The Edmonton Oilers had taken another step forward in their chase for eighth place in the Western Conference and everything was going according to plan. They took a point off Chicago in an OT loss and followed with a solid 5-1 win over New Jersey. But then they took an unexpected two steps backward with successive losses to Washington and Carolina, during which they managed to score just one goal. In the process they also lost Nail Yakupov when a linesman inadvertently tackled him after a face off and twisted his ankle. Somehow the Oilers have suddenly found themselves in unfamiliar territory: dead last. The delicately orchestrated decade long rebuild plan shows serious signs that it is working. Even though they haven’t made the playoffs since 2005-2006, they have finished in the top 7 in their division each and every year. They even had more wins than losses in a season not once but twice, back to back in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. Yet they just haven’t been able to find a way to push themselves further than the standard 24th place overall benchmark most teams use to gauge success. Always a bridesmaid and never a bride. So with promising Islander prospect defenceman Travis Harmonic putting himself on the market for Western Canadian teams specifically, it seems like another gift horse might be looking the Oilers in the mouth. After focusing on the front end of the lineup for the last five or six years, clearly the answer to finally helping push the Oilers talented and relatively youthful core forward group into recognized winners is a talented 25 year old defenseman. Heading into a tough 60+ game stretch in the schedule where they only play teams above them in the standings, it just may be the key to the proverbial playoff door. They’d better snatch him up quickly or otherwise they might have to settle for an older, battle hardened free agent who would only come in and distract everyone by talking about how things were on a consistently winning team and describe in ear bleeding detail what regularly playoff experienced players do before, during, and after a game. These fairy tales will only distract the current roster from focusing on the future and figuring out ways to do it themselves. We need more youth because 8 heads are better than 7.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s