Three Reasons Why The Oilers Should Want To Play Vegas In The First Round

With the first round matchups not set in stone yet. I think Vegas is the team the Oilers will want to play in first.
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse (25)
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse (25) / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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Banged Up Golden Knights

Now I make this point with a little bit of haste in my head, because there is a part of me that thinks that as soon as the playoff starts everyone is going to all of a sudden be healthy for the Golden Knights. I don't know how a lacerated spleen heals itself overnight, but I'm sure the team doctors in Vegas could do it if anyone could.

Now that is off my chest I honestly don't think that Mark Stone is going to be able to play in the playoffs and if he does it will not be till later. This is another reason why you want to face the Knights in the first round. The longer the Knights can limp their way through the playoffs the more likely Stone is to come back.

Stone is this team's leader off and on the ice, if the Oilers face the Knights without Stone in the lineup that would be a huge advantage to them as he has the ability to get the Knights to play better around him. He plays for the team, not himself as he is one of the better two-way players in the game.

Stone is not the only injury plaguing the Knights right now either. They are also missing Alex Pietrangelo, Chandler Stephenson, Nicolas Roy and William Carrier. So the sooner you face this team the easier it will be to beat them. I mean look at the game they just played, the Oilers won 5-1 and they didn't even have Connor McDavid.

Non-Elite Goaltending

When it comes to the first-round match-ups for the Oilers the only team that I am truly worried about their goaltending is the Nashville Predators. That is because Juuse Saros is one of the better goalies in the league. He doesn't need to get hot to steal a game as regular Sarros can steal any game.

The same can not be said for Adin Hill. When Hill plays an average game he is just that, average. Last year in the playoffs he caught lightning in a bottle and played his best-ever hockey. This season he has not been nearly as good as he was on the run.

Hill is also coming off an injury which may affect the way he plays. Once again look at the last game against the Oilers he allowed 5 goals on 28 shots. Those numbers do not scare me if I am an Oilers fan or player. The Knights indeed had lots of injured players that if were healthy would have limited the Oilers, but till they are back in the lineup it is a moot point.

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There are still those 5 games left to figure out who plays who in the first round. Of the teams most likely to play the Oilers I think it is still the Knights. For me, that would be a perfect matchup for the Oilers as they could slay the demon of last year's run as well as the reigning Cup Champion early which would give this team the boost to lift the Stanley Cup.