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article imageOp-Ed: Here's hoping the Edmonton Oilers go on a 10 game win streak

By Marcus Hondro     Feb 28, 2015 in Sports
Let's start here: I am not an Edmonton Oilers fan. Never have been. I do not loathe them, mind you, and being a Canadian if they were the last Canadian team in the playoffs I might even cheer for them.
Oilers and NHL entry draft picks
But I am...exasperated with the Oilers getting high picks in the NHL entry draft, then doing nothing but lose and earn more picks. Wait. Earn? No, not earn but be awarded, given, be handed picks. Be crowned incompetent and allowed to choose from among the best young players the game has assembled:
2007: 6th - Sam Gagner.
2009: 10th - Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson.
2010: 1st - Taylor Hall.
2011: 1st - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2012: 1st - Nail Yakupov.
2013: 7th - Darnell Nurse.
2014: 3rd - Leon Draisaitl.
Enough already! Start winning!
As of this writing the Oilers are in a good place in the standings (read: near the bottom). It is a place that will give them a high-percentage shot at the first overall pick and Connor McDavid. Getting the second and Jack Eichel is also a good thing and by finishing first (read: last) they'll be guaranteed of at least getting Eichel.
But is there a chance the Oilers could falter and start winning consistently? Us non-Oilers fans can hope, it's certainly within the realm of possibility, even if highly unlikely.
To help themselves keep losing, the Oilers traded one of their more dependable veteran goal scorers, David Perron, for a draft pick, and they'll make deals by the end of the trade deadline Monday. They don't have much in the way of veterans in demand but should be able to jettison a few and bring in AHL players to replace them.
And Taylor Hall, their best player, is continuing a hard-luck season in which he's battled injury and been in and out of the line-up. Hall now has a cracked ankle and is sidelined for most of the rest of the season.
That should help the Oilers lose and is likely the only time GM Craig McTavish pumped his fists after hearing of a star player going down. At least on the inside. And don't kid yourself, it is worth it to lose. McDavid and Eichel are franchise players and will bring in fans for a decade or more.
NHL Entry draft rules
Taken from Wikipedia, here's how the entry draft works:
"...14 NHL teams not qualifying for the playoffs are entered in a weighted lottery to determine the initial draft picks in the first round, seeded according to regular season standing.
"The 30th-place team has the best chance of winning the lottery (20%) while the 29th-place team has an 13.5% chance of winning, with odds diminishing to a 1% chance for the 17th-place team.
"A single selection from the lottery pool is made, with the winning team improving its draft position to the number 1 spot, and no team dropping more than one place."
How they doing now? Not bad (read: bad). They are 29th and have a solid chance of losing a high percentage of their remaining games and vaulting down to 30th. Their schedule is favorable, meaning they have tough games coming up. On the downside they only play the Vancouver Canucks — who they've successfully lost to in all four of their meetings this season — once more, on the last day of the season.
Could the Oilers start winning
Working against them is the fact they have 11 home games remaining to just nine road games, though they achieve about the same amount of success (read: losing points) on home-ice (10-18-2) as they do on the road (8-16-8). Also in the last ten games they've gone 5-4-1, nowhere near good enough to get it done (read: finish last).
From my vantage point of not being an Oiler fan and wanting them to win, happily only 10 of their final 20 games are against teams in a playoff position and they have light-weights to play, including the Columbus Blue Jackets twice, the Colorado Avalanche twice and the woefully inept Toronto Maple Leafs (alas — just once!).
But they are only three points up on the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo has been winning of late. While they're six points up on Carolina and eight on Toronto (read: behind them) the real danger for Edmonton comes from the Arizona Coyotes, just one point ahead and losers of 8 in a row.
It will be a tight race to the bottom and yeah, no chance the Oilers can manage a 10 game winning streak to put these other teams behind them. If that should occur Edmonton management and their fan base would probably not be happy, but I certainly would be. Would you?
Read: also getting tired of the Oilers being handed great young players?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Edmonton oilers, nhl entry draft, junior draft nhl, first overall pick nhl, connor mcdavid
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