So we lost to Minnesota again and now we're 3 points behind them for the final playoff spot. They owned us last year, winning 6 of 8. Is this going to be more of the same? We're 1-1 so far. That also means we play Minnesota 6 times in the second half the season, including back-to-back games on the road near the end of the season. UGH!! Please change the schedule. All this divisional play is too much. You can't create rivalries. You need to boost the ones that already exist. There are discussions right now about possibly changing the schedule, to make sure everyone plays at least once. I'm on board with that. At the minimum, make sure all Canadian teams play each other. I don't give a shit about seeing Atlanta or Florida, I want the Canadian teams.
Tonight is the Battle of Alberta. I'm not sure what to expect. We saw the Oilers take 5 of 6 points on their road trip, then come home and lose to Minnesota. That was a game they should have won. How many chances did they have? And especially on the powerkill. I've never seen so many short-handed chances. Another game they let slip away.
Oh yes, back to Calgary. So the next week has Edmonton playing Calgary twice, back to Minnesota (zzzzzzzz) and the Pronger-less Ducks coming back to town. These are all must wins, especially our divisional games (which we are 7-8-1 against our divisional rivals. Ouch). This could be the season for real. Win all four, we're good going into the All-Star break. That also gives Lowe time to make a deal.
Everyone has been on Lowe's ass for not making the deals, myself included. But let's step away from his ass for a moment. Everyone knows the Oilers need defense, and that makes the price very steep. We can't give up our future for an unknown present. So that brings us back to the next week. If the Oilers can win 3 of 4 (hopefully the 3 against our division), we're still in the playoff picture so deal away Kevin, deal away. If we can't win, and fall further behind in the standings, is it time to consider becoming sellers and start building for next year? I hate to even think that, I hate to see our team give up, but you need to be realistic.
So I will remain slightly positive, hope the boys realize the gravity of the situation and really push hard tonight. I'm predicting an Oiler victory tonight, 4-1.
update: Ryan Smyth is an All-Star. But we already knew that.