This is another disappointing matchup considering how close it was to being Calgary vs Edmonton. It is what it is, though. The Sharks are coming off their run to the Stanley Cup Finals against Pittsburgh last year. Edmonton, meanwhile, is in the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Edmonton has exceeded expectations this year. It’s amazing how a trade that looked so horrendous was exactly what they needed. Cam Talbot has been great for them with his .919 SV% and 2.39 GAA. Lucic has come in and made a huge impact. Then, of course, there is Connor McDavid, who had a fantastic full season after missing 30 games last year with a broken collar bone. San Jose, on the flip side, began as expected, holding first place in the Pacific for most of the season. Starting in early March, however, the Sharks lost six straight games, and their nine point lead all but vanished, as they finished the season 4-9-0. Edmonton was very close to capturing the first seed, but just missed out.
The numbers favor Edmonton. Martin Jones just hasn’t been good enough to be able to contain the offensive skill of the Oilers. Talbot, on the other hand, can neutralize the Sharks. The shooting percentage for the Sharks also works in Talbot and his Oilers’ favor.
I see the Oilers winning this series. The Sharks seem overmatched by the offensive of Edmonton. The fact that Edmonton finished 8-0-2 while San Jose spiraled also is a concern.