Welcome to the first-ever Around the West — a daily look at what is happening around the NHL’s Western Conference. Why are we taking a look, you may ask? Well, as it stands the Oilers are firmly entrenched in a chaotic battle for playoff positioning with oh, seven other teams.
Tuesday night was a big slate of NHL action. The Oilers took care of their own business beating the Detroit Red Wings 7-5, while they got some help from other teams.
The morning of March 16.
Toronto Maple Leafs beat Dallas Stars 3-0
Despite me laying money on the Stars team total in this game, Toronto put in some work helping the Oilers out. Dallas now sits three games back of the Oilers with two games in hand.
Arizona Coyotes beat Montreal Canadiens 6-3
This game has no impact on the Oilers in the standings, but holy cow — can you believe these Coyotes? What an offensive resurgence they’ve found.
New York Rangers beat Anaheim Ducks 4-3 in OT
Anaheim is definitely on the outside looking in of all of this. They’re three points back of a wild card spot and five back of 3rd in the Pacific. You can’t discount them out, but the Oilers do have three games in hand on them.
Nashville Predators beat Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1
With Nashville in the Central, this doesn’t impact the Oilers a whole lot but can have implications down the road for Wild Card seeding.
Winnipeg Jets beat Vegas Golden Knights 7-34
Now this one is big. Vegas is in a freefall losing five straight games in regulation for the first time in franchise history. A team that was once atop the Pacific has been decimated by injuries with as many as nine regulars out of the lineup.
Nonetheless, their replacements have not been able to get it together. They’re on the outside looking in this morning two points back of the Oilers, while Edmonton has two games in hand. This has been an important week for both teams.
Vancouver Canucks beat New Jersey Devils 6-3
Ugh, Vancouver. They’ve managed to hang around all year long and this win puts them three points back of the Oilers for third in the Pacific. Edmonton has one game in hand, however.
Colorado Avalanche beat LA Kings 3-0
Another one with significant implications for the Oilers as the Avs hold off the Kings. Edmonton is four points back of LA for second in the Pacific with two games in hand. Nice spot for the Oilers to be in here.
Florida Panthers beat San Jose Sharks 2-3 in OT
This one has little impact. San Jose is eight points back of the second Wild Card spot and while they’ve got games in hand on almost everyone, it’s hard to imagine them utilizing those well.
On the docket tonight
No major game implications for the Oilers here this evening. The Calgary Flames, who are running away with the Pacific Title, take on the New Jersey Devils at home. The Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Seattle Kraken at home, while the Boston Bruins head to Minnesota to take on the Wild.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]