The Edmonton Oilers kids have learned their lessons and are pushing forward; the wins now are helped greatly by the 23 and under set. Although the OT loss to San Jose hurt last night (a clear win gave them a share of 8th, the OT loss puts them in an 11th place tie) this morning we face the reality: this club is basically on par with a year ago:
- 11-12 after 29: 14-12-3, 31pts
- 12-13 after 29: 11-11-7, 29pts
The problem for last year’s team? Games 30-40:
- 11-12 games 31-40: 2-9-0, 4pts
- 12-13 games 31-40: ????
The recent run (3-0-2) has the Oilers looking up in terms of the playoffs, they slide ahead of Dallas by a slim margin this morning. Yesterday I said “if they can grab 10 points in their 7 games before the deadline (not too hard a task if they’re serious about making the post-season) they should arrive at the deadline in playoff contention.” After last night they need 9 points in 6 games in order to be in the range (imo) and the St. Louis game on Saturday has (as always) enormous implications.
They must do better in games 30 through 40 if they are going to be buyers at the deadline.
Yesterday, I listed the areas of need for this team, let’s look at that list again:
- A tough forward who can play on the skill line (Brouwer family).
- A LH 2-way defenseman (Bouwmeester family).
- A solid goaltender who can push Dubnyk without being miscast as backup (Bishop).
It’s important to keep in mind that the jacks and kings are here, the Oilers are just looking for the 6’s and 7’s and 9’s. The Nashville Predators and the Calgary Flames can fall out of bed and run into three of these player types before grabbing a coffee at Starbucks, but the Oilers can’t find a date at a whorehouse when it comes to role players.
No time for shoe shines, hard nose the highway. It should not be this difficult.