The Edmonton Oilers are still in the playoff race...barely. While success seems unlikely, and certainly they'd need a miracle or two, let's take a look at where they sit in relation to the teams they are chasing.
If NHL Western Conference teams finished at the same level at which they have played up to this point in the season, the top nine teams would finish as follows:
- 1st Place - Detroit Red Wings - 112 points
- 2nd Place - Dallas Stars - 103 points
- 3rd Place - Minnesota Wild - 97 points
- 4th Place - San Jose Sharks - 102 points
- 5th Place - Anaheim Ducks - 100 points
- 6th Place - Calgary Flames - 97 points
- 7th Place - Colorado Avalanche - 93 points
- 8th Place - Nashville Predators - 93 points
- 9th Place - Vancouver Canucks - 92 points
As you can see, the standings are tight from 6th to 9th place, with only Detroit, Dallas, San Jose, and Anaheim guaranteed a playoff spot.
First in the Northwest is still up for grabs with Minnesota and Calgary battling for that title, and the home ice advantage that will come with it. Colorado, Nashville, and Vancouver are all fighting for the last two playoff spots, with the order changing daily.
The one thing that the teams know right now is that a significant losing streak is going to hurt and a big winning streak is going to help.
The Oilers are in a situation now where they have 67 points and 15 games left. It appears they are now going to need 94 points to make the playoffs, which means they need 27 points of the possible 30 still available. They would have to go 13-1-1 to finish the season.
Not impossible but a tall order, to say the least.
With seven of those final 15 against clubs not currently in the playoffs, and the other eight against Northwest division rivals, the opportunity is still there knocking.
They have to beat divisional opponents and they have to win the games against those other teams currently out of the playoffs...plain and simple.
The Oilers need to be winning every game they play, hoping the other teams brawl amongst themselves to steal points away from each other.
It's do or die time starting this week.