4 Edmonton Oilers bold predictions for January

With the Oilers needing to get the year off to a strong start, we share four daring predictions for how January will play out in Edmonton.

Edmonton Oilers v New Jersey Devils
Edmonton Oilers v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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4) Oilers will be in a Pacific Division playoff spot

This prediction is probably the most outlandish of the four we're making, and with good reason. Heck, the Oilers first need to get into a playoff spot full stop.

An awful lot needs to go right, for the Oilers to be in one of the three guaranteed Pacific Division playoff spots come the end of January. At the time of posting, the Canucks and Golden Knights are in the top two positions, tied for the most points in the Western Conference with 49.

As things stand the Oilers have 37 points and are three points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Division. In terms of catching the Canucks and Golden Knights specifically, we'll accept this just isn't likely during January.

Instead, we'll focus on the Oilers attempting to chase down the Kings, who currently hold the third Pacific Division position with 45 points. Even with only four points fewer than the two teams above them, this is the team the Oilers can catch this month.

Not that it will be easy, hence why these are called bold predictions. Consider that the Oilers will play 11 games this month, compared to 15 by the Kings.

Of the games to be played in January, seven of the Oilers' 11 games will come at home, compared to just six of 15 for the Kings. For the Kings, they will face their longest road trip of the season during this month.

We appreciate the justified argument of the Kings being much better on the road compared to at home so far this. In fact, to the point they have the best win percentage on their travels thus far in 2023-24, among all NHL teams.

However, the Kings' six-game stretch will include games against the Capitals, Lightning, Panthers, Red Wings, Hurricanes and Stars. Only the Capitals and Red Wings are currently out of a playoff spot, and even then by only one and three points respectively.

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Further, all six teams have been excellent at home so far this season, with the Capitals having the 'poorest' win rate record of 9-4-4. Overall, the long road trip will prove taxing for the Kings, while the Oilers will take care of business at their end and catch up their divisional rivals by month's end.