Edmonton have slipped down the Pacific Division pecking order after an inconsistent run of form in recent weeks. The Oilers, now fifth in the current standings, will be determined to notch a huge win against one of their closest rivals.
The National Hockey League playoff picture is beginning to take shape but Edmonton’s status is still up in the air. We are now entering the business stage of the campaign and every point is vital in the race to qualify for the postseason.
At the time of writing, Edmonton have a -22 goals differential and the Oilers need to stop leaking goals to stand any chance of turning things around. Victory here might be enough for Edmonton to climb up to fourth in the division but defensive questions remain.
Meanwhile, San Jose are second in the Pacific standings – just two wins behind the Calgary Flames. The Sharks will be quietly confident of toppling their rivals in the coming weeks but defeat here will halt momentum after a four-game winning streak.
According to the latest 888sport ice hockey odds, San Jose are at 14/1 to win the Stanley Cup this year. Plenty of punters will fancy the 2016 finalists to get back to the showpiece series but it will not be easy. Top spot in the Pacific Division will certainly help.
The Sharks have an excellent record in this fixture, winning five of their last six against Edmonton. Home advantage will give the Oilers a boost but San Jose’s impressive run of form may be enough to swing punters in favour of the road team.
Oilers Must Keep Faith
Edmonton are still relevant in the playoff discussion and Oilers fans will be crossing fingers and toes ahead of this clash. A win for the hosts could serve as the catalyst for a real playoff push in the coming weeks.
Connor McDavid continues to do Connor McDavid things on a weekly basis. The leader of this Edmonton team on and off the ice, McDavid gives the Oilers a chance whenever he is on the ice – that is how good he really is.
Punters will be keeping a close eye on Edmonton’s form in the coming weeks – odds on the Oilers to reach the playoffs are yo-yoing up and down. For the time being, the postseason is still a realistic aim and supporters will be hoping for a positive end to the year.
Write San Jose Off At Your Peril
Capable of beating the best teams in the National Hockey League on their day, the Sharks are one of the most dangerous sides around. San Jose have the strength in depth and ‘never say die’ attitude to challenge deep into the playoffs.
Consistency has haunted the Sharks since reaching the Stanley Cup series in 2016 but they are edging closer to top form. Coming into this game, San Jose have won four on the spin and it would take a brave man to back against them on current form.
Their form on the road this year has been hit and miss but the Sharks will take plenty of confidence from recent efforts. San Jose could win this weekend and a fifth successive victory will put them right in the Stanley Cup picture.
This is a very difficult game to call. Yes, San Jose are in excellent form but Edmonton have that star quality in McDavid – he can make the difference for the Oilers once again here.
Opting for over 5.5 goals might be the best way to go. This one really could go either way and it might be one for neutrals to sit back and enjoy. On paper, it could turn out to be one of the games of the weekend.
TIP: Over 5.5 goals
CORRECT SCORE: Edmonton Oilers 3-5 San Jose Sharks