Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/30/13
There’s a website called SportsClubStats which usually gets a lot of use in the second half of pro sports season. It computerizes, by percentage, each team’s mathematical chances of making the playoffs. Guess what the Oilers chances are this morning? On October 30th. You ready for this? They’re 2.8%. That’s better than only one other team, the Buffalo Sabres at 1.3%. In the media room, as the final minutes were ticking off the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers, one writer asked how much time remained. One wag responded “68 games.” As the media waited outside the dressing room while the players held what coach Dallas Eakins called “a fireside chat” another media comic came up with the line that Phil Kessel might send over “a fruit basket and a bottle of wine.” Kessel (3-1-1-2) has scored seven goals in his last four games. The Oilers (1-4-1-0) have scored six. So there’s that. In the last three home games, the Edmonton Oilers have been outscored 12-2. The Oilers have only played five at home so far this year. And they’ve only won one. Edmonton has 14 wins in their last 41 home games. For their Halloween party, one of them should go dressed up as a ‘W.’ They continue to rub their own fans’ faces in it. So, there’s that. The West has now won 54 and lost 29 against the East. While everybody else is padding the standings against the East, the Oilers have only won three of their 10 interlocking games. If this keeps up, it’s going to take 100 points to make the playoffs in the West. So there’s that. With only eight points to show out of the first 28 available, at what point does one declare the Oilers realistically to be out of playoff contention? If you thought the game here last week against the Washington Capitals was a one-game road trip to Edmonton after six games at home and followed by visits to Phoenix and Los Angeles on the weekend, this one felt like the 11th straight game on the road. You’d say it felt like the game was in Toronto, but the fans who pay $250 a game in the Air Canada Centre, are quieter than the Maple Leaf fans in Edmonton who always manage to get tickets to come out of the woodwork to watch the squad which hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967. The Oilers played well enough in the first period. But after that ... “One of our biggest assets is our speed, but man, I’ve never seen us glide like we did in the second period,” said captain Andrew Ference after the team meeting.
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