The 2024 NHL Playoffs: Is this McDavid’s year?

by | Apr 23, 2024 | Opinion

From the highest highs to the lowest lows, the Edmonton Oilers have completed yet another historic season.

Connor McDavid and crew started the year with a 5-12-1 record through the first 18 games.

The team continuned to struggle early in the season, so the organization decided to change coaching by hiring Head Coach Kris Knoblauch. He helped lead the team to a franchise record 16-game win streak, marking a turning point for the Oilers.

Since January 1st, the Oilers are tied for thebest record in the league, illustrating how lethal the team can be when they play at their best. With the turnaround, McDavid continued his offense, becoming the fourth player in NHL history to get 100 assists in a single season, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since the 1990-91 season when Wayne Gretzky ended the year with 122 assists.

McDavid and his supporting cast have set the Oilers up for a great playoff run, as for the third year in a row, they meet the LA Kings in the first round. Even though the Kings have lost in the last two series against Edmonton, they are a great challenge to overcome.

Fans might write the Kings off, but those previous matchups caused the Oilers a lot of trouble, making me think that the matchup will be a long series again. I foresee each game being a tight, physical affair, leaving fans of both teams on the edge of their seats.

The Kings are filled with sneaky players up and down the lineup and have a more balanced forward group than the Oilers.

However, I do think the Oilers will etch out the Kings in seven games.

I have the Canucks making it past the Predators in round one to book a meeting with the Oilers. The Canucks have a lot of skill but lack adversity. They’ve done nothing but win, and I think having those hard losses prepares a team to bounce back and have the ability to reset.

In that series, the Oilers will push the pressure, taking it in six.

Round three would be the biggest task for the Oilers, where I have the Stars facing them. Dallas has a talented forward group with a solid mix of grizzled veterans and skillful youth rostering eight 20-goal scorers.

This is the worst possible matchup for the Oilers. I don’t think they have the forward depth to match Dallas, making line matchups difficult. 

If these two teams meet, the Oilers will fall in six.

However, great performances from Evander Kane and Darnell Nurse would help the Oilers immensely in their quest for the cup. If Kane plays like he did in the 2021-22 playoffs and Nurse doesn’t make any egregious mistakes defensively, my entire outlook in this series changes.

No matter what happens, I’ll be cheering for Edmonton, bleeding orange and blue the entire postseason.

Latest Issue