Wednesday, September 28, 2011
In A Tough Western Conference, The Edmonton Oilers Wont Be Able To KeepUp
In recent years the highlight of many Edmonton Oilers' fan's season has been the NHL Entry draft, due to the fact the Oilers have had a pick within the first 10 selections in the last three drafts. However, the reason the Oilers have had such high draft picks is due to the fact the organization has not had the most successful seasons in recent memory.
The Oilers finished the last two seasons in last place in both the Western Conference and NHL with a point total of 62.
On the other hand, given the Oilers' recent misfortune they have been able to bring in players like, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, that will all have bright careers in the NHL and eventually put Edmonton back in the contender column.
However, that time will not be next season.
Unfortunately the Oilers and its squad of fruitful, young talent find themselves entrenched in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, and will face teams like the Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and San Jose Sharks regularly through out the season.
Last season, the Oilers went 17-35-11 against teams in the Western Conference. They did not win more than seven game against any division in the conference.
The Oilers won six games against the Northwest Division, three of which were against the Colorado Avalanche, the other stomping mat in the Northwest. Seven of the Oilers' wins came against opponents from the Central division, the Red Wings went undefeated against the Oilers. Finally, a dismal four wins were acquired when facing opponents from the Pacific division, the Kings outscored the Oilers 13-5 in the Oilers' four losses to Los Angeles.
Moving towards next season the Western Conference has only gotten tougher, which means the Oilers will struggle a bit more. Players like Jeff Carter, James Wisniewski, Mike Richards, and Simon Gagne have made the move west. While Semyon Varlamov, Dany Heatly, and Martin Havlat now play for teams in the Oilers division.
Sure, with each season players like Hall and Eberle mature and take another step towards becoming the dominant players that they one day will be. However, next season will not be the season the Oilers make their triumphant return to the post season. The main factor in that grim fate is the teams the Oilers must face year in and year out.