How unlucky are the Oilers, pretty unlucky. I'm a 17-year-old journalist who started cheering for Edmonton when I was nine; I've never cheered for the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs. Every year, myself and many other dedicated fans have one dream, to watch the Oilers break their playoff drought. Coming into the 2015-16 season, the belief was Edmonton should at least be fighting for a wildcard spot and while Edmonton is fourth last in the standings, in my honest opinion, they have a chance; they just need some luck.
Unfortunately, luck won't come and while it may be a false hope, Edmonton has a chance at making the playoffs. They are only eight points out of third in the Pacific, yet with a goal differential of -24, most would assume "oh, Edmonton is just bad and they have no chance." Well I'm here to prove you wrong.
Thus far, Edmonton has a record of 19-25-5 and only nine of those games, they weren't in the game. My definition of "in the game", Edmonton has to be within one goal with at least five minutes left in the third. With that in mind, Edmonton has lost by one goal or an empty net 16 times! So essentially, Edmonton has missed out on 32 points. This is obviously a best case scenario, but don't forget the Oilers are eight points out. Furthermore, out of Edmonton's 19 wins, ten have come in overtime or a shootout, Edmonton has the fewest regulation wins. Moreover, they have been four one goal regulation wins for Edmonton, so if you haven't been doing the math, Edmonton has been in 35 one goal games.
Let's talk about the injuries. According to mangameslost.com, Edmonton has 209 games lost due to injury. Essential players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid, Oscar Klefbom and Jordan Eberle have all missed a plethora of time. As of yet, Edmonton has not dressed their projected line up at the start of the season. For example, Edmonton's best two-way centre man Nugent-Hopkins went down with a hand injury on Jan.18. Fortunately, Edmonton's savior Connor McDavid should return to the lineup on Feb.2.
Edmonton in a way has been running on gritty, hard checking AHL players like Iiro Pakarinen and Jujhar Khaira. Furthermore, they lack the quality defense needed to play at an NHL level. Consequentially Peter Chiarelli needs to manufacture a huge trade for a right shooting defenseman like Travis Hamonic or Kevin Shattenkirk.
With all of this in mind, if Edmonton can outgrow these problems they have a chance at snagging third place in their division, but they need to create opportunities for themselves, luck isn't going to come.