Meaningful games in December. Yes it’s true. The Oilers who are now winners of 5 in a row find themselves just one point short of a playoff spot. Yes, that’s true too.
The Oilers really haven’t played a game that matters after the month of November in, well I can’t remember when to be honest with you. The Pacific division is terrible, but that’s fine when it comes to where our team sits in the standings. If the old rule for making the playoffs still applied only 2 teams from the Pacific would currently be in a playoff spot. Los Angeles and Vancouver. Thanks to NHL for these rule changes, the Oilers have a chance.
All of this while the team is missing 3 of their top 6 forwards, Benoit Pouliot, Nail Yakupov and young phenom Connor McDavid haven’t played in ages and it appears only Pouliot is getting close to returning.
Just think of the successes possible with this team when McDavid returns. Hall and Draisaitl are rolling, and McDavid will bring offense from another line, if Eberle and Nuge can get going consistently this Oilers team might be the most offensively potent team since the 80’s.
Are the Oilers really going to make the playoffs this season?
I’m going to say no. For to long I’ve gotten my hopes up early thinking this would be the time the Oilers return to the playoffs, nope, okay maybe next season, nope, okay and on and on it’s been for the last 9 seasons. I’m not going to get my hopes up just yet.
I was in a conversation with some friends earlier about this subject and I mentioned that this season is enjoyable but I feel like it’s only a matter of time until the wheels fall of. Do you remember the Lowered Expectations skit that was on Mad TV? It’s a lot like that. We’ve been down for so long that we’ve lowered our expectations to a point where any semblance of success becomes foreign and we’ve come to expect mediocrity. Because of this I won’t be picking the Oilers to make the playoffs until the year after they actually make the play offs.
This all being said, the Oilers are playing better hockey and are within sight of a playoff spot today. That is improvement and that is all I’ve asked for this season. Keep improving and maybe, just maybe our expectations can get rosier and we can start seriously thinking about the post season.
On Another Note
I’d like to thank the fine folks at Oilerhockey.com for asking me to write here from time to time. I’ll be posting the odd article here on this site, but you can find me and a host of other great writers over at the Oilers Rig.
Thanks for Reading