Well the Edmonton Oilers knocked off the defending Western Conference Champions and now head back to California to take on the Anaheim Ducks in round two. Sure the Sharks had some bad injuries to key players but you can only beat who is in front of you and Oilers did just that. This should be a hard-fought series against a bigger and tougher Ducks team. Both teams have size and both play a gritty style game so this could be a fantastic series for the fans to watch. I expect to see a banging and crashing series and can not wait to see it unfold!!! Here are my thoughts on the Oilers and from the first round:
- I expect to see Connor Mcdavid step up his game this series now that he has his first ever playoff series under his belt. There is no way that Anaheim is going to be able to keep him in check like the Sharks did. This is all to do with Mcdavid and not the other team. I just feel like Mcdavid now has his feet wet and has figured out what he needs to do to play playoff hockey. I expect him to be back to being the dominate force that he is shift in and shift out.
- I hope the Oilers haters who said the only reason the Oilers were good now was because of Mcdavid are shutting their traps. No one and I mean no one can think that after watching the first round. And if they still do…then they have no clue about hockey.
- Cam Talbot was excellent in his first ever playoff series going 4-2 with a 2.03 GAA and 0.927 Save %! He was calm, collected and exactly what the team needed to have any chance. He will need to continue his strong play should the Oilers have any chance in the second round.
- To me Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson proved they are a LEGIT top pairing. They played the toughest minutes every game, were physical and both played exceptionally well. Klefbom had three points and played 18:23, 24:44, 21:02, 26:30 and 13:36 while being under the weather. He sat on the bench for the third period because he was too sick to play. Larsson played 21:01, 21:35,22:34, 26:39 and 26:10 in the first round. He was very calm, very physical and very good! Both Klefbom and Larsson are still young and will only get better. By the end of next year I predict they will be one the best value top pairings in the league, if not earlier.
- Jordan Eberle was on the ice in the last minute of a one goal game…and in more that one game. That is all 🙂
- The two biggest issues for the Oilers this series is facoffs and the Ducks puck moving defence. The Oilers are terrible in the dot and that does not bode well playing against Vermette, Getzlaf and Kesler. The Oilers are going to start most shifts chasing the puck. The Ducks defence is completely different than what the Sharks had. This group can skate like the wind and makes a very good first pass. They like to skate the puck out as well which presents its challenges so Mclellan will need to devise a good plan to break them down. Maybe it is soft dump ins so the forwards can pound their d. Maybe it is the opposite and they sit back in a passive trap and let the d skate it out. Whichever way they decide to play I am fine with because Mclellan is a very good N.H.L. coach and knows a hell of a lot more than me.
- On the other first round series… Magnus Paajarvi scores the OT winner to get the St. Louis Blues off to the second round! Wow!!! Good on him.
- Mike Babcock is unbelievably cocky!!! Like what N.H.L. coach tells the staff in the Caps barn that he will see them in two days? You know who does that??? Cocky affected people is who. What a dumb move.
- Calgary needs to fix their goaltending is they want any chance next year. It cost them a series. They had no chance with that goaltending.
- What happened in Chicago? I have no clue but I am more than ok with it.
- Eric Karlsson is playing with two hairline fractures in his heel. I watched a few Ottawa games in the first round and Karlsson was the best player on the ice every shift. It is amazing that he has a broken heel.
- Good luck Ryan Kesler. You have no chance of shutting down Mcdavid. Have fun!!!
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