If the Edmonton Oilers want to make the Stanley Cup playoffs next spring they had better start playing like it so that their odds improve as the season wears on. If not, well, this season may be almost toast anyway.
According to Sports Club Stats, an online site dedicated to predicting what the percentage your team has in making the playoffs, the Oilers rank second last in the NHL with a mere 3% chance. If I’m a betting man, I’m not exactly running out to re-mortgage the house to put as much as I can on the Oilers making it to the postseason this year.
Three percent. That’s the only chance the Oilers have to make it for the right to compete for Lord Stanley as of this morning. That’s what a pitiful 3-9-2 record will get you as October is set to wrap up tonight. Maybe November will be better?
Craig MacTavish isn’t worried so should us fans be at all concerned? Right now the Oilers bandwagon is losing members left and right and if things don’t improve this team is destined for another chance to win the draft lottery.
There is still plenty of hockey to be played and perhaps the new system’s that Dallas Eakins is implementing will pay-off. That and the notion that Mac-T has holes to fill in order to help turn this team around and increase their chances of making the top 8 in the West.
The only team that has a worse chance than the Oilers are the Buffalo Sabres with a percentage of just 1.2%. We know the Sabres would be bad this year and with Thomas Vanek being moved earlier this week it signals the start of the re-build and fire sale in Buffalo.
But Edmonton wasn’t supposed to be in the same conversation as the Sabres. The re-build has gone on for seven years and this year was supposed to be a giant leap forward. Maybe not a playoff spot, but a competitive team was expected. So far it’s difficult to say that either have shown up this year.
It’s only one month in and while you can’t make the playoffs in October, this along with other theories just confirms that you can lose your shot to qualify in the first month.