There are plenty of reasons why it’s difficult to be envious of the generations born in the 1990s that are coming of age in the new millennium. This rings true when it comes to obvious real-world issues, but also applies to some sports franchises that were, up until right around Y2K, only associated with a rich history of success.
The Edmonton Oilers reached the postseason an astounding 20 times in their first 26 seasons, absolutely spoiling any young Wayne Gretzky fan who grew up in the dynasty years of the 1980s before seeing perennial playoff berths later on. After 1990’s Stanley Cup title, it took another nine playoff berths before the Oilers reached the finals again, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.
That was 2006. And they haven’t returned since.
This shocking drought looks at the moment to continue another season with the Oilers currently sitting in third-to-last place in the Western Conference but, at third in the Northwest Division, the Oilers players know exactly how much ground they need to make up.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal was with Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff when asked if he thought 55 points were the magic number to make the postseason (Edmonton is currently at 29 points with 19 games remaining).
“OK, then, if that’s what they say, around there. Fifty-four, 55 points,” laughed Horcoff. “I don’t want to focus on what we’d need to get there because I’d hate to do that, then reach, say, 55 and have that not be good enough. All I know is we’ve changed our focus and intensity. When you start getting close (to the playoffs), teams get better. That’s a given.”