The Oilers have a 42.1% chance to make the playoffs this morning and in fact hold down the 8th and final playoff spot. Taylor Hall is 5, 6-8-14 +9 during the recent streak and those numbers are positively Herculean.
That’s a beautiful sight, Oilers inside the playoffs. There’s a long way to go, but this represents a turning point along the way to contending for the Stanley. Which team will falter and allow the Oilers in? I don’t think it will be St. Louis, but Detroit, San Jose and (believe it or not) Vancouver may be vulnerable.
Tonight’s game is massive. I don’t think you can count on the Oilers to win, but if they do it would represent another statement game. Saturday night in Rexall against the Canucks, last night against the Flames, and tonight against Vancouver all in one week? Should that happen, we might be talking about this week well into the future–years.
It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? My oh my, that looks very good. Hall is 7th in NHL scoring, 3rd in the real conference and he could pass a few more names before mile 48.
Hall leads the western conference in 5×5/60. LEADS IT!
Parkatti’s numbers are up and they confirm many, many things:
- The Hall line moves the chains like clockwork
- The 2line is better but still not where it needs to be
- Horcoff is central to this team’s success
- Yakupov is pushing now, it’s going to get crazy very soon
- The 4line needs work
- Smid-Petry are solid
- Potter seems to be moving up the depth chart
Last night’s even strength minutes for D
- Smid 18:32
- J Schultz 17:58
- Petry 17:48
- Whitney 17:04
- Potter 16:00
- N Schultz 14:21
Nick Schultz has been playing fewer minutes of late, I wonder if he’s nursing an injury? Anyway, coach Krueger seems to have little worry about moving Potter up or sending Smid, J Schultz or Petry over the boards a time or two. Are we seeing some kind of morphing among the blue? Potter from 6-7 to 5? Whitney from 5-6 to 4? Nick Schultz to the back of the line?
Or is it injury?
Something unusual happened last night. Ralph Krueger didn’t call off the dogs–in fact, he seemed to be increasing the skill shifts and using his 1PP late in the game when it was a laugher. My theory is he didn’t like the Flames taking liberties and decided to exact his own justice. Could be wrong, maybe he just wanted to see the horses run free like the rest of us.
Absolutely nothing against anyone, but this kid Yakupov needs to be playing with the gifted players. Next year for sure.