Thursday night will bring a pivotal game for the Edmonton Oilers when they play the Minnesota Wild with both teams right around the .500 mark. Edmonton is just 6-6-3 on the season and while the team is great on the power play and killing off penalties, the Oilers have too many failures when it is a full strength situation. This becomes a game at home that Edmonton really needs to win if they don’t want to spin their wheels anymore.
The Northwest Division is one that is very crowded from top to bottom right now with only seven points between the top and bottom teams in the division. If Edmonton can win this game and creep closer to first place in the division, it may bring about some more confidence out of this Edmonton team that is averaging just over two goals a game this year. It also doesn’t help when the team can’t help Nikolai Khabibulin in net, who is having a great season with a 1.91 goals against average and when you can have a goalie do that, you should be winning more.
There is a lot that will ride on the Edmonton players if they don’t start winning more soon. It has been a long time since the Oilers have been successful and the fans are probably beginning to get restless and won’t put up with much more of this. This becomes a critical game for the Oilers to win if they want to make any sort of run towards the playoffs during this shortened National Hockey League season.