Make it two wins in a row for the Edmonton Oilers after thrashing the Columbus Blue Jackets last night. While the loyal fans of this hockey club are far from believing the team has turned the corner, the immediate schedule does provide opportunity for the copper and blue to secure more victories.
Forget the playoff talk. The Oilers are so far removed from the remote possibility of making a run at the playoffs that they’ll have to play almost .700 hockey just to have a sniff. Barring a revelation in the Oilers dressing room, it isn’t happening.
Let’s talk respectability and potentially getting to .500 in the future. It starts by winning more games than they lose and you can look at the last four games in the month of November as a starting point.
With the Florida Panthers in town on Thursday, it’s a no-brainer that it’s a game the Oilers should win. Afterall, they beat the Panthers on home ice earlier this month.
The Chicago Blackhawks then visit Rexall Place and before anyone writes this game off, keep in mind the Oilers have played the Hawks tough over the past couple of seasons, making this game anything but a guaranteed loss.
Following the Hawks game, the Oilers round out the month with back-to-back games on the road with stops in Nashville and Columbus. We know they can dominate the Blue Jackets and the Predators aren’t ripping through the league lately, making it a game the Oilers can no doubt win. Suddenly, taking three of the final four games in November is a legit possibility that would build momentum as December draws near.
Of course the Oilers success will be determined by the players and whether or not they choose to maintain the level of competitiveness that they showed on Tuesday night. Anything short of that level and it could be one win of the final four, further cementing their basement dweller status.
But if this team has finally woken up and turned the corner, then look for these next four games as an opportunity to build on this modest two-game winning streak and generate some excitement surrounding the hockey team again.
The playoffs may not be in the future, but gaining some respect around the league and providing the fans with a sense of excitement could be. Let’s all hope that the same Oilers team that ran over Columbus shows up on a consistent basis from here on out, now that they have a taste of winning and how good this team can truly be.
Anything short of that and it’ll be another disappointing reminder of why not to get your hopes up too soon.