The Edmonton Oilers are on a roll with their current winning streak, which has seen them get a favourable power ranking by The Athletic.
The Edmonton Oilers are finally playing like they’re capable of, after one of the worst starts to a season in franchise history. We’d even go as far as to say they’re the hottest team in the NHL right now, with six consecutive wins. (No one else has won more than three straight games.)
Of course there’s still plenty of work to do, with the Oilers five points out of a playoff spot ahead of Saturday’s slate of games. However, they are at least headed in the right direction after at one point being tied for the fewest points in the NHL following their 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
As a result of their recent success, this has been reflected in the Oilers’ rise up The Athletic‘s NHL power rankings. In the latest rankings, they have been placed at number 14.
This was due to The Athletic writers Sean Gentille and Dom Luszczyszyn ranking the Oilers 15th and 13th respectively. Under the heading of ‘A new coach to fix absolutely everything‘, they wrote:
"Christmas came early for some teams! What did the Oilers need? A coach who can fix all their problems and by golly they got exactly that. Broken best player in the world? Fixed that. Crappy goaltending? Fixed that. Anemic offense? Fixed that. All hail Kris Knoblauch!"
Now if we’re honest, the latest ranking for the Oilers is still exceedingly generous, no matter how well they’re playing right now. And consider that The Athletic‘s latest power rankings were posted prior to Friday night’s 4-3 win versus the Minnesota Wild.
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We’ve been here before
However, this isn’t the first time this season we’ve been surprised by how generous The Athletic has been with their ranking of the Oilers. The prime example was when they ranked them 17th, despite the team’s 1-5-1 record through their first seven games.
The latest power rankings are another example of this seemingly generous positioning. Even allowing for the recent run of wins, the Oilers were still tied for the fifth-fewest points in the NHL at the time of the posting.
Now in fairness, we’re not exactly going to lose any sleep over any of this. As mentioned previously, we appreciate that sports power rankings are meant to be subjective and polarizing.
In fact, we’d add fun and entertaining into that equation as well, which is what sports are meant to be anyway. Look no further than two weeks after ranking the Oilers 17th, when The Athletic put them last, and we mean last.
Thanks to the team’s awful 2-8-1 record at the time, Gentille and Luszczyszyn placed them 112th. This was behind the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs on skates, the 2014-15 Oilers and the 1984-85 Oilers at their current age using the same gear they had in the 1980s.
In any event, it’s up to the Oilers to keep piling up the points, and continue moving up the standings. Pending this, we await The Athletic‘s next power rankings with intrigue and anticipation.