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San Jose Sharks vs. Edmonton Oilers 2017 Western Conference First Round Series Predictions, Picks and Preview

San Jose Sharks vs. Edmonton Oilers 2017 Western Conference First Round Series Predictions, Picks and Preview

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San Jose Sharks vs. Edmonton Oilers Series Preview

*view all NHL Stanley Cup Playoff first-round series lines here

Series Schedule

  • Game 1: April 12, 10:00 PM ET, at Edmonton
  • Game 2: April 14, 10:30 PM ET, at Edmonton
  • Game 3: April 16, 10:00 PM ET, at San Jose
  • Game 4: April 18, 10:00 PM ET, at San Jose
  • Game 5: April 20, TBD, at Edmonton*
  • Game 6: April 22, TBD, at San Jose*
  • Game 7: April 24, TBD, at Edmonton*

          (*if necessary)

Regular Season Head-to-Head

Edmonton took the regular-season series over San Jose (3-1-1) by winning the last three meetings in regulation and with two of those victories on the Sharks’ home ice. Both teams are about evenly-matched in the scoring department, with the Oilers having a slight 16-13 edge in total goals scored during the series.

Why the Sharks Will Win the Series (+110)

San Jose has a shut-down defensive pairing in Norris Trophy candidate Brent Burns and two-time gold medalist Marc-Edouard Vlasic ready to stifle Edmonton’s prolific top line. Burns, who scored seven goals and racked up 17 assists in 24 playoff games last year, can certainly cover ground for the team’s offense just the same, especially with injury concerns still surrounding stalwart centers Joe Thornton (knee) and Logan Couture (face).

Speaking of the playoffs, that’s the one facet that the Sharks clearly have an advantage over the Oilers. Since the 2004-05 lockout, the Sharks missed the postseason just once and they’ve even advanced past the first round on all but three occasions. And lest we forget; the team is still hot off its first-ever Stanley Cup final appearance last year, with its core of standout performers in Joe Pavelski, Martin Jones and Patrick Marleau all having returned to try and ultimately bring the Stanley Cup to the Bay Area once more.

Why the Oilers Will Win the Series (-140)

The mere mention of the name Connor McDavid is enough to make every NHL team quiver in fear of Edmonton. McDavid, in just his second year in the NHL, is this season’s Art Ross Trophy winner behind his 30 goals and 70 assists. He’s well in line to be awarded the Hart Trophy as well, considering that his 100 points in the regular season is 11 points better than former MVPs Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane beneath him. By the way, MacD is also entering the playoffs with a sizzling 14-game point streak.

Then there’s goalie Cam Talbot, who’s had a banner season by finishing tied for the league lead with 42 wins. However, Talbot also started a whopping 73 games at that, which means he’s had more wear-and-tear this season that the Oilers would’ve wanted heading into the playoffs.

What’s also interesting is that head coach Todd McLellan will be facing his former team from two years back. This gives Edmonton an insider’s edge on how to properly size-up the Sharks in the first round as the team aims to make its first playoff appearance in 11 seasons a truly memorable one.

Writer’s Prediction

The Sharks (+110) make the splash into the conference semifinals after seven hard-fought games.

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Mark
Written by Mark

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