Playoffs??? The Edmonton Oilers now have 5 points through their first 9 games, already 6 points back from the eighth spot, and will need to turn it around in a hurry if they have any chance of making the playoffs. I looked back at the points needed to make the playoffs for the last three seasons (excluding the lockout season) and the average works out to 93.3 points. In 2009/2010 it was 88 and 95. In 2010/2011 it was 93 and 97. In 2011/2012 it was 92 and 95. The Oilers now have 73 games remaining and will need in and around 88 points in those games to have any hope of making it to the playoffs. This means they need to win 60% of their games or 44 wins in those 73 games. OUCH!!! That’s going to be tough!
It was announced this morning that Taylor Hall will miss four weeks which obviously will be a huge loss for the Oilers. Hall is a heart and soul player and their top line left winger so replacing him will be impossible. Hall is averaging 20+ minutes a game in icetime so expect to see more of David Perron and Nail Yakupov on the left side and even more ice for Ales Hemsky on the right side. The fact that Mact didn’t trade Hemsky this past summer sure looks like the right move as he has been called on a lot this season with the usual insane amount of injuries that the young, small Oilers seems to always have. Ten games in they’ve already been without Sam Gagner for all of it, Nuge and now Hall. Maybe Jason Gregor is on to something when he states the Oilers should Smudge the dressing room…
Mike Brown was traded last night for a fourth round pick and some fans hate the move and some don’t really care. Sure Mike Brown was a character player who stuck up for his teammates. Sure the Oilers are soft and getting rid of a gritty player doesn’t make sense. Mike Brown was also slow, played five minutes a night and is easily replaceable. Ben Eager and Tyler Pitlick are on their way up to fill his role. Eager is faster, has better hands and has a Stanley Cup ring. Hopefully his head is ok and will be willing to drop the gloves every once and a while. The Oilers sure could use both Eager and Pitlick to be useful N.H.L.ers with both using their speed and size to get in on the forecheck, banging bodies on every shift. As far as Brown goes, a month from now, I predict Oiler fans won’t even remember who he is.
Tonight is the last game of the Oilers road trip and they take on an equally depleted Montreal Canadians team so it should be a good, fast game of small, fast teams so I look forward to watching.
Keep the Faith!!!
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