Edmonton Oilers: 21 Is the Magic Number

Martin MaleAnalyst IFebruary 20, 2008

What is 21? Well, it is seven times three, it's blackjack, it's a Fibonacci number, a Harshad number, and a Motzkin number. It is also appears in the Padovan sequence.

It is also the number of games left in the Edmonton Oilers season. That is unless there is a miraculous turn of events and they somehow manage to make the playoffs.

Currently the Oilers are nine points out of the last playoff spot.

That means the Blue and Copper need to win five more games than the teams they are chasing. As of today, both Calgary and Vancouver have 68 points in 60 games. That is 1.13 points per game on average. With 22 games remaining, that means both teams should end up with an additional 25 points giving them 93 points.

With 59 points, the Oilers will need 35 points. With only 42 points up for grabs, they can only afford to lose seven points. That is three losses in regulation and one in OT or a shootout.

The effort has been there for the Oilers the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, they have come up short and lost the last two games. Great effort, but losses are not what they need. A minimum of 17-3-1 is what they will need to do until the end of the season.

Tuesday is the NHL trading deadline. The Edmonton Oilers have two games between now and that deadline. Win on Friday and Sunday, and Kevin Lowe might be a buyer. Lose them and chances are Kevin Lowe is a seller.

The effort has been there for seven games now and that effort has to be rewarded in wins. There is no more time for losses.