Edmonton Oilers jump up The Athletic weekly power rankings

The Edmonton Oilers continue to get plenty of positive vibes from media outlets, as The Athletic puts them in the top five in their latest power rankings.

Washington Capitals v Edmonton Oilers
Washington Capitals v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

What Kris Knoblauch has done with the Edmonton Oilers since taking over, is nothing short of remarkable. He has produced a 37-12-2 record, which has seen the team go from tied for the fewest points in the NHL to 10th-most, and still with games in hand on every team above them ahead of Saturday's slate of action.

In addition, the Oilers are tied with the Winnipeg Jets for the fourth-best goal difference in the NHL at the time of writing. This includes being fourth best in average goals per game and ninth best in average goals allowed per contest.

Despite all this positivity, there was a minor surprise in The Athletic's latest weekly power rankings, albeit a pleasant one. Released on Friday, the Oilers have moved up from eighth place to fifth.

Adding to the surprise of moving up the rankings, were comments made by Sean Gentille and Dom Luszczyszyn about how the Oilers handled the recent trade deadline. More specifically, that Ken Holland and company didn't add a meaningful defensive upgrade on Cody Ceci.

Regardless, it helps that the Oilers took five of six points since the previous week's power rankings by The Athletic, scoring 13 goals in the process. And in reality it should have been all six points, if they hadn't screwed up an early 2-0 advantage over the lowly Buffalo Sabres.

More up than down

The Oilers have been a streaky team all season, with win streaks of eight and a near record-equalling 16 games, versus losing runs of eight in nine games and, more recently, five in eight contests. Of course even this up-and-down productivity alludes to the team overall winning more often than not.

In respect of blocking the Oilers' path to the Stanley Cup final, The Athletic ranked the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars above them, in third and fourth place respectively. The Oilers will next get to show what they can do against the best, on Saturday night at home to the Avalanche.

The Athletic aren't the only media outlet showing plenty of love for the Oilers. As we recently wrote, TSN were arguably almost too generous, in placing Knoblauch's team fourth in their own latest weekly rankings.

Another media outlet sending positive vibes to the Oilers, is the NHL Network. Brian Boyle ranked them fourth in the Western Conference, while Corey Schneider placed them third.

Next. Oilers better leaving contract extension talks until after the season. Oilers better leaving contract extension talks until after the season. dark

Of course, as Oilers fans well know, none of this ultimately matters; what really counts, is how a team performs once the playoffs begin. In this respect, consider they scored the most goals in the NHL during last season, but got knocked out of the second round by the Vegas Golden Knights.

Of particular note and serving as a cautionary tale, the Oilers lost two of their three home games versus the eventual Stanley Cup champions. We know this team has the talent to go all the way, but ultimately the games are decided on the ice rather than paper.

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