Edmonton Oilers prep for high-flying Avalanche in NHL Western Conference Final

There will be plenty of star power in the Western Conference Final between the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche.

The Oilers are fueled by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who are tied for the playoff scoring lead. Both men have 26 points in 12 games.

Read more: Colorado Avalanche to face Edmonton Oilers after eliminating St. Louis Blues in 2nd round

The Avalanche boast forwards Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog. Their top defenceman is Cale Makar, who has 13 points in 10 games and is one of the best skaters in the NHL.

Read more: Edmonton Oilers advance to West Final with OT win over Flames

“He presents a lot of different challenges,” observed McDavid. “It’s important as forwards, just to stay above him and not jump into the rush too much.”

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“He’s a threat in all three zones. He likes to wind it up,” said head coach Jay Woodcroft. “He’s somebody that makes things happen.

“There has to be an awareness, an alertness when he’s on the ice surface. He’s a heck of a player.”

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Oilers fans celebrate after Calgary Flames eliminated from NHL playoffs' Edmonton Oilers fans celebrate after Calgary Flames eliminated from NHL playoffs

Edmonton Oilers fans celebrate after Calgary Flames eliminated from NHL playoffs

Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie was drafted by the Avalanche in 2009 and played 484 games for them over eight seasons.

“I’ve certainly moved on from that, but definitely have a couple of good buddies left over there. There has been a lot of turnover though. I think there are only five or six guys left maybe,” said Barrie.

Barrie did play with MacKinnon, who was drafted first overall in 2013. Like McDavid has become the face of the Oilers, MacKinnon is the marquee player for the Avs.

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“His work ethic and the way he prepares and treats his body reminds me a lot of (McDavid). They’re at the top of their game and they’re taking care of themselves to make sure they’re at the top of their game,” Barrie said.

“He’s a powerful, skilled. He can do it all. He’ll be a handful — but nothing we can’t handle.”

Colorado will host Game 1 on Tuesday. The 630 CHED Face-off Show begins at 4 p.m.. The game starts at 6 p.m.

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