Apr 9, 2017; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point of the season off of center Leon Draisaitl (29)(not pictured) goal in the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place. The Oilers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 1

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have arrived, and the first round of teams will take the rink tonight.

Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

This Pacific Division matchup is definitely one to watch. The Edmonton Oilers are back in the playoffs after a long 11-year drought. The San Jose Sharks were last year’s cup finalists and may have an edge in postseason experience.

Players to Watch

One of the most-talked about players in this series has been the Oilers’ Connor McDavid. McDavid, the team’s 20 year old phenom, has scored over 100 points this season. He currently has a 14-game scoring streak. For the Sharks, they are hoping to see Joe Thornton or Logan Couture return to the ice. Thornton went out in early April with a knee injury, while Couture is recovering from being punched in the face. It would be ideal for San Jose to be able to play at least one of these centers.

Final Notes

  • Game 1 of this series will start in Edmonton, which could be an advantage for the Oilers. Aside from having their hometown crowd there to support, the Sharks have struggled playing on the road throughout the season.
  • Oilers head coach Todd McLellan will be facing his former team; McLellan left San Jose two years ago.
  • This is the second time the Sharks and Oilers will meet in postseason play; the last time was in 2006.

Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues

This Central Division matchup will certainly be interesting. The Minnesota Wild are coming off a rough March, a month in which they dropped 12 of their 16 games. The St. Louis Blues have been adjusting to a mid-season coaching change, but are coming off a 4-game win streak.

Mar 7, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise (11) skates with the puck in the third period against the St Louis Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson (6) at Xcel Energy Center. The St Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Regular Season Records

The Minnesota Wild rank second in the Central Division with a 49-25-8 record. The St. Louis Blues rank third, with a 45-29-7 record.

Notable Items

  • St. Louis won the overall head-to-head matchups this season, taking three of the five games from the Wild.
  • Mike Yeo took over as the new head coach for the Blues in February; the team is 21-8-2 since.
  • The Wild have not suffered a substantial amount of injuries so far; this could prove beneficial, as it will give them depth.

About Victoria Rossman

Born and raised at the ballpark! Typically quiet- until it comes to sports. I'm a South Florida native with a passion for baseball nearly as strong as my faith. Grew up in garnet + gold, turned out sporting orange + blue. Likely to be found with a camera. And yes, I take food pictures.

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