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The Sked Ahead: April is loaded with possible playoff previews as Oilers chase top spot in Pacific Division

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Cam Lewis
17 days ago
Welcome to April!
Despite some frustrating losses in winnable games, the Edmonton Oilers put together a successful month of March with a 10-3-2 record. The team is now entering the final month of the season in second place in the Pacific Division, six points back of the Vancouver Canucks with two games in hand.
It’s an uphill climb that’ll likely require some help from other teams, but winning the organization’s first division crown since the 1986-87 season is a realistic possibility. Let’s see what the month of April has in store for the Oilers.
  • Two road games in St. Louis and Dallas and a back-to-back against Colorado and Calgary. 
The Oilers begin the month with two games on the road in St. Louis and Dallas and then they’ll return home to host the Avalanche before immediately heading to Calgary for the final Battle of Alberta of the season.
The Stars and Avs are currently in a race for the top spot in the Central Division (and the Presidents’ Trophy) and both represent major tests for the Oilers ahead of the playoffs. The games against the Blues and Flames are ones the Oilers should win, but neither is a gimme.
  • A four-game homestand against the Golden Knights, Coyotes, Canucks, and Sharks.
After that Saturday night game in Calgary, the Oilers will return home and have three days off before they play their final homestand of the regular season. They’ll host the Golden Knights first, then the Coyotes and Canucks will visit on back-to-back nights, and the homestand will finish with a game against the Sharks.
The games against Arizona and San Jose are ones the Oilers should win, while the ones against Vegas and Vancouver will be challenges. The Golden Knights will be well-motivated to beat the Oilers as they’re chasing Edmonton in the standings. The Canucks will also have the advantage of two days of rest coming into that head-to-head while the Oilers will be on the second leg of a back-to-back.
  • A back-to-back on the road in Arizona and Colorado. 
Finally, the Oilers will hit the road to wrap up the regular season with a mid-week back-to-back in Arizona and then Colorado. Depending on what’s going on with the Avs and their pursuit of the division and league’s best record, this could be a very interesting finale to the season.
  • What should we expect from the Oilers in the month of April? 
The Oilers will play 10 games in 18 nights, four of those games will come against teams who are at the top of the league’s standings, and only one will come against a team in the basement. It’s certainly not an easy way to finish off the season, but the Oilers will be put into playoff mode down the stretch.
In order for Edmonton to catch Vancouver, they’re going to have to win their two games in hand and beat the Canucks in regulation time when the two teams square off in a couple of weeks. They’ll also likely need some help on the out-of-town scoreboard. The Canucks don’t have an easy schedule to end the year, as their eight remaining games are against Vegas, Arizona, Los Angeles, Vegas again, Arizona again, Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg.

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