The Sharks have been here before. We’re going to learn if that’s a problem instead of an advantage.

Frankly, it looked like a problem in Thursday night’s overtime. The Edmonton Oilers resembled kids trying to be herded off the playground by their adult chaperones, with the kids having none of it. The younger legs of the Oilers were apparent as the more-playoff-experienced–and older–Sharks seldom possessed the puck. Edmonton outshot the Sharks, 14-2, in the extra period. The winning goal by David Desharnais was only a matter of time.

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And now the clock is ticking on the Sharks’ season. How’s that for a verbal pivot?

There are many layers of drama attached to Saturday night’s Game 6 at SAP Center. The top layer, of course, is whether the Sharks, trailing three games to two, find a way to take the series back to Edmonton on Monday. But there is also plenty of subtext drama. None of that drama is more dramatic than the drama-laden possibility that Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton could both be making dramatic exits by playing their final games in San Jose uniforms at the Shark Tank.

Both are 37 years old. Both will be 38 by October when the next regular season begins. Both are unrestricted free agents this summer. Both wish to continue playing hockey. Is it even possible that both will be back in teal for the 2017-18 season? They have decisions to make. So does general manager Doug Wilson. Saturday night could be when the storylines merge.

One game will not decide whether Marleau or Thornton or both remain part of the beloved Los Tiburones. But …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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