDavid is responsible for 20% of Edmonton’s goals this season and his line as a whole is responsible for 55%. The Oilers’ problems are very similar to those of the Sharks, albeit to a much more extreme degree - an elite offense cannot sustain a team. This is a game between a team with potential and a team in need of a thorough rebuild and because of this, you can certainly expect a fast-paced, high-scoring match tonight.
Honourable mentions around the globe to go the NBA, where the Orlando Magic host the Toronto Raptors at Amway Center. After a slow start to the season, the Magic have enjoyed a 7-3 record through their past 10 games and come into this game against the conference leading Raptors riding a 3-game win streak. Meanwhile, the Raptors sit at 13-4 at the top of the Eastern Conference, one of the best starts to a season in franchise history. They are certainly the team to beat, especially as the Golden State Warriors start to decline with poor performances and team conflicts. Be sure you don’t miss what is sure to be an exciting night of basketball in Orlando. Elsewhere, in International Football, there is a rematch of the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals as France host Uruguay in a friendly at the Stade de France. In NCAA football, the Western Michigan Broncos host the Northern Illinois Huskies at Waldo Stadium. In the FA Cup, F.C. Halifax Town host Morecambe at the MBi Shay Stadium for a replay of their 1st round fixture.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NHL; San Jose Sharks
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