Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers - 4/2/14
Edmonton Oilers (26-40-9) at Anaheim Ducks (49-18-8)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Honda Center)
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -282 / Edmonton Oilers +253 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Oilers play their second Western powerhouse in as many nights on Wednesday as they leave San Jose and head into Anaheim to face the Ducks.
The Oilers have struggled mightily this season and will once again be drafting in the top two with this year’s focus clearly addressing their needs on the blue line. Edmonton has made some strides this season in an effort to retain some stability and direction and while there is still a ton of work to do in the offseason and into next year there can be some form of silver lining on another disastrous season. Edmonton is surely to select Aaron Ekblad with the second overall pick as the towering defender is NHL ready and could very well step into the league next year and make an immediate impact for a depleted Edmonton blue line. As for the rest of this season, things could get rough for the Oil as they take on a bunch of teams jockeying for position and while they don’t have much to play for which is always a dangerous thing I don’t see the Oilers playing spoiler too often.
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Anaheim has been brilliant all season long and they will be right in the mix for the Pacific division crown right to the very end as they and their in-state rivals from San Jose are fighting tooth and nail for the top spot. The Ducks have all but sealed their fate as a potential President’s Trophy winner as the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins are running away with that race but winning the division would be a huge feat as it means they would avoid playing the LA Kings in the first round and set up a more manageable matchup against the Wild or Coyotes. The Ducks know they can’t take any risks down the stretch if they want to stay competitive with San Jose and that is what I see in this contest. This should be a low risk effort from the Ducks who will take their chances when given and do their best to play a constructive game in front of Jonas Hiller. As such, I like this one to stay under the number as I think the two way game of the Ducks will plague any offensive chances for Anaheim and the offensive balance of the Ducks exploits a weak Edmonton blue line.