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I Need Someone To Talk Me Out Of Believing In The Oilers

EDMONTON, CANADA - APRIL 01: Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates after scoring his third goal of the game against the Anaheim Ducks and 50th goal of the season on April 1, 2023 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Leon Draisaitl;Lukas Dostal;Jakob Silfverberg
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Blogging is actually a two-way street. Usually it's me, the writer, telling you, the reader, the stupid things I think and attempting to make an argument why you should agree. But sometimes the thing is just too stupid. Sometimes I need to write the blog so that the commenters can talk me out of the stupid thing. Reader, I need your help. I'm starting to believe in the Edmonton Oilers.

Lauren has tried. Her arguments against are good and correct. They give up too many goals. Their forward lines are top-heavy. They rely too much on their power play. They're the Edmonton Oilers. I hear all this, and internalize it, and then I go watch them outskate Vegas and shut out L.A. and beat Anaheim by a touchdown and all the logic goes out the window. Yes, I know the Ducks stink and started thinking about golf months ago. But even Saturday's 6-0 demolition of that hapless squad, which clinched a playoff spot, shows what the Oilers are capable of when they're firing on all cylinders. It's potent stuff.

Leon Draisaitl's hatty, the seventh of his career, gives him 50 on the season, making him and Connor McDavid the first pair of teammates to reach that mark since Lemieux and Jagr. Draisaitl is, to put it simply, the NHL's best goalscorer. No one has found more twine than him over the last five years. Not McDavid, not Auston Matthews, no one.

"You don't see it every day that someone gets to 50 and gets 100 points pretty much every year they've been in the league," McDavid said of Draisaitl. It's even more impressive, and more positive for the Oilers' postseason hopes, that he's doing it on the second line. Thanks to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins's career year and to the existence of McDavid, Edmonton can roll out Draisaitl centering Evander Kane on a second line that has more firepower than many teams' first. They'll get to avoid most match-up lines and lockdown defenders, and if they can make the most of it like they have been—Draisaitl's on a 12-game point-scoring streak—the Oilers have a big offensive advantage over nearly any opponent.

The team is red-hot. They've taken points in 10 straight games, and have won 13 of 16. Against good teams too!—seven of them currently in playoff position. Don't try to tell me Edmonton can't hang with Dallas or Vegas, or even Boston or Toronto, when we all just saw them do exactly that.

You see, this is what I mean about needing you to nudge me back over my skis. I'm losing my cool. I'm prepared to anoint rookie Stuart Skinner as the true No. 1 goalie the Oilers have long lacked. I'm ready to declare Mattias Ekholm the single most impactful deadline acquisition, for the way he gives the Oilers two almost respectable-ish defense pairings for the first time in forever. I'm already writing off Edmonton's likely first-round opponent, the Kings, as a pushover. I'm thinking the rest of the West isn't so scary. I'm sitting here wondering if the road to the Cup doesn't run through Edmonton. I am an idiot.

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