Do I have to? Like, honestly? Do I really have to write this one? God damn it all.
Bad goal reviews and sheer stupidity from the Flames saw Anaheim sweep them in four, whereas the Oilers took six games to beat a sorely lacking Sharks outfit and setting up the Absolute Worst match-up I could ever have to write about.
I won’t hide my loathing for either side. Edmonton fans refuse to admit Connor McDavid might have something to do with their success, while the Ducks’ roster is full of human garbage.
Guess who won’t be staying up to cover these games live?
|Western Conference Round Two|
|Edmonton Oilers||Vs||Anaheim Ducks|
|2nd Pacific||Seeding||1st Pacific|
|Record versus opponent|
The top two in the Pacific meet to decide who is the best. Anaheim have the second-best defence of the teams left in the playoffs, while Edmonton have scored the most in the West.
Anaheim only lost once in regulation to the Oilers this season, on January 25th in a 4-0 rout in the Ponda. The two have only met once in the playoffs, back in 2006, with the Oilers winning in five.
|Connor McDavid||30||Regular Season||33||Rickard Rakell|
|Connor McDavid||70||Regular Season||58||Ryan Getzlaf|
|Connor McDavid||100||Regular Season||73||Ryan Getzlaf|
|Connor McDavid||4||Playoffs||5||Shea Theodore
|Connor McDavid||251||Regular Season||227||Jakob Silfverberg|
|Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||17||Playoffs||18||Jakob Silfverberg|
|Leon Draisaitl||16.9||Regular Season||20||Patrick Eaves|
|David Desharnais||33.3||Playoffs||50||Nick Ritchie|
Both teams had one high-scoring forward this year, and then some support from further back. Leon Draisaitl benefited from playing with McDavid (yes he did) and Rakell was backed up by strong showings from Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler.
For leading the team in points, McDavid his been quiet so far. His two goals were a short-hander, and an empty-netter. Not exactly gamebreaking.
|Playoff Even Strength Team Possession (via corsica.hockey)|
|Unadjusted Possession Leaders|
Both teams continued the same possession game that they were used to from the regular season – Anaheim were slightly below breaking even, the Oilers were slightly above. Vermette and Manson are definitely the standouts for the Ducks, and Klefbom and Eberle were pretty good in round one. The possession definitely falls in the Oilers’ favour, but then it fell in Calgary’s too.
|Playoff Special Teams|
|Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|PPG For||SHG Against||PPG Against||SHG For|
Anaheim – good power play, terrible penalty kill. Edmonton – below average both. Someone’s stats are going to look a lot better after this one.
|Cam Talbot||John Gibson|
|All Sits Sv%||92.73||92.62|
|All Sits HDSv%||81.40||78.38|
Two good goalies, both of which were taken out of a game – Laurent Brossoit came in during the 0-7 loss for the Oilers, while Jonathan Bernier came in with the Ducks 4-1 down, winning the game in overtime. Capable backups maybe, but they’re not likely to come into play here.
Both are performing well (although Gibson is outstanding at 5 on 5), and this could be a very good duel between the two.
I really have to do this don’t I? Jeez.
In an ideal world, this goes seven games with every game lasting three overtimes, so the winner is good and ready to be steamrolled in the conference final.
In reality? Anaheim in six. I reckon the trashboys will get in the heads of the young upstarts – like they did to Calgary – and their experience will see them through.