Injuries, experience keys to Sharks vs Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers' Matthew Benning battles the Vancouver Canucks' Markus Granlund during third period NHL action at Rogers Place in Edmonton Saturday

Injuries, experience keys to Sharks vs Oilers

But trust your eyes.

Sharks: Health. San Jose is a savvy, experienced team that knows all about the price required to win in the playoffs. "The tickets released by the Edmonton Oilers were gone by 10:05 a.m". This is no fluke. They were plus-36 this season (243 goals-for, 207 goals-against), an improvement of almost one goal per game.

Vancouver has lost seven in a row in regulation, and 12 straight at Rogers Arena (0-9-3) dating to an overtime victory on February 18, a run that set a franchise low for consecutive games without a victory at home, previously set during the team's inaugural 1970-71 season.

"I think what happens (in the offseason) is for (Boeser) to learn what the NHL's all about, and then it's for him to do what he needs to do in the summer to play at this level".

"You know they're confident".

The Oilers will have a stiff test to open the Stanley Cup Playoffs as they face the runner-up from last season in San Jose.

Next to nobody predicted the Oilers would have a 103-point season or that McDavid as a 20-year-old captain would produce 100 points. "It's more important the team gets 100 points than an individual".

Twitter Canada posted a blog Monday, examining the Canadian teams that made the Stanley Cup playoffs, their followers and popularity on the micro blogging site. "It's just a matter of out-working and out-playing them".

Just 2-12-2 over their last 16 games overall, the club's last victory in regulation in Vancouver came all the way back on January 20.

Jordan Eberle, Mark Letestu and Iiro Pakarinen all scored for Edmonton. That tells you (and more importantly, them) that they can expect to go deep into the playoffs. The Sharks struggled in March but rebounded to win three of their last four games. This season, McDavid delivered, netting the Oilers their first playoff appearance while winning the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading point scorer. The Sharks ended the regular season by dropping nine of their final 13 games, fading out of first place in the division, suffering key injuries, and really making you wonder if last year's Cup finalist are in the right place entering the first round. Couture, who had 52 points (25 goals, 27 assists), and Thornton, who had 50 points (seven goals, 43 assists), finished third and fourth on the Sharks in scoring, so it will be a big loss if either misses any more time.

The Oilers enter the playoffs with Lucic giving everyone a vivid example of how to play at this time of year on a second line thats finally performing like their credentials say they should perform.

Eberle got his hat trick just 31 seconds into the third, firing home a pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to make it 4-1.

The young defence continues to grow and grow.

Dan Mason is professor of sport management at the University of Alberta who has been following the team for years.

Chris Tierney, who paced the offense with one goal and one assist, said: "Guys were positive".

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