Tonight’s game is crucial. With a win, the Oilers will gain confidence and a playoff spot.
Nashville, with 37 points, has played one more game than the Oilers, who sit at 35 points. A win in regulation would solidify (for the time being) a playoff spot. The race for the eighth spot is always tight, and this season is no different, with Edmonton, Nashville, Minnesota, LA, Dallas, Columbus, and Colorado all gunning for that final spot.
All of these teams are neck to neck with points, ranging from 34 to 37. Every game is incredibly important. With each win, a team begins the slow climb to the playoffs, and with each loss the teams are distinguished from each other.
With a win tonight, the Oilers will move from 12th spot to eighth, and an overtime win would put them just one point shy of seventh spot, where Phoenix currently resides. The Oilers have played fewer games than most of their contenders, and this fact has given me a new surge of hope. The playoffs ARE possible this season!!
Unless they lose tonight…then I will continue with my “Craig Bashing” articles, and retire my positivity for the week.
The key tonight is for the Oilers to come out strong and score first. They are behind the Predators in penalty killing, but ahead when it comes to the power play. So they need to play a more offensive game, and not take stupid penalties. Sit back and let Nashville take the punishments.
Because all of these teams are so close to each other, it is extremely difficult to distinguish who the better teams are, and who truly does deserve to be at the bottom of the standings. Days ago I would have said that the Stars and Blues were the teams who didn’t deserve to have playoff hopes.
But Dallas is beginning to prove me wrong, and the recent fight that they have gained is making them viable contenders.
A prediction is hard to make regarding any of these teams. So that is why my prediction is more of a hope.
I predict the Oilers win 4-3 in regulation.