Scouting the playoff race: Edmonton Oilers

A familiar foe of the Vegas Golden Knights, the Edmonton Oilers have tons of star power. But can the Golden Knights foil them again?

Edmonton Oilers v Vegas Golden Knights
Edmonton Oilers v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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2. The case against the Edmonton Oilers

William Karlsson
Edmonton Oilers v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

While the Edmonton Oilers have one of the league's best power plays, their penalty kill is average. This season, the Oilers rank 15th in killing penalties at 79.7%. Yes, the Vegas Golden Knights haven't had much success with the power play in the past couple of months. However, the postseason stakes are higher, with penalties becoming more costly.

There's also fear that the Oilers will fall short in the playoffs again. It happened last season against these same Golden Knights and it happened the year before against the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche. In fact, it's become a trend for the Oilers in recent years:

  • 2022-23 against the Vegas Golden Knights (lost 4-2 in the Western Conference Semifinals)
  • 2021-22 against the Colorado Avalanche (swept out of the Western Conference Finals)
  • 2020-21 against the Winnipeg Jets (swept out of the first round)
  • 2019-20 against the Chicago Blackhawks (lost 3-1 in the Stanley Cup qualifier)
  • 2018-19: Missed playoffs
  • 2017-18: Missed playoffs

Granted, Jay Woodcroft is gone and Edmonton has more depth. However, if the Oilers bow out prematurely, there will be questions about whether this team is truly built for the postseason.