NHL Stanley Cup Round 2 Western Conference Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs Anaheim Ducks

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
Standings
8th League 6th
4th Conference 3rd
2nd Division 1st
2nd Pacific Seeding 1st Pacific
Season Record
47-26-9 103pts Overall 105pts 46-23-13
247 Goals For 223
212 Goals Against 200
Record versus opponent
48 56 2 All-time 56 48 2
4 1 0 Playoffs 1 4 0
3 2 0 2016/17 2 1 2

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.

Scoring Leaders
Goals
Connor McDavid 30 Regular Season 33 Rickard Rakell
Zack Kassian
Oscar Klefbom
Connor McDavid
2 Playoffs 3 Ryan Getzlaf
Assists
Connor McDavid 70 Regular Season 58 Ryan Getzlaf
Andrej Sekera
Mark Letestu
Leon Draisaitl
Matt Benning
Connor McDavid
2 Playoffs 4 Kevin Bieksa
Points
Connor McDavid 100 Regular Season 73 Ryan Getzlaf
Connor McDavid 4 Playoffs 5 Shea Theodore
Rickard Rakell
Ryan Getzlaf
Shots
Connor McDavid 251 Regular Season 227 Jakob Silfverberg
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 17 Playoffs 18 Jakob Silfverberg
Shot Percentage
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 SZV Adjusted
CF% FF% CF% FF%
Edmonton 52.07 50.90 52.65 50.39
Anaheim 48.83 48.79 49.64 49.81
Unadjusted Possession Leaders
CF% FF%
D F D F
Edmonton Oscar Klefbom
(59.11)
Jordan Eberle
(61.24)
Oscar Klefbom
(59.28)
Jordan Eberle
(63.44)
Anaheim Josh Manson
(56.52)
Antoine Vermette
(52.68)
Josh Manson
(57.83)
Antoine Vermette
(53.26)

 

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
% Rank % Rank
Edmonton 12.5 14th 80.8 10th
Anaheim 23.1 4th 62.5 16th
PPG For SHG Against PPG Against SHG For
Edmonton 2 0 5 2
Anaheim 3 1 6 0

 

Anaheim – good power play, terrible penalty kill. Edmonton – below average both. Someone’s stats are going to look a lot better after this one.

Goaltending
Edmonton Anaheim
Cam Talbot John Gibson
5v5 Sv% 93.80 97.73
5v5 HDSv% 86.21 95.00
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.

Prediction

 

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.

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