In the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers took down the Los Angeles Kings in six games to advance to the second round. Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights took down the Winnipeg Jets in five games.
Now, these two teams will meet each other in the second round to truly decide who was the best team in the Pacific Division this year. Vegas won the division in the regular season by two points, so they will have the home-ice advantage.
This is a series loaded with incredible skill up and down the lineup. For Edmonton, it is guys like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zach Hyman, and Evander Kane amongst others leading the way up front.
For Vegas, you’ve got guys like Jack Eichel, Chandler Stephenson, Mark Stone, William Karlsson, and Jonathan Marchessault amongst others.
The Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers are each very deep.
On defense, Edmonton is led by guys like Evan Bouchard and Darnell Nurse. Meanwhile, Vegas has studs like Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore. These guys might be the most important in the series, as defending all that talent up front could be key. They can all burn you offensively as well.
In goal for the Oilers, there is a chance that you see both Stuart Skinner and Jack Campbell in this series. Both of them made appearances in the first-round series against Los Angeles. As for the Golden Knights, Laurent Brossoit should be the guy in the blue paint.
Both of these teams believe that they can win the Stanley Cup if they get past the second round, and they might be onto something. The Western Conference is wide open, and these two teams are as deep as they get.
Winnipeg was great early in their series against Vegas but fell off by the end. As for Edmonton, it was a fight with Los Angeles until the very end. You have to wonder how that may impact the series as one is coming in a little bit more battle tested.
With all of the elite talent that exists on both sides here, you can expect a very wild series. Neither of them is coming into this just happy to be here. Both want to win it all. Of every matchup in the second round, this one might be the most competitive.