Oilers’ Remaining 2022-23 Schedule Broken Down by Importance
As the NHL All-Star break is upon us, the Edmonton Oilers sit within the first wild-card spot within the Western Conference with video games in hand on some groups forward of them. They have a comparatively straightforward schedule going ahead, however they’ll’t let off the fuel. The group has won seven of their past eight games, incomes 15 of a doable 16 factors.
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The Oilers are within the midst of a straightforward stretch that can proceed after the break. Broken down by class, the Oilers may have video games in opposition to unhealthy groups, video games in opposition to groups of their division which can be additionally battling for a playoff spot and positioning, which have the largest stakes, and at last, video games in opposition to the hardest competitors that received’t essentially impression the Oilers’ standing.
Oilers’ Must-Win Games
The Oilers have 32 video games remaining within the common season, and 15 of them are in opposition to groups I’d take into account unhealthy. They are all ranked twenty second or decrease and sit at the very least 9 factors again of the membership. Coming out of the break, Edmonton has 5 video games in a row in opposition to groups on this group.
They are: Ottawa Senators (2), Philadelphia Flyers (2), Detroit Red Wings (2), Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks (3), Arizona Coyotes (2), Anaheim Ducks (2), and Columbus Blue Jackets.
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Seven of their last 12 video games are performed in opposition to the Sharks, Coyotes, and Ducks. The Oilers should proceed on tempo in opposition to weaker opponents as they’re nonetheless within the thick of the playoff battle. By the tip of the season, after they match up extra usually in opposition to bottom-feeders, they need to be firmly in a playoff spot and combating for home-ice benefit.
Considering their schedule within the second half in comparison with the primary, Edmonton is in a fantastic spot. Over the previous 4 seasons, they’ve a .566 win proportion within the first half however have upped that to a .674 win proportion within the second half (from “Edmonton Oilers: Second half has to be a lot better than the first half”, Edmonton Sun, Jan. 9, 2023).
Oilers’ Must-Win Divisional Games
The Oilers play their division rivals loads close to the tip of the season, extra so than proper after the All-Star break. They haven’t any extra video games in opposition to the Calgary Flames, having received the season collection. But they do have 5 extra video games in opposition to the Seattle Kraken, Vegas Golden Knights (2), and Los Angeles Kings (2), all performed within the last 13 video games of the season, so the stakes will probably be excessive. All 4 groups are inside three factors, and Edmonton has one sport in hand on the Golden Knights, who’ve struggled, and two on the Kings, who’ve main goaltending points.
Though divisional video games are a very powerful, particularly if the Oilers are anticipated to be combating for a spot within the prime three of their division, the Colorado Avalanche should be included right here. The Avalanche are three factors again of the Oilers with two video games in hand. They have struggled resulting from accidents and a Stanley Cup hangover however are proper with the Oilers in a wild-card spot. If Edmonton doesn’t get into the highest three, the Avalanche seem to be a group they are going to be contending with. These groups match up twice extra, and their video games are extremely aggressive and entertaining. The Oilers must take at the very least one of many last two video games in opposition to the reigning champions.
Tough Test Ahead
These aren’t essentially must-win video games, however they’d be good to win and are going to present the Oilers a greater understanding of what is going to be anticipated of them within the playoffs. This group contains prime groups and people in competition for a playoff spot within the Eastern Conference. The Oilers have a couple of video games in opposition to these groups, which received’t immediately impression their standing except they string a couple of losses collectively. If the Oilers can at the very least go .500 in opposition to these 10 good groups, they are going to be in fine condition.
This group of groups contains the Boston Bruins (2), Toronto Maple Leafs (2), Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets (2), New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres. All of them are in a playoff spot besides the Sabres, who’re one level out and have performed very effectively currently. The Oilers play seven of the ten video games in a seven-game stretch, together with all 4 in opposition to the Bruins and Maple Leafs, who rank first and third within the league. This will probably be a really powerful take a look at, they usually should win at the very least three video games.
What’s lucky in regards to the seven-game stretch is that no video games are performed within the last 13 of the season. The Oilers get this over with earlier than they’ve to essentially have to scrub up heading into playoffs. Their probabilities this season might have appeared in jeopardy at instances, however they’re wholesome, profitable and may solely get higher from right here.
Rob Couch is a THW freelance author overlaying primarily the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. He covers every part it is advisable to find out about fantasy hockey. He may also hold you updated with NHL Stats News and commerce talks.
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