What a game! After a stunning 3rd period the Oilers are within 1 game of that elusive .500 mark with only the battered Canadiens standing in their way before Christmas. I don’t have to remind you it has been a season of roller coaster emotions so far but all that adversity early has molded this team into a resilient one – one that should be better for it once they get to the playoffs……yes they are making the playoffs.
Last night’s game was so reminiscent of the one against Toronto where the Oilers just couldn’t buy a break but unlike that one they managed to break through last night despite hitting a ridiculous 5 posts leading up to that. Once again, all 4 lines seemed to get chances and it was great to see Drake Caggiula finally pot one after a wonderful feed by the Nuge. The team wasn’t the sharpest the first 40 minutes (the puck was bouncing like crazy out there) but much like last year when they needed Talbot to keep them in it till they got a break, he was outstanding giving the Oilers a chance in the 3rd where they ultimately prevailed.
It was a massive victory over an opponent that usually gives the Oilers fits, setting up the final game before the break as a potential chance to get back to .500…….finally. Edmonton is 5 points back of a Wildcard spot and 6 of 3rd place in the Pacific. Two points versus the Habs is a must but they cannot afford to take injury riddled Montreal lightly on Saturday and I expect they won’t. The coaches can downplay the significance of the .500 mark before the break but it is a huge mental lift for all the guys in the room if and when they hit it. It will almost be like a breathe of fresh air coming out of the break that hopefully they can carry into the New Year. After 36 games in 2016 the Oilers had 42 points, if they can finish here with 36 points in 36 games after everything they’ve been through this year I’m sure they’d take it. Then the real season starts….
Enjoy your holidays everyone and Let’s Go Oilers!
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