This first round match-up is one of the most intriguing to me for a variety of reasons. The storylines going in are just amazing. McDavid’s first postseason experience in the NHL, The kids vs the vets, Oiler’s first playoff berth in 11 seasons, the sharks continue their omnipresent playoff appearances.
Everywhere you look between these two teams they are stark opposites. This is going to be such a fun series and match up to see just what side prevails. Is it the young hungry kids who don’t quite know better yet, or will the level-headed veterans who have been there done that for years now prevail?
The Top Six Forwards
This is where the matchups are going to be very exciting. you have The man the myth the legend in Joe Thorton and again the young first-time playoff guy in McDavid (already quite the legend in his own right). It is unclear if Thorton is completely healthy after injuring his knee a bit recently.
As far as the Oilers go it will be as far as McDavid and his trusty sidekick Leon Draisaitl take them. Patrick Maroon is generally the player who is on that line with them. He has shocked just about everyone in the NHL world this season somehow finding his game and scoring 35 goals and 21 assists in his last 97 games. Sure, I suppose I could probably score those numbers playing with Leon and Connor right? well, maybe not… but either way, that line is a heck of a force to deal with. Then you take a look at do we really dare call it a second line? Maybe a one B line? That includes Jordan Eberle Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Millan Lucic.
The sharks are being reported that both the previously injured couture and Thorton will be in the lineup to start game one tonight.
Offensively – Advantage Oilers
Defensively – Advantage Sharks
Bottom Six – Advantage Sharks
Special Teams – Oilers
In Nets – Advantage Even.
— Pete Jensen (@NHLJensen) April 10, 2017
Prediction on the Series?
Sharks take it in a brutally contested series in 7 games. Honestly, I would not mind at all being wrong here as I am excited to see how the kids look in the postseason, but with the playoff experience and the defensive core that the sharks have I can’t, quite say with a good conscious that the Oilers get out of this series. I do think it will go a full 7 though and be a very closely contested series all the way through. So with it being that close, it could teeter either way if McDavid makes some magic happen at the last minute and Oilers fans know and have seen that is something that is altogether entirely possible. I still will be picking The sharks in 7 though. I’m sorry Oilers fans.
While this could quite possibly be the Sharks last shot with this core that they have dominated the regular season with for the last decade almost and come so close a few times in the postseason with I think that the Sharks are going to come out hungry and ready to match the energy and enthusiasm of the kids from Edmonton.
Do you think that my prediction was wrong? If so please let me know why in the comments I would love to continue the discussion down there with you as well!
Enjoy the playoffs, everyone! This truly is the best time of the year, #BeacuseItsTheCup