Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

Laurent Brossoit defending the post for Edmonton on Sunday

Laurent Brossoit defending the post for Edmonton on Sunday

The last time that the Oilers were in the playoffs, McDavid was in elementary school while the Sharks were in the finals just past year.

Prediction: The Sharks' late-season fade, plus the health status of Thornton and Couture can't be overlooked.

The Oilers have won eight straight at Rogers Place.

McDavid secured the #artrosstrophy as the league's scoring leader, with Sunday's two assists. They're healthy, their star Connor McDavid has been putting up points easily, and they look as good as they have all year-long. "We don't really want to take our guys out of the rhythm that they're in".

Edmonton: No goalie played more than the Oilers' Cam Talbot, who appeared in 73 games, finished tied for the National Hockey League lead with 42 wins, and posted a 2.39 goals-against average and.919 save percentage.

The postseason is a whole different ball game, but the Oilers have a mental edge. They should go into the playoffs with confidence and with expectations of having success.

After a sluggish first period, Edmonton opened the scoring 61 seconds into the second when Eberle's shot ramped up off Stecher's stick and beat Miller upstairs on the shortside for his 17th after Vancouver turned the puck over.

The Oilers regained the lead a couple of minutes later when Eberle picked off a pass and beat Bachman up high. By the numbers, the Oilers do hold a slight advantage over the Sharks.

Overall, Edmonton played an outstanding game. San Jose will have to consider its competition going into this series.

"It's exciting for Oilers fans", said Natalie Minckler, executive director of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation.

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"When you picture the last game at the Joe - except if it would have been game seven of the Stanley Cup final - this was very nice", Zetterberg said. At 20 years, 86 days, McDavid became the third-youngest player to win the Art Ross Trophy, behind only Crosby (19 years, 244 days in 2006-07) and Wayne Gretzky (20 years, 69 days in 1980-81).

The argument for the Oilers winning the Stanley Cup is a two-player conversation. "It's just a matter of outworking and outplaying them". The experience they do have is with the right guys.

The passion of Oilers fans came as no surprise to Twitter Canada's Cam Gordon.

And if they make it through the first round, they won't be inexperienced anymore. Oh, no. How about Todd McLellan coaching against his former team? But their core is extremely green when it comes to the playoffs, and you have to wonder if the youthful enthusiasm will help or hurt them when all the chips are on the table. Though they couldn't take home the Pacific Division title, they still proved themselves to stand out.

#NHLPlayoffs and #StanleyCup are also trending while the Anaheim Ducks are a little less liked in Wildrose Country after spoiling a 'Battle of Alberta' in the first round of the playoffs. The Sharks look exhausted and worn down, and there are still question marks surrounding the health of Thornton and Couture.

"We have a lot of confidence", said Connor McDavid.

But the Sharks have to prepare for the possibility that one, or both, could be unavailable. That is the matchup that is more or less going to decide the entire series. But that's not the case anymore. It is one game at a time. But that makes them the ideal prey for Edmonton.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings said so long to Joe Louis Arena on Sunday closing out their time there in style with a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.

"I know what they're feeling", Lucic said.

Prediction: Oilers in six games.

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