The Sked Ahead: Oilers carry 16-game winning streak into challenging February
By Cam Lewis20 days ago
Welcome to February!
You can’t have a better month than the Edmonton Oilers just did. The hope was that they could win nine of eleven games and they managed to surpass that.
The Oilers capitalized on a light schedule and won all eleven games that they played, ultimately extending a winning streak that began before the Christmas break to 16 games, one shy of matching the NHL record. The best run in franchise history has the Oilers at 29-15-1 on the season and the dream of finishing at the top of the standings is suddenly possible again.
Edmonton is in third place in the Pacific Division at the All-Star break. They’re five points back of the Vegas Golden Knights with five games in hand and they’re twelve points behind the Vancouver Canucks with four fewer games played. They have the fifth-best points percentage in the Western Conference, behind the Canucks, Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, and Dallas Stars.
The Oilers have gone 26-6-0 in the Kris Knoblauch era and that’s probably about what the pace they’ll have to roll at the rest of the way in order to finish first in the West. Difficult? Yes. Doable? For a team that’s that followed an eight-game winning streak up with a 16-game heater? I wouldn’t bet against it.
Let’s see what the month of February has in store for the Oilers…
- Three road games against the Vegas Golden Knights, Anaheim Ducks, and Los Angeles Kings.
Standing between the Oilers and matching the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins with 17 consecutive wins will be the same team that stood between them and the Stanley Cup last spring. Edmonton will come out of the All-Star break on a three-game trip that starts with a Tuesday game against the Vegas Golden Knights and wraps up with a back-to-back at Disneyland and Hollywood on Friday and Saturday.
The biggest test of this trip is Vegas, as the Golden Knights certainly don’t want to see the Oilers match that record in their home stadium. Edmonton pounded the Ducks by scores of 8-2 and 7-2 this season and the Kings have won just three times since the calendar flipped to 2024.
- One game at home against the Detroit Red Wings and then a three-game road trip against the St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, and Arizona Coyotes.
After that, the Oilers will have a couple of days off before playing one game at home ahead of another three-game road trip. They’ll host Ken Holland’s former team, the Red Wings, and then they’ll hit the road to play St. Louis, Dallas, and Arizona.
That’s four games in four cities in eight nights against competitive teams who are all within the playoff picture.
- A five-game homestand against the Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, and St. Louis Blues.
The Oilers will head straight home after a strange mid-afternoon Monday game in Arizona and then they’ll immediately begin a homestand that’ll see them play five games in eight nights.
First, they’ll host the Boston Bruins, a team vying for the Presidents’ Trophy, and then they’ll play a Friday and Saturday back-to-back against the Wild and Flames. The homestand will wrap up with another couple of games against the Kings and Blues.
- What should we expect from the Oilers in the month of February?
February will be a big test for the Oilers. Many have said that the team’s historic winning streak has been helped by a very soft schedule, so the team will have a chance to prove doubters wrong during a very competitive month.
The Oilers will play 13 games over the course of 24 nights, with six of those games coming on the road, two different back-to-backs, and only one game featuring an opponent nowhere close to a playoff spot. Coming out of this month with nine wins would silence many critics.
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