Edmonton Oilers' Winning Streak: Fluke or More to Come?

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2009

ST. LOUIS - DECEMBER 11: Jeff Deslauriers #38 of the Edmonton Oilers makes a save against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on December 11, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.   (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

As of last night's 5-3 win over the Blues, the Edmonton Oilers have won their fifth straight game. However, that's after being outplayed in the first two periods and going down 3-0.

Edmonton came back from a 3-0 deficit in (pretty much) the last period of play. The first goal they scored was with 10 seconds left in the second period, but most of the good plays came in the third.

For the first two periods, it looked like the Oilers weren't getting the bounces. They had three shots hit the post or the crossbar, and others that were gobbled up by Conklin. They also gave up a goal off their own player.

In the third period, the Oilers were down 3-1. But, you could tell that they were not ready to lose because they brought everything. They scored four goals in the third period and all of them were great plays that showed some of Edmonton's talent.

They also received a ton of help in the third period from Jeff Deslauriers. He made a couple of outstanding saves that kept the Oilers in the game.

This third period shows us everything that the Oilers have been doing for the last five games. They haven't been playing solid for the entire game, but they have played extremely well when everything is on the line.

Every game the Oilers have won during this five-game winning streak was close (with the possible exception of Detroit). They had two wins come in a shootout, and another one-goal win in regulation, as well as that come-from-behind win last night.

However, the Oilers have not played any great teams over the last five games. Their schedule has been pretty easy. They played the Wings, where a win is less impressive now than in previous years.

Then they went to Dallas, which was probably the best team they faced. Then they finished with Florida, Tampa Bay, and St. Louis. All of them are below .500 as well.

That's not to say that the Oilers haven't played well. Like I said before, they have been doing a lot of good things during this five game winning streak, but they have to stop giving the other teams a chance to win. Especially with the teams that they have been facing lately.

They won't be able to give those kinds of opportunities to better teams, which are the ones they'll have to beat if they want to make the playoffs.

When they played Dallas, they went down 2-0, before coming back and winning in a shootout. In Florida, they did a great job of scoring the first goal, but then gave up two after that. And I've already talked about last night's third period comeback.

My point is that they are going to have a hard time making these comebacks against better teams. A lot of the teams that they'll play in the future will be good enough to take these opportunities and win. The Oilers can't let that happen.

The rest of the games this month will be a little harder. They have two games against the second-place flames, a game against Washington, and a couple more against hot teams like the Canucks, Predators, and I have to include Toronto in that category as well (they're 6-3-1 in their last 10).

I'm not saying the Oilers' winning streak is a fluke, however, I'm not saying that it isn't. I'll leave that up to you. However, I want to wait until they play some better teams before I start making predictions about the rest of the season.

See more of my opinions at Tips for Hockey


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