Perfect Picks: NHL, NBA seasons wrapping up soon

The National Hockey League season concludes on Sunday, April 9, and there are less than 10 games remaining for each Canadian NHL team.

Tuesday, April 28 marks a rare occasion where six of the seven Canadian teams will play on the same night, with all six squads deep in playoff hunts.

The Anaheim Ducks visit the Vancouver Canucks, the Dallas Stars head to the Bell Centre to face the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers face the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Ottawa Senators also take on the Philadelphia Flyers south of the border and, right down the road, the Winnipeg Jets are at the Prudential Center playing the New Jersey Devils.

The remaining game is in Edmonton, where the Oilers are attempting to make the playoffs for the first time since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2006 and falling to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.

First-year Oilers captain and phenom Connor McDavid hopes to win the point-scoring race for the NHL and lead his team to the promised land for first time in 11 years.

The Oilers are also shooting to win the Pacific Division title as well, and they have a crucial week with three games against divisional rivals all at their home rink. The Los Angeles Kings are in town first, then the San Jose Sharks head to Rogers Place on Thursday.

Edmonton concludes its week Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada against the Ducks.

There are also two great matchups on NBC for Wednesday Night Rivalry and Star Sunday. The first game has the best team in the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks, visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins. This game includes arguably the two best players in the NHL featuring Hawks captain Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby of the Penguins.

The same Blackhawks then head home to face the Boston Bruins in a rematch of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final with playoff seeding as a focal point in this game.

The 2016-17 National Basketball Association’s season concludes on April 12, just three days after the NHL schedule wraps up, and these final matchups are just as important.

The league-leading Golden State Warriors have a tough stretch to finish the season, as they face top seeds and multiple MVP candidates.

On Tuesday night, the third-ranked Houston Rockets host the Warriors. Shooting guard James Harden is on a tear after a lacklustre 2015-16 campaign, and he leads the NBA in assists. His team is also a plus-27 compared to their record last season.

In a back-to-back scenario, the Rockets travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs, who are second in the West. Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard is another MVP candidate because he leads his team in every statistical category and ranges quite high in league accomplishments.

On Friday, San Antonio heads home to face the Rockets again, which will be their final matchup of the season unless they meet again in the playoffs. The other powerhouse team in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers, are also finishing up their schedule and they have a big game coming up against the Chicago Bulls.

It seems like yesterday that the Chicago Cubs ended a 102-year drought and won the 2016 World Series in Major League Baseball. On April 2, they begin their quest to defend their title against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

The Toronto Blue Jays will begin their 2017 season the next day in Baltimore with a 4 p.m. opening pitch against the Orioles.

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