The Edmonton Oilers can not miss the playoffs
That would be an almost unbelievable failure by the team's front office
Well technically the Edmonton Oilers CAN miss the playoffs, which is kind of the problem here. It is the fact that we are even having a discussion about them potentially missing the playoffs at the halfway point of the 2022-23 NHL season that is almost beyond belief.
Given the presence of Connor McDavid, the best and most dominant offensive player in the sport, and Leon Draisaitl who is not far behind him somewhere in the top-five, it should be a lock for this franchise to not only be a playoff team every year, but also be a serious Stanley Cup contender.
Most organizations will go their entire existence and never see a player as good as McDavid.
There are a handful of teams in the league, mostly the more recent teams, that have probably never even had a player as dominant offensively as Draisiatl.
But for Edmonton to not only have two of them, but to have them at the exact same time, at roughly the exact same age, and both in the primes of their careers and still not be able to build a consistent winner around them is so baffling that it defies all reason and logic.
Entering play on Friday night, their 44th game of the season, the Oilers were barely clinging to the last Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, just barely ahead of St. Louis, Nashville, and Colorado (another team worth exploring more in depth) for that spot, and barely behind Calgary.
I do not trust St. Louis or Nashville to stick around in the race that much, but Colorado is a team you have to be wary of if you are Edmonton. The Avalanche have been decimated by injuries this season and we really have not seen them as they were meant to look. When healthy, that is still one of the best teams in the league and it could cause some problems for an Oilers team on the bubble.
So let’s look at that Oilers team a little.
I am not even an Oilers fan but there is no team in the league that consistently aggravates me more than them just for the way they are squandering these two hockey gifts.