Three points out

The Edmonton Oilers played what might have been there most important game in three seasons on Wednesday night. A hot run, and some help in other cities had put them in a position to tie for the final playoff spot in the West. Their shootout loss to San Jose means that they’re now three points out of both that post-season berth and dead last in the West.

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An eye on the post-season

According to sportsclubstats.com, six teams in the West have an 80 percent or better chance of making the playoffs. The exceptions are Detroit and San Jose – the Red Wings took a hit with their loss to Minnesota, but remain ahead of the Sharks (who were significantly boosted by their win over Edmonton). Both the Sharks and Red Wings are rated as over 50 percent likely to hang on to their spots, with the other six teams on the chart above all somewhere between 10 and 30 percent likely to make it to the post-season.

Edmonton closes out the month with very little chance to damage the hopes of those other teams. They play Nashville on March 25, and Columbus on March 28 – with three other games against St. Louis (twice) and Vancouver. A good run here, and despite tonight’s loss they’ll be in decent shape. Needless to say, they need a good run.

Some good news: Detroit and San Jose don’t have an easy schedule to conclude March – between them they will play a combined five of their final 10 games in the month against Chicago and Anaheim.

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An eye on draft position

I completely understand that (virtually) nobody wants to watch the draft rankings. The organization is at a point where wins, not losses, are what will advance the rebuild. This remains the silver lining to a potential ugly losing streak, though. Colorado’s regulation win over Dallas on Wednesday worked out well for the Oilers, come what may. It kept the Stars tied with Edmonton, hurting playoff hopes in Texas, and moved Colorado up two points, hurting their draft position (and while nobody’s really out of the race in the West, Colorado is as close as it gets).

It’s March. A streak of wins, and the Oilers are buying at the deadline. A streak of losses, and the Oilers are buying at the draft. The Oilers’ on-ice results haven’t been this interesting this late in the season since the spring of 2009.

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    • DSF

      At the moment, the playoffs cutoff appears to be 53 points.

      In order to get 54 points, the Oilers need to go 11-5-3 in their remaining games.

      They are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        I think it will be too little too late, but also agree with an earlier post that being in the mix and falling just short wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world (they aren’t winning the cup this year even if they make the playoffs, and could use another top 10 pick in 1st and 2nd rounds of a deep draft).

        That being said I am pretty sure that TayLord wasn’t referring to the last 10 games DSF, I think he was referring to continuing the pace of the last 5 games, where they are 3-0-2. If they kept that pace up, they would surely make the playoffs. As usual, out of either stupidity or sheer spite (look up the term oppositional defiant disorder), you were taking the positive thoughts of a fan and trying to turn them into a negative, even if it means being a hypocrite.

        To further prove this point, you know I am a fan of Dubnyk’s work. But last night, I will admit that I thought his stats didn’t tell the story as he let in some suspect goals. He let the Sharks back in the 1st after the Oilers were taking over, and totally shifted the momentum of the period (Sharks had 3 shots before the goal, then I think 6 more after in the last few minutes). Then the PP goal there was lots of traffic but the melee would not have ensued had he controlled the rebound. I am sure he wanted the 3rd one back too. He was moving around too much and had poor rebound control. So he’s allowed to have some average games, I am still a fan, but will be the first to admit that he certainly didn’t help the cause last night. Dubnyk stinks, you have been saying night in and night out, but from your earlier post you imply he was the reason the Oilers were “even in the game.” You are certainly a person of many contradictions, only to annoy fans on this site. Please go away…

  • vetinari

    Anybody notice how in the last 10 games, Columbus has collected 17 out of a possible 20 points– maybe there’s something to firing your GM that we SHOULD explore?

    Rather than looking at the games behind us, let’s look ahead– we have 19 games left with a possible 38 points on the table… most estimates say that 54 to 58 points will be the cut off point for this year’s playoffs and most of our games will be against teams higher than us in the standings like Vancouver, Anaheim, St. Louis and Minnesota.

    We will also need to almost double our current point total (29 points) in the 40% of the schedule that remains (19 games), and beat all these teams in regulation time because every three point game hurts the Oilers.

        • Rambelaya

          Yep, you nailed it.

          Right in that link it says “No club will move down more than one position as a result of the Draft Lottery.”

          So finishing dead dog last will get you 2nd overall pick, at the worst (unless you trade it away).

        • Wax Man Riley

          I stand corrected. Thank you for that.

          This new format is then arguably worse than the old one IMO. There is far too much incentive to tank a season – even arguably more than in years past.

          Also lets assume that the team that finishes 20th gets the number one. As I read it, everyone else from part place up to 21st last automatically gets the pick position that is one plays where they finished (2nd last gets the third pick for example) then lottery draw resumes with the 21st pick.

          The temptation for a bottom feeding team 2nd to 5th last to tank is even higher than last year.

        • DSF

          I stand corrected. Thank you for that.

          This new format is then arguably worse than the old one IMO. There is far too much incentive to tank a season – even arguably more than in years past.

          Also lets assume that the team that finishes 20th gets the number one. As I read it, everyone else from part place up to 21st last automatically gets the pick position that is one plays where they finished (2nd last gets the third pick for example) then lottery draw resumes with the 21st pick.

          The temptation for a bottom feeding team 2nd to 5th last to tank is even higher than last year.

      • Phixieus666

        actually I believe it does. I think they changed it so that its only a lottery for the first overall and winner goes to the bottom and everyone else just shuffles up one spot. So ya finished last means at least you’ll get the second pick. Unless I’m wrong but that was my understanding of the lottery changes

    • OilLeak

      Back at what exactly? Did e suddenly became a better player because he finally scored after consistently cheating for offense and leaving the defensive work for his teammates? Seriously, watch Jones for a whole game. The guy is everywhere, but where he should be.

  • @Bonvie

    You would trade Yakupov (who has only played 29 NHL games) for Tyler Myers (who is in his fourth season and struggling big time)? Give your head a shake. People need to quit pulling the trigger so early on Yakupov. Throwing him under the bus,and putting him in trade situations is ludicrous. Give him a few years and let the kid play. As DSF would say, good grief

  • BEST RESULT – Oiler finish 4 points out of the playoffs making a steady and determined push with the kids feeling confident they got the goods for next year. However with all the parity and 3 pts distrubition in the league – even finishing 4pts out the Oilers finish 13th in the Conference meaning they are in the top 6 picks and collect another piece of the puzzle.

    The real dealing will occur in the draft and the Oilers should set their sights on Shea Weber.. without a doubt the Oilers need a bonafide legitamate proven No. 1 Defencemen – then watch the team take off!

    If it means Sam Gagner, Oscar Klefbom and a pick so be it – One thing you cannot deny about Chris Pronger, the defense changed dramatically when a legit No. 1 is in place.

  • DSF

    I don’t like to knock Dubnyk,because I really like the guy… but he stunk on the tying goal, and he crapped the bed in the shoot out. When you have a 2 goal lead in the third, your goalie needs to come up big for you once in awhile. He has been great at times this year, but he also has let in way to many softies. In a compressed season like this one it would have helped to have a back up capable of giving him a rest once in awhile. He started 11 in a row… that is too many for any goalie in this league. The Oil deserved to win last night, but the hockey Gods are not always fair.

    • DSF

      San Jose out shot the Oilers 34-27.

      San Jose out chanced the Oilers.

      San Jose hit the post at least twice.

      The Oilers had 5 PP’s (a couple very questionable), while the Sharks had only 2.

      The Oilers did NOT “deserve to win” last night.

      They were lucky to be in the game.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        If your going to do this, at least be reasonable.

        1. playing with a lead

        2. see above and not by much:

        https://twitter.com/DKingBH/status/314594156137807873

        3. The Oil hit the post just as often

        4. which were questionable? I’d say the interference, but that was matched by N. Schultz’ call. the Sharks got some pretty sweet no calls too.

        5. agreed. but neither did the sharks. Neither team was clearly better than the other.

        6. bs trolling.

        • DSF

          1) So what? Good teams don’t sit back.

          2) Scoring chances were 21-17 even as recorded by Oilercentric Bruce McCurdy.

          3) I don’t recall the Oilers hitting the post even once.

          4) The penalties to Havlat were ridiculous and the Dan Boyle penalty was phantom.

          5) I was responding to the poster who said the Oilers deserved to win. They didn’t.

          6) Fanboy B.S.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            1. there is a reason people correct for “close.” if you don’t acknowledge that teams without the lead “press” and that ALL teams show different possession numbers with and without leads then that’s your problem.

            2. and? your point is? staying close in scoring chances while leading most of the game… means… it was close. Not sure how McCurdy’s chances differ from Kings in a meaningful way either.

            3. well, maybe you didn’t watch the game! TSN wouldn’t stop blabbering about Gagner’s post in the 3rd and Brown hit the post in the 1st

            4. no. and no. but Murray and Schultz’ were questionable, Schultz’ more so. Whitney and Havlat’s were both clear calls.

            5. and I was responding you.

            6. sure, guy.