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With the 2013-14 season approaching there is a lot of pressure on the Oilers to climb out of the league basement and challenge for a playoff spot. After 7 years of hard-core sucking a lot of fans think the Oilers are ready for a return to the post-season. And they aren't far off. The Oilers have a young core of highly skilled players that might finally be mature enough to take their game to the next level, ad the playoffs. But everybody has their own opinion and some people think they can return to the post season, and some people think they can't (flames fans). Here is my predictions on the Oilers playoff situation and other things for the 2013-14 season.
1) The Oilers will finish 4th in their division, 7th in conference, qualify for playoffs
In my opinion there are 3 teams better than Edmonton in their division. Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose. So this means the Oilers will finish in 4 place in the division after these three teams. Then I think there are 3 teams better than the Oilers in the Central division. Chicago, St. Louis and Minnesota. So I think they'll place 7th in the conference.
2) Hall will get 95 points and be tied for 5th in league scoring
He was 9th in league scoring last year. Why can't he do better this year? He's matured a year and has practiced all summer to try to perfect his game. Of course he can get a few extra points if him and his line-mates Eberle and Nuge stay healthy. As for the prediction that he'll be tied for 5th, I think that Crosby, Stamkos, Ovechkin and Malkin will finish ahead of Hall and Giroux will have the same amount of points as Hall.
3) Eberle will get 90 points and finish 11th in league scoring
Eberle got 70 some odd points in 11-12 and is slated to have a big point jump this season. Playing with Hall and Nuge, he's slated to get a lot of ice time and points. I think it's time for Eberle to make the jump from star to superstar. As for who will finish ahead of him, I think Kane, Perry Getzlaf and Datsyuk will finish 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th respectively after Hall and then they'll be Eberle at 11th.
4) Yakupov will score 40+ goals
Have you ever seen Yakupov's shot. If you haven't you should. It rivals the likes of Stamkos and Ovechkin. With his shot and having a full time 2nd line roster spot this year he has got to get at least 40 goals if not 50! He got 17 goals last year in a half season so multiply that by 2 and you get 34 goals in a 82 game season. And that was in his rookie season, playing on the 3rd or 4th line some nights. He should easily get 40+ this season with more experience and a permanent spot on the 2nd line.
5) Dubnyk will get 35 wins this season.
I am a believer in Dubnyk and believe he's the long-term goaltending solution in Edmonton. He's going to be playing at least 70 games this year as he's the full-time starter and there's only LaBarbara behind him on the depth charts. And if the Oilers are going to be an above .500 team Dubnyk's gotta at least have 35 wins.
6) Edmonton will sweep their season series with Calgary.
It's Calgary. 'Nuff said.
7) The Oilers will have a 8 game winning streak at some point
I don't know why but I think they will. It'll be the thing that finally pushes them over the edge and into a playoff spot.
8) The Oilers will play St. Louis in the 1st round of the playoffs and lose 4 games to 2
Baby steps, baby steps. You can't expect the Oilers to finally get back in the playoffs and make a playoff run. It just doesn't work that way. It'll start out by making the playoffs, then advancing a round or 2, then the finals. It'll come in time. But who knows? Maybe they make an unexpected run like 06'. That would be sweet.
So there you go. These are my predictions for the Oilers 2013-14 season. Some of them may not come true but, who cares! They're just predictions.
What are you're 2013-14 predictions for the Oilers?