Edmonton finished with four wins in a row to crash into the Christmas break. That’s great news for the good guys. With those eight points, the Oilers push their season point total to 36 in 36 games. That’s...encouraging?
Well, yeah. After the extremely sluggish start to the season, the Oilers seem to have started to put things together. Over their last four games, the Oilers look pretty darn good. They even looked good in a few games that they couldn’t solve a backup netminder. They’ve played well in six out of the last seven. They’ve finally reached a Bettman .500 (17-17-2). Things seem to be looking up. Is the club finally for real?
HAVE THE OILERS TURNED THE CORNER?
It’s this writer’s opinion that the low point of the season was the 21st of November, an 8-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The Oilers dropped their second game in a row by a combined score of 14-5. Prominent sportswriters were busy writing articles about Connor McDavid’s turnovers and how they were costing the Oilers points in the standings. (Side note: that was the least of the team’s troubles.) The team belched out to a 7-12-2 record at that point, a mere 16 points out of a possible 44.
Since then, they’ve gone 10-5-0. In that time, they’ve outscored their opponents by a combined score of 55-41. For significant chunks of time during their 10-5 run, the Oilers have been without the services of Cam Talbot (who had a rocky start to the season) and Adam Larsson. They’re playing well, and they’re being rewarded.
A LOOK AT THE PACIFIC
Although you can’t see it, but Dallas currently holds the last wild card with 40 points right now. That’s just four points ahead of the Oilers. The Oilers could make it easier on themselves and catch the Sharks, but the Sharks are six points ahead with two games in hand. Still, the Oilers were eight, nine points out not long ago. That’s improvement, yeah?
AN UPHILL BATTLE
The Oilers still have a fair mountain to climb. They’re going to need a little bit more than six points out of every ten points available from here on out. 36 points in 36 games projects to 82 points on the season, the Oilers will likely need at least ten or twelve more than that in order to make a serious run at things. With 46 games remaining and a possible 92 points, the Oilers are going to need to pull about 58 points, or something like 25-15-6.
That 10-5 run they’ve been on? If they could keep that up until the end of the season, that would probably do it. Can they keep it up?
Will the Oilers make the 2017-18 playoffs?
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