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It’s October and Edmonton’s already playing ‘must-wins’

Oct 26, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT

eberlegetty Getty Images

Fall too far behind the pack in the NHL, even early in the season, and it can be very hard to climb back into the race.

That fear is starting to weigh on the 3-7-1 Edmonton Oilers as they look to wrap up the month with road games in Phoenix and Los Angeles, followed by a home contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“That’s for sure the concern,” forward Jordan Eberle told the Edmonton Sun. “We’ve played a lot of road games and we know we have a lot of home games coming up … but we’re four games below .500 right now. The next few games are must-wins.”

Part of the issue is how good the Pacific Division — and really the Western Conference in general — has been. The Oilers are already seven points behind in the race for a playoff spot. If they lose against the Coyotes this afternoon and the Kings on Sunday, then they’ll be nine points behind in the postseason berth race by the end of the weekend.

The Oilers have dealt with some serious injuries already, including ones to forwards Sam Gagner (jaw) and Taylor Hall (knee). At the same time, Edmonton needs to demonstrate that its young team is willing to move past the rebuilding phase and that’s a hard argument to make as long as the Oilers sit in the Western Conference basement.

  1. allday420ap - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Theyll be playing for another 1st overall pick

  2. giantsdevilsmetsknicks - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Let’s go devils!

  3. joey4id - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    True enough. Same can be said of the following teams; Florida, New Jersey, Buffalo, NY Rangers, Philadelphia.

  4. Plumber 65 - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Wow. How many overall 1st round picks do they need to get it going. I’d say baaaaaaad Managment. And Ryan Smyth wanted to back there to help rebuild?

  5. shamu1the1whale - Oct 26, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I think they could be really good as a team if they could improve on their passing and get a tighter game plan. They just look like they could really benefit from practicing specific strategies and tightening up their passing. They should use the Avs way of playing as a good example.

  6. ray2013 - Oct 27, 2013 at 5:17 AM

    It’s been a gong show. MacT & Eakins were key to the next step of re-building. But right now they’re spinning their wheels. By Christmas they’ll be out. Pretty sad.

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