Stars prepare for Oilers and McDavid in Western Conference final

When asked about the key against McDavid, DeBoer laughed.

“Cross your fingers,” he said. “Pray. You know, I mean, he’s like Nate MacKinnon. He’s like Jack Eichel. You’re never going to be able to keep them off the scoreboard. You’ve got to defend them as a five-man unit. You’ve always got to be on your toes when they’re on the ice. You’ve got to have details in your game at all times and you can’t breathe, because those guys will expose you.”

Dallas went 2-0-1 against Edmonton in the regular season. McDavid had an assist. Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins had two each. Bouchard scored twice, but Hyman had no point.

One game came after the Stars acquired defenseman Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames on February 28. That was a 5-0 win at the American Airlines Center on April 3.

However, DeBoer was cautious.

“We’ve faced some great players here, but we have to do it again,” DeBoer said. “Anything you’ve done in the past is great and has gotten us to this point, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to do the same thing to Connor McDavid. “You have to go out and do it all over again and do it at a different level than you’ve done it before.”

The Stars scored 113 points in the regular season, won the Western Conference and finished one point behind the New York Rangers for the Presidents’ Trophy. The Oilers added 104 points, fifth in the West and ninth in the League.

But after starting 3-9-1, the Oilers replaced coach Jay Woodcroft with Kris Knoblauch on November 12. From that point on, the Oilers had 97 points, the most in the NHL. They defeated the Los Angeles Kings in five games in the first round and the Vancouver Canucks in seven in the second.

That’s a difference with Las Vegas and Colorado. After an 11-0-1 start, the Golden Knights scored 75 points from November 5 to the end of the regular season, 21st in the NHL. The Avalanche went 4-5-2 down the stretch before defeating the Winnipeg Jets in five games in the first round.

“Each series is unique,” ​​DeBoer said. “You’re in the bottom four teams, so I think Edmonton is playing with a lot of confidence, and they have all year.

“You know, when we played in Las Vegas, they, because of some injuries and things like that, stumbled a little bit in the second half. Colorado had stumbled in the second half and bounced back against Winnipeg in the first round. This Edmonton team has been running for six months. “He is a dangerous opponent.”