With 12 games remaining, the Oilers have 73 points, and are seven points out of a playoff spot, in eleventh place. If the Oilers manage to win every single one of their remaining games, they will finish with 97 points.
While 97 points pretty much guarantees a playoff spot, the Oilers will most likely not be able to win all of their 12 remaining games. The general cut off to make the playoffs is considered to be 95 points. For Edmonton to reach this point total, they need to go 11-1. Once again not very possible.
So does this mean the Oil should kiss the playoffs good bye?
No, it does not. First of all, this year, the qualifying point number will probably be less than usual because of the competitiveness of the conference. Secondly, out of their remaining 12 games, the Oilers play a team that they are competing with for a playoff spot 11 times. This includes three times against the Colorado Avalanche, and twice against Minnesota, Phoenix, Vancouver and Calgary.
The series with Colorado is probably the most important. If the Oilers were to win all three games against the Avalanche in regulation (I know, for the Oilers that's not an easy thing to do), they will have 79 points, three back of the 82 Colorado has. The Oilers also have a game in hand on Colorado however, and if they win that game, they then have 81 points, one back. This means the Oilers would just have to win one more of their remaining eight games than Colorado, and they would place in front of them.
While being ahead of Colorado does not guarantee the Oilers a playoff spot (there are seven teams competing for four spots), it certainly helps. Throw in the fact that Calgary and Colorado are tied for the Northwest Division lead, and it looks pretty good.
The playoff chances for the Oilers rests in their hands. If they win tonight against Colorado, they are that much closer to the playoffs. Lose, and it will most likely mean game over.