For some weeks now I’ve been hanging on to the “faint hope” version of the Edmonton Oilers’ playoff chances. The club’s previously-demonstrated capacity to put together decent strings combined with the lacklustre showing by their rivals in the Western Conference wild card race left the window open a crack. I thought (and think) the Oilers were correct in not shipping out players for picks at the deadline, even as I also thought it correct that they not sell the farm for rentals either. In my ongoing analogy of the long regular season to a single game, when you’re trailing by 3 goals midway in the third period, you don’t call off the dogs and run your bottom six the rest of the way, but neither do you pull your goalie with 10 minutes left. Just play it straight up and give your players a chance to make a game of it.

And for a while there, the Oilers did just that. For the third time this season they rattled off a stretch of 7+ wins and 15+ points in a 10-game span, going 7-2-1 from Games 60-69. Those earlier stretches (8-2-1 from Games 3-13 and 8-1-1 from Games 24-33) don’t line up perfectly with the 10-game segments we review eight times a season here at the Cult of Hockey, but the three hot rolls are largely embedded within Segments 1, 3 and 7.

Games 1 – 10: 6-3-1, .650 | 29 GF, 30 GA | 299 SF, 295 SA | .995 PDO
Games 11-20: 3-7-0, .300 | 28 GF, 36 GA | 331 SF, 310 SA | .968 PDO
Games 21-30: 7-2-1, .750 | 24 GF, 21 GA | 311 SF, 286 SA | 1.004 PDO
Games 31-40: 3-6-1, .350 | 32 GF, 40 GA | 253 SF, 346 SA | 1.011 PDO
Games 41-50: 4-6-0, .400 | 28 GF, 36 GA | 245 SF, 317 SA | 1.001 PDO
Games 51-60: 2-5-3, .350 | 25 GF, 37 GA | 335 SF, 311 SA | .956 PDO
Games 61-70 : 6-3-1, .650 | 29 GF, 27 GA | 300 SF, 355 SA | 1.021 PDO

Which would be fine had the team been able to tread water in between times. Alas it’s been feast or famine for much of the season, notably an extended drought of 26 games which saw the team win just 6 games while enduring three different losing streaks of 5+ games.

The recent run is nice, …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports

      

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Player grades, Games 61-70: Edmonton Oilers picked up their play but playoff berth remains a pipe dream

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