3 reasons why the Oilers are the Western Conference’s hottest team in the NHL playoff race

Even if they aren’t in first place, the Edmonton Oilers could be the team to beat in the Western Conference during the NHL playoff race.

Mar 16, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) and Colorado
Mar 16, 2024; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) and Colorado / Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Edmonton Oilers may not be the first team you think of when it comes to the NHL playoff race, given how much publicity teams like the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, and the Winnipeg Jets earned at the trade deadline a couple of weeks ago. 

While the aforementioned teams made a few glamor trades at the deadline and have since become some of the deepest in the NHL, it’s not wise to count out the Oilers. Edmonton has still been one of, if not the hottest team in the Western Conference since the All-Star Break, and only the Nashville Predators have fared better in the previous 10 games as of March 17th, while they have also tied the Colorado Avalanche in points in that same span.

Also, since the All-Star Break, the Predators, the Winnipeg Jets, and the Minnesota Wild have been the only two teams in the Western Conference to accumulate more points than the Oilers, while just four teams have outperformed them in points per game played. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are hotter than the Oilers as the playoff race heats up. 

Oilers could be the best in the Western Conference in the NHL playoff race

The Oilers have already proven they can go on a tear thanks to their 16-game winning streak earlier this season. And while that streak is long gone, Edmonton is still boasting an 11-6-3 record since, with 71 goals scored, better than any team in the Western Conference. 

But outscoring opponents isn’t the only reason to believe the Oilers are arguably the hottest team in the West. Since the trade deadline, Edmonton has become a deep hockey team, with the best one-two punch in the NHL, plus a goaltending duo that looks like it is getting hot at the right time.