The Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks’ series changes scenery, as we head to California for Game 3 with it all knotted up at 1 game a piece. The Oilers were in danger of entering the danger zone, but were able to pull out a win in Game 2 to even things up.
The Sharks are about a year removed from playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, and are fully expecting to make it back. For a team who just played in the finals, you didn’t hear much about them this season. They quietly went about their business, and turned in a quality year at the office. The Sharks didn’t grab two in Edmonton, but they flipped home ice advantage with the win.
The Sharks had their struggles at home during the 2015-16 season, but have found a way to turn it around. Note that San Jose went 26-11-3 at home. Great for a team who finished around .500 last season. Overall, the Sharks finished 47-30-6, a game under the Oilers who had 48 wins.
Connor McDavid has reignited a franchise in Edmonton. Their most prized possession since Wayne Gretzky, McDavid scored his first playoff goal in Game 2. It’s most likely going to be the first of many for the wildly talented McDavid. Let’s get to our NHL pick for Game 2 between the Oilers and Sharks at the Shark Tank in San Jose.
Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks Game 3 Pick
The theme of this series is the young guns vs the experienced veterans. We have McDavid, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins on one side, and on the other there’s Thornton, Marleau, and Pavelski. It makes for an interesting scenario here. Nothing has been settled, with a split in Edmonton. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yeah, this has the makings of a long series that sees seven games. I’m not complaining much about that.
The Oilers were okay on the road during the regular season, with a record of 22-14-3 but nothing spectacular. If were to count the regular season, the Oilers would have already had this series won. They’re 4-1 against the Sharks in their last five meetings, including two wins in the final stages of the regular season. I like to think that the Oilers may feel some nerves, as a lot of guys on this team are playing in their first road game in the playoffs.
Note that the Sharks were masterful at home in the postseason a year ago. They couldn’t do anything right during the regular season, but come the playoffs they did no wrong. Through the first three rounds, the Sharks lost only two games. It wasn’t until they met the Penguins, who were able to solve them in San Jose. Experience wins out tonight in San Jose, I like the Sharks to grab a 2-1 series lead at home.
PICK: SHARKS (-130)