The Edmonton Oilers are back in the playoffs for the third season in a row and expected to do much better than a first round sweep. They have one win in their past eight playoff games, ever since they made it to game seven of the second round in 2017.
With a much deeper and more experienced core group of players, the team, management, and fans are hoping for better results this time around. Predictions will always be a fun part of the game to judge how teams and players do based on your expectations, so here’s four Oilers predictions for the 2022 NHL playoffs.
Oilers Win At Least 2 Playoff Series
For the first time since 2016-17, the Oilers are going to win a playoff series. They were favoured and had solid records against their last two playoff opponents, but were shut down and couldn’t get much going in either. They match up against the Los Angeles Kings to kick off the 2022 NHL playoffs, and they match up well.
The Oilers are much better at home than the Kings, and that’s where the series kicks off for the first two games. Not only do the Oilers have seven more home wins than the Kings, they also have the seventh-most wins at home in the NHL this season. Also take into account that they are 14-0-1 at home over their last 15 games. Home-ice advantage is much bigger in this series than it usually plays. If the Oilers can go up 2-0 after the first two games, they have the same number of wins on the road as the Kings do in their own building. There’s really no home-ice advantage during Games 3 and 4.
Take into consideration that the Oilers are 3-1 in the season series vs the Kings as well, winning the final three meetings and dropping the one game during their stretch of losing 13 of 15. They may be in the heads of the Kings who are the youngest playoff team. Despite a few players still left over from their last Cup, including Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, and an injured Drew Doughty, not many of their players have even seen postseason action yet in their careers. The Oilers will be heading into their third consecutive postseason and are hungry to taste victory one again.
The Oilers have one of the deepest forward groups this season and have five 20-goal scorers for the first time since 2016-17, when they were so close to advancing to the conference finals. Once they get past the Kings, it’s either the Calgary Flames or the Dallas Stars. The Stars may surprise and give the Flames a tough time, but the Flames would likely be the second-round opponent of the Oilers.
The Battle of Alberta in the playoffs would be electric and likely one of the best postseason series we’ve seen in a while. These teams split the season series 2-2 and are both offensive juggernauts. The Flames are a better team at five-on-five that is led by their top line, but the Oilers are a drastically improved team at even strength since Jay Woodcroft took over behind the bench. They have had the Flames’ number of the past few seasons, but not by a big stretch. The Oilers and their stars have more to prove, and more pressure on them to advance than the Flames, and that desperation should come into play.
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