Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NHL playoff preview: Edmonton Oilers vs San Jose Sharks

Very soon, the 2017 NHL playoffs will begin. So, I'm previewing each and every series. Today, I'll preview the matchup between the 2nd and 3rd teams in the Pacific division. That is the Edmonton Oilers (2) and the San Jose Sharks (3). First, let's look at the teams.

     Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid is just 20, and has an Art Ross (most points) under his belt. Leon Draisaitl is a good linemate for him. Milan Lucic, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins form a solid second line. Defense is weaker. Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom, Kris Russell and Darnell Nurse are all good, but not great. Goaltender Cam Talbot will need to play really well if Edmonton wants to win.

    San Jose Sharks
Star centers Logan Couture and Joe Thornton are questionable, and the Sharks need them. But, they do have Joe Pavelski, Mikkel Boedker, Joonas Donskoi, Patrick Marleau and Tomas Hertl. Defenseman Brent Burns will be a finalist for the Norris trophy (best defenseman). Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun and Brendan Dillon are all very good. Martin Jones showed last postseason that he can be an all-star caliber goalie.

   My prediction: San Jose Sharks
If I was comparing offenses, I'd give the Oilers the win, a close win. Besides McDavid, I'd say the Sharks win in a heartbeat. But, one man can't do it all. The defense is heavily in favor of the Sharks. Jones beats Talbot. But, It'll be a close series. I would be shocked if it doesn't go to 7 games.

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