There's just no stopping the Edmonton Oilers at the moment, currently on a run which has seen them win 15 games in a row. Even for a team with the best player in the game and another who is arguably in the top five, this is the stuff of fantasies for their fans.
Just two more wins would see the Oilers equal the Pittsburgh Penguins' current NHL record of 17 in a row. Assuming they can beat the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon -- which is by no means a certainty -- it seems like fate they then have to face the Vegas Golden Knights in order to equal the Penguins' mark.
Last season saw the Golden Knights win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, with the run to the Holy Grail including knocking out the Oilers in the second round. Still on the subject of fate, as things stand the two teams would meet again in the playoffs this season, in the opening round.
If and when this happens, the immediate question would be to ask if the Oilers are better equipped to beat the Knights this time around in a seven-game series? In theory the answer is yes, given their defensive game has improved exponentially under the calm and cerebral leadership of coach Kris Knoblauch.
However, what if the Oilers still find a way to waste the prime of Connor McDavid and miss out once more on winning it all? Well, as much as it would hurt, there is some theoretical solace for the fans.
Predicted to win it all
This potential solace comes courtesy of The Athletic (subscription required). As per Sean McIndoe, the Oilers have been given the best odds of winning the Stanley Cup by 2028.
McIndoe understandably justifies this by noting how McDavid and Leon Draisaitl should have the Oilers as contenders for all five seasons in question. He also makes reference to a supporting cast which is stronger than they're given credit for.
Following the worst ever start in franchise history through 12 games, the Oilers' turnaround has been a revelation. As much as it still seems harsh that Jay Woodcroft paid the price for the 2-9-1 start, it's hard to argue with how Knoblauch has galvanised the team, to the point fans really do believe this is the season the Oilers have a date with destiny to finally win their first Stanley Cup since 1990.
As per the aforementioned strong supporting cast and overall roster, at the time of posting the Oilers are ranked fourth in the NHL for average goals scored per game, second in shots and fifth in power play efficiency. They have also allowed the fourth-fewest shots per game and are eighth-best on the penalty kill.
No sure thing
McIndoe does make reference to question marks surrounding the goaltending specifically, along with the blue line and bottom six to a lesser extent. However, even here it's worth noting the Oilers have allowed the eighth-fewest goals per game and are tied-15th in team save percentage at the time of posting; earlier this season they were worst in save percentage and second-worst for goals allowed.
As good as all of this sounds, McIndoe does add a caveat to his prediction for the Oilers being in the best position to win it all by 2028. He has given them odds of 35 percent to reach the Holy Grail, which he notes are the lowest odds he's ever given to the top team.
This should serve as a cautionary note for the Oilers and their fans, no matter how well things are going right now. As much as it really does feel different this time around - that the team finally seems set up to bring Lord Stanely's cup 'home' to Edmonton, you just never know how it will all play out in this unprecedented era of parity in the NHL.