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Are the Edmonton Oilers at risk of another disappointing finish?

9 décembre 2019
Unlike previous years, Edmonton Oilers fans haven't had a lot to complain about this season. The team sits atop of the Pacific Division with 40 points, they have the NHL's top-two leading scorers in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and they have received breakout years from the likes of Oscar Klefbom, Ethan Bear, and Zack Kassian.

All in all, things have been pretty good in Edmonton so far. It is definitely a big improvement from last season, where they finished 25th in league standings with just 79 points. Is the Oilers' 2019-20 season really that different, though?

The Oilers have played 32 games this season, and have a record of 18-10-4. Compare that to last season, where after 32 games, they had a record of 17-12-3.

It was around the 32-game mark, where things began to go south in a hurry for the Oilers, two of the team's top defencemen, Oscar Klefbom and Kris Russell had suffered injuries in the same game and, subsequently, were placed on the long-term injured reserve. Things got worse from there. A loss to the Vancouver Canucks in game 34 kicked off a six-game losing streak for Edmonton, coming at a time where the Pacific Division was tight, and games were starting become a lot more important. They were able to crawl back into the win column for a couple of games, but were unable to string together more than two wins in a row.

Edmonton quickly found themselves outside of the playoff picture. In game 48, a loss to the Calgary Flames kicked off yet another six-game losing streak, and the Oilers had dug themselves a hole that they would not be able to climb out of. Following the loss to the Flames, Edmonton went 11-18-5 to finish the season.

Are the Oilers at risk of history repeating itself?

At this point, it appears unlikely. From what we have seen so far this season, this is a very different Oilers team. This Oilers team has yet to lose more than two consecutive games this season. On four occasions this season, they have dropped two back-to-back games, only to show their resiliency and pull out a win, putting an abrupt stop to a possible losing skid.

Barring a long-term injury to a key contributor such as Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid, or Mikko Koskinen, we shoule see the Oilers back in the playoffs come April.
Will Edmonton make the playoffs?
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON
QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
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What is algophobia?
FEAR OF ALGORYTHMS
FEAR OF HEIGHTS
FEAR OF SICKNESSES
FEAR OF THE PAIN
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON