The month of December has been good to the Oilers so far. They came into tonight’s game having won 3 games in a row and only 4 points out of a playoff spot. San Jose was one of those teams that the Oilers were trying to catch and despite being out played the Oilers pushed a tired Sharks team to the limit.
The top two lines played their asses off. The combination of Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jujhar Khaira worked well. Add Iiro Pakarinen to Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins and magic occurred as well. Then the play of Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl was the icing on the cake. Those six players made the game despite the Oilers being completely outplayed.
Once again the Oilers were unable to put anything together on the power play. They only had one but watching the power play trying to set up was cringe worthy. This version of the Oilers power play is just bad all around.
The Oilers deserved to lose this game. The first two periods were atrocious. The Oilers got dominated all around. There wasn’t really a push back from them at all. They got lucky scoring first and Anders Nilsson bailed them out multiple times. It was complete comedy of errors but as the past few games have shown the Oilers just can’t dominate other teams.
The Oilers are 3 points out of a playoff spot right now. This is the closest they’ve been to a playoff spot in December in years. Sure its a bit of an illusion but its nice to see the Oilers playing meaningful games in December. I know none of my kids have witnessed this in their lifetimes. My son 6 year old son Magnus has been sneaking down just to see the score because he knows how close the Oilers are to a playoff spot. Sure the Pacific division sucks but at least it’s giving the Oilers a chance at the playoffs.
The next three games could be the difference of playoff spot vs DFL for the Oilers. On Friday they take on the Rangers at Rexall Place. They then hit the road for 4 and take on the Bruins, Rangers, Blackhawks and the Avalanche. In those five games the Oilers need to win 3 and there could be a possibility of that if this lucky streak continues. Three of those game are against teams from the east and Edmonton has had a pretty decent record against eastern teams and the last team is Colorado so there is a potential for some decent hockey.
Finally the Oilers have a -10 goal differential while having lost 15 + 2 games. That is just over -0.5 per loss which is the best the Oilers have been in years.