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Playoff Picture: Oilers hold onto second in the Pacific Division despite a disappointing weekend

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Liam Horrobin
17 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers are second in the Pacific Division with 13 games to go and have held that spot for a couple of months now. While a place in the Stanley Cup Playoffs isn’t fully guaranteed yet, it’s safe to assume that fans will be watching Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the rest of the Oilers play for Lord Stanley starting in late April.
The events over the weekend didn’t help the Oilers case to secure home ice. Back-to-back poor games versus the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators saw them come away with nothing on their weekend trip to Ontario. The only positive was Zach Hyman scoring his 50th goal of the season, which was quickly dampened by the result.
With those two losses, the team’s dreams of winning the Pacific Division are slowly fading away. The Vancouver Canucks are now ten points ahead of the Oilers, but they do have two more games played than Edmonton. Is there still a chance? Well, with Thatcher Demko still sidelined for the Canucks and with one game remaining between the two rivals, the dream isn’t completely over. However, the chances feel slim.
Meanwhile, the LA Kings picked up two points in their lone game over the weekend as they look to hunt down the Oilers for second. The Tampa Bay Lightning fought back in the third period with a pair of goals to send the game to over. However, Vladislav Gavrikov scored the game-winner, and his sixth of the season, which put the Kings within three points of Edmonton. Next up, the Kings head across the border to face the Canucks. It’s a game in which Oilers fans would love to see both teams lose, but unfortunately, one must come away victorious.
That matchup for LA starts a four game Western Canadian road swing with a trip to Rogers Place coming up on Thursday. A game which before the weekend didn’t have as much pressure attached to it. Now, with back-to-back games without a point, the Oilers desperately need to win that game in regulation to keep the Kings at bay.
Further down the Pacific Division standings are the Vegas Golden Knights, who are clinging onto a playoff spot. Of course, they’re struggling with health problems with Mark Stone, Alec Martinez and Tomas Hertl all sidelined; however, they’ve still found ways to win. They’ve won three of their last four games with their lone loss coming at home versus the Lightning. Tonight, they host the St Louis Blue in what may be their biggest game of the season. The Blues are 6-4-0 in their last ten and are coming off a huge 5-4 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.
That win pushed them ahead of the Wild putting them in sole possesion of ninth in the Western Conference and only four points behind the Golden Knights. Granted, Vegas has a game in hand, but the race could come down the wire. Coming up this week, the Golden Knights take on the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets and Wild all on the road.
The fight for seeding the Pacific Division is going to be a dog fight over these next couple of weeks. All the teams in the mix take on each other meaning things are going to get interesting. Oilers fans are all hoping that the Golden Knights fall short of the postseason. However, maybe it’s time we start focusing on our team locking up home ice before routing against another.

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