Wayne Gretzky thinks this season’s Oilers is best version of current team

Hockey Central and Sportsnet welcome you to the Western Conference Final, with AC/DC soundtracking a battle between the Edmonton Oilers and the Dallas Stars with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line.

A man who knows a thing or two about bringing the Stanley Cup north of the border likes what he’s seeing from the Edmonton Oilers.

Wayne Gretzky, who won four Stanley Cups during his time in Edmonton, thinks this season’s version of the Oilers is better than the ones from the past two seasons, including the team that made it to the Western Conference Final two years ago.

“I think they have more depth, I think the addition of (Mattias) Ekholm, Ken Holland did a great job with and I like what they’ve done with the minor-league system,” Gretzky said on the NHL on TNT panel prior to Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.

But the biggest reason that Gretzky thinks the Oilers could be the first team to bring a Cup to Canada in over 30 years, is their defence.

“They’re playing a lot smarter defensively,” Gretzky explained. “Look at some of the shots that Vancouver had, I think they had only one game in the seven over 25 shots. So paying attention to details.

“We talk about this all the time, defence and goaltending eventually win you a Stanley Cup.”

Edmonton completely stifled the Canucks in the final two games of Round 2, as they allowed just three goals to erase a 3-2 series deficit and advance to the Western Conference Final.

After they eliminated the Canucks, the Oilers are now the last team that has a chance to break a 31-year Canadian Cup drought, as the Montreal Canadiens were the last team to win in 1993.

They have a tall task ahead, as they have to oust the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed Dallas Stars before meeting either the Florida Panthers or New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final.

But they have made a believer out of The Great One, so that has to count for something.

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