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Edmonton Oilers Clinch Playoff Spot

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With their 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on April 22nd, the Edmonton Oilers have officially clinched a berth in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This will be the third consecutive season the Oilers have made a postseason appearance. It is the first time Edmonton has accomplished this since they made the playoffs in five straight seasons from 1996-97 to 2000-01.

The Season Story

The playoff appearance this season comes with a huge sigh of relief as the 2021-22 season was anything but a smooth ride. It all started great, the team was clicking, playing well, and most importantly winning games. In fact, they opened the season on a five-game win streak. Then proceeded to win 15 of their first 20 games, which is one of the best starts to a season in team history (including all those Wayne Gretzky-led years). This culminated in the Oilers being first in the Western Conference (and fourth in the league) on December first.

After that, the Oilers’ season took a huge turn in the wrong direction. A two-month-long slump lasting from December third to February tenth that resulted in the firing of former coach Dave Tippett nearly destroyed the season for the team. A 23-game stretch where the Oilers had a record of 7-13-3 dropped them from first in the West to tenth, as well as fifth in the Pacific Division, sitting out of a playoff spot.

But the apparent saviour Jay Woodcroft helped lead the turnaround that led to tonight’s victory where the Oilers clinched a playoff berth. Since taking over the team for February 11th’s game versus the New York Islanders, the Oilers have posted a record of 23-8-3. This has vaulted them back up the standings to where they sit today, second in the Pacific Division with four games to play and a four-point lead over the third-place Los Angeles Kings.

Edmonton Oilers Playoff Preview

Looking ahead to when the playoffs begin in the first week of May, the Oilers are most likely to face the aforementioned Kings in the opening round. This is poised to be an exciting series, as I detailed in a previous post. Edmonton’s high-flying offence has struggled in the playoffs in recent years as it gets stifled by the opposition tightening up defensively in the playoffs. The Kings appear to be a team capable of doing this as well. Hopefully, for the Oilers, the newfound forward depth allowing for three scoring lines will prevent the offence from disappearing again. The remaining battle will be determining which team has a home-ice advantage.

The other potential opponent to keep an eye on is the Vegas Golden Knights. This would be a tough series for the Oilers, as my colleague wrote about in his previous article. But, the Golden Knights are five points back with four games to play so this is not looking likely as a first-round matchup.

How do you think an Oilers-Kings series will turn out? Drop a comment below with your predictions!

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Hey! I am a lifelong, stubborn Oilers fan who somehow still has hope that next season will be the year. Hockey is my biggest interest and hobby, so I follow the whole league as closely as I can.