The Edmonton Oilers nine game road trip may still not have been a success, but it turned out far better than it could have. They finished 3-4-2 on the trip, but winning the final two games and scoring 10 goals in the process gives them some confidence and momentum coming home.
Going in to play the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night, the Oilers were facing the league’s best team having dropped their previous five games. They broke out offensively with six goals and held on for a 6-5 victory over the Blackhawks and then followed it up Tuesday night with a convincing 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche in the finale of the trip.
The trip may not have been deemed successful based on the numbers, but the important thing is that they managed to keep their head above water and are just three points from a playoff spot. Through the bulk of the trip, it was looking like a potential disaster and another season in the league’s cellar. Fortunately for them, they finished strong.
There is nothing saying that still won’t happen, there’s plenty of season left, but the tough part, the grueling 9 game, 16 day road trip is now over and the Oilers can get back to some home cooking. They play 7 of the next 9 games at home and if there’s any time to go on a run, this would be a good place to start.
They are also relatively healthy for the first time all year, getting back Shawn Horcoff and Teemu Hartikainen from injury. They also avoided injuries to any key players on the trip and the only casualties that remain are Nikolai Khabibulin, Eric Belanger and Mark Fistric, hopefully expected back soon.
The Oilers are back in action Friday at Rexall Place against the Detroit Red Wings and hope to build off their two game win streak. They will also be looking to avenge an 0-2 record against the Wings this season.