It’s one of the best times of the year, as the best postseason out of them all, the NHL Playoffs, begins on Wednesday night. There are five games on the opening night of the playoffs, with plenty of games to feast on from the early evening, and to the nightcap in Edmonton.
We’ll be heading to Edmonton, where the Oilers will be starting their quest to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Oilers reached the finals back in 2006, where they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes. It was a different core back then, of course, and the Oilers went through nearly a decade of futility.
The tides decided to turn in the Oilers’ direction after they drafted Connor McDavid. No other player in recent memory, since Sidney Crosby, has turned a franchise around like he has.
Auston Matthews is making causing some noise in that respect, too, though. I think McDavid vs. Matthews is going to be a fun rivalry, ala how Crosby and Ovechkin have battled it out for years now.
Are Matthews and McDavid going to enjoy as much success as those two have? Well, I will say one thing, they are on the right path. However, Crosby has two Stanley Cups in his arsenal, and is looking for more. There is no way I can say that either are going to accomplish what Crosby has throughout his career, including on the international level.
I will say, that McDavid is setting himself up for something similar, though. It’s going to be interesting. McDavid will get his first taste of the NHL Playoffs against the San Jose Sharks. Let’s get straight to our first pick of the NHL Playoffs.
San Jose Sharks vs. Edmonton Oilers Game 1 Pick
The Oilers don’t have it easy in their first-round matchup. They welcome the defending Eastern Conference Champions, who came a series short of winning the Stanley Cup. The Penguins got the best of them, as they were outdueled by Crosby and company. San Jose matchup with a superstar right away this year, as McDavid will look to do his best Crosby imitation. McDavid scored 30 goals, and racked up a whopping 70 assists in the regular season. The Oilers’ offence finished in the top 10 overall, scoring an average of 2.96 goals per game.
The Oilers turned it on down the stretch, averaging 3.80 goals and 12 in their last three showings, and unfortunately for the Sharks, their defence took some time off in their last ten games. The Sharks surrendered an average of 3.50 goals per game, while notching 2.50 goals per game. It’s been seven games since less than 5 goals have been scored in a Sharks-Oilers game. Out of all the first-round series matchups, this is the most intriguing to me. I foresee Game 1 shaping up to be a thriller. Look for some goals to be scored and for McDavid to feel comfortable in the playoff environment, with our NHL Playoffs pick for Wednesday on the OVER.
PICK: OVER 5 (-115)