Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks Game 7
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Time TBD
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
NHL Playoff Odds
Oilers vs. Ducks Game 7 TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network
For a franchise that spent a decade watching every other team in the NHL have their shots at the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Edmonton sure has the look and feel of a team full of savvy veterans who have been here and done this several times before.
Game 6 could have been a nightmare for the Oilers. They had just blown a three-goal lead in the last three and a half minutes of Game 5 on the road in Anaheim, and that marked their third straight loss in the series, including dropping two at Rogers Place. Instead, Edmonton put on a furious rally, scoring five times in the first period en route to a dominant showing to force this series to its distance.
We're watching these Oilers grow up with each passing game they play in the postseason. Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were actually relatively quiet in Game 6, but that gave way to a few of the other stars who are helping this franchise return from the ashes.
Leon Draisaitl, just 21 years old in his own right, had a hat trick by the end of the second period and tacked two assists on for good measure. Anton Slepyshev, 22, scored as well, his second of the series and third of the playoffs.
Now, it's Anaheim left picking up the pieces from a broken night on the ice. The Ducks have to regroup and realize that that disastrous Game 6 was just one game, and they're still going to be the favorites to finish off this series in Game 7 back at the Pond.
We hate to single out one man in particular, but this is make or break in the career of John Gibson. He's only 23 years old, but this is his fourth year in the league and effectively his third time around in these playoffs. He's got just an 8-7 record in that span, and he's never had better than a 2.69 GAA in any given postseason and has a mark just south of 3.00 for his career.
Gibson was yanked after facing just six shots and allowing three goals in Game 6, and that dropped his save percentage to a woeful .885 in this series.
Jonathan Bernier was no better in that game, and he certainly isn't the answer in net at this point either. Game 7s are won by superior net minders, and if Gibson isn't one, this could end up being a long, long night and an even longer offseason for the Ducks.
Oilers vs. Ducks Game 7 Free Picks
Bruce Boudreau was canned for continually not being able to get the job done in these tight, gritty series, but we wonder whether this is less of a coaching issue and more of a player issue. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and the gang have been around for a long time, and they've had a lot of successes, but they've had a lot more in the way of failures.
The Oilers look like they're almost too young and dumb to know that they shouldn't still be in this series. But they've earned their way here. They've outplayed the Ducks for our money in four of the six games of this series, and they left no doubt in Game 6 on Sunday night. If Edmonton can show anywhere near that much spark in Game 7, it will leave the crowd at the Honda Center completely confounded. These Oilers really can do this, and we think they're going to do it rather emphatically, too.
Oilers vs. Ducks Game 7 Pick: Play Edmonton at BookMaker.eu
Oilers vs. Ducks Game 7 Score Prediction: Oilers 4, Ducks 1