Did anyone not see this coming?
Connor McDavid’s face gave it away before game time, and boy oh boy did Edmonton crumble just as I predicted hours ago (humble brag, not really).
The Ducks are just too good. Anaheim’s top six is beyond unfair, with each and every player on the first two offensive lines having scored 15+ goals during the regular season. Four of those six ended the year with 50+ points, and three have already totaled 10+ points through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
McDavid and company will be back, but Anaheim’s team is just too loaded from top to bottom not to win the West. The Ducks are loaded up front, and John Gibson has been somewhat solid throughout the playoffs with a couple of bad games against Edmonton and one in Calgary where he was pulled after a rough start before backup Jonathan Bernier put in work as Anaheim mounted a comeback and eventually won. This team is really, really good.
McDavid stunk it up in Game 7, ending Wednesday night’s action with just one shot and zero points in nearly 25 minutes on the ice.
What’s crazy about Anaheim right now is that Ryan Kesler has only put one puck in the net during the playoffs. If guys like Kesler, Rickard Rakell and Corey Perry can step up alongside Ryan Getzlaf — who is one of the sneaky most consistent playoff performers in the NHL — as the Ducks take on the Predators, Anaheim could easily sweep.
The X-factor for the Western Conference Finals — and you’ll hear it a million times — will be Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. If Anaheim’s high-powered offense can keep putting pucks on net, Rinne will have to have the series of his career to keep his team alive.