The Edmonton Oilers are still in the hunt for the playoffs. While it seems unlikely and miracles will more than likely be needed, here is my outlook at the present time.
The Detroit Red Wings will finish first in the Central Division of the Western Conference, so I won't worry about them. They are in the playoffs. The Dallas Stars and the Anaheim Ducks continue to battle for first in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and will more than likely take playoff seeds two and four, so I won't worry about them. Here is how the other teams will finish based on what they have done year to date and what the Oilers need to do to make the playoffs in their last 18 games.
- 3rd Place - Calgary Flames - 96 points
- 5th Place - San Jose Sharks - 98 points
- 6th Place - Minnesota Wild - 95 points
- 7th Place - Vancouver Canucks - 95 points
- 8th Place - Nashville Predators - 92 points
- 9th and 10th Place - Colorado Avalanche and the Phoenix Coyotes - 90 points
With 18 games left and the Edmonton Oilers at 63 points, they will need 93 points to make the playoffs. That is 30 points which means 15 wins. So as it stands right now, the Oilers can go 15-3 in the last 18 and still make the playoffs. I guess that is slightly better than the 17-3-1 situation they were looking at last week.
Nashville had better keep an eye open over their shoulder too, because a re-tooled and healthy Avalanche team could give them a run.
All the Oilers can do is keep winning and hope the other teams beat up on each other and keep stealing points away from each other.