No Easy Fix
Posted 2:50 PM ET | Comments 1
Fans were enjoying riding the high that was the 4 game winning streak. After that run the team had gone 7-3 in December. A run like that was essential to giving the team a fighting chance of playoff contention.
Unfortunately right after that we saw the consequences of the Bettman era point system. After two uninspiring games against the Jets (while the score was close in the first game the overall level of play was anything but) and an overtime lose against the Blackhawks the Oilers find themselves 7 points out of a playoff spot, basically in the same position they were in at the beginning of the month.
This is the unfortunate reality of the NHL, as of this moment the Oilers need more than a strong run; they need for the teams ahead of them to start losing. Looking above the teams in the standings that seems difficult. There are only a couple teams I foresee falling off.
Colorado is a streaky team and the recent loss of Barrie hurts their chances
Chicago may run into some issues depending on how long Crawford is out
Calgary has been streaky as of late and a lack of production from guys like Monahan has hurt them
Some fans have suggested Edmonton will have a better time now that the team is healthy. I would like to remind those fans that is was a healthy team that dropped a huge egg against the Jets a couple nights prior. Edmonton is also not the only team that is getting healthy.
Anaheim started the season with a defense group that was depleted more than Edmonton's and even with Perry out right now the Ducks find themselves in a wild card spot. I see them finishing top 3.
The Sharks and Kings have also performed much better than expected this season. The Kings are second in the division and have done that without Jeff Carter who should return in a couple months. It took Brent Burns almost three months to score his first goal but once again he is driving the Sharks offense. Don't get me started on the Golden Knights.
There is no easy fix for the Edmonton Oilers. They can't trade a couple picks for Mike Hoffman and suddenly be a contender once again. Chiarelli built this team with a certain culture and system in mind. In my opinion the team he has built was designed to win the cup in the early 2000's not 2018. While there is a chance the team can make the playoffs (10% last time I checked the math) with every passing game that seems less and less likely.
Likely this conversation will extend into the summer where all you reading will once again get the chance to read about the mistakes of the GM and how difficult it will be to turn the team around.
I would like nothing more than to write about the successes of players and the team and talk about potential playoff matchups... hopefully that will be the case next season.
Thanks for reading.