Last spring, the Edmonton Oilers made the NHL postseason for the first time in ten years. Their first round opponent? The San Jose Sharks. Even though Edmonton was the better team during the regular season, won the season series between the two and were much healthier, many people picked the Sharks.
San Jose was coming off of a thrilling Western Conference championship the year prior and many believed the Sharks were poised to go deep again. What people didn’t know was that Joe Thornton was battling a torn ACL and would not only not be himself in this series, but would also miss a couple games.
Edmonton blew a 2-0 lead in game one of this series and lost in overtime. That result had many people thinking that these Oilers simply were not ready for primetime, and that Edmonton was going to bow out in round one after a great step forward.
Boy, were those people wrong.
Edmonton shut down San Jose in games two and three before a tough blowout loss in game four. After battling back to steal game five in dramatic fashion, Edmonton headed back to San Jose with a chance to seal the deal against their new division rivals.
The Oilers would finish the Sharks in said game six, giving us our ninth best moment from 2017.
After a scoreless first period, the Oilers would open the scoring in the game when Leon Draisaitl was sent in on a breakaway. Leon’s first career playoff goal proved to be a massive tally, and set the table for Anton Slepyshev to do exactly the same just under a minute later.
The Sharks would dominate the third period, a frame where San Jose would score to make it 2-1 and then hit a post with under five minutes left, but Cam Talbot held the fort. Connor McDavid would score with .3 seconds left into an empty net, and Edmonton would knock off the Sharks four games to two.
This series was Edmonton’s second in franchise history against the Sharks, and was their second series win over San Jose. The Oil knocked the Sharks off, also in six games, during their magical to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. This series win wouldn’t propel an equally as stunning run, but it was still a magical moment in 2017.
We’ll be back tomorrow with moment number eight from the 2017 calendar year.