"It doesn't hurt, playing in the playoffs and having the success that we did," Ryan Smyth said after last night's 4-3 win over Detroit. "We had pretty good success this year against them (3-1-0), and we just wanted to carry some momentum."The Oilers will have to carry alot of momentum soon. Suddenly they have won 2 in a row and are only 5 points behind 8th place Calgary in the West. This after losing 4 in a row, including 2 in the shootout during their Eastern Conference road trip. The Oilers will play Calgary only 2 more times in their last 20 games. However, they will play the Wild 5 more times in those remaining 20. The Oilers trail the 7th-place Wild by 7 points. That 5 game swing will be a major difference in their playoff fate. Currently the Oilers have won 2 and lost 1 to Minnesota this season.
They will have to play better in their last 20 than they did last season, where they won only 9 games to finish 8th in the West , 3 points ahead of Vancouver, who won 7 of their last 20 and 6 points ahead of the Kings, who won 8 of their last 20. Playing .500 hockey probably won't be good enough to get in this year, waiting for Calgary and Minnesota to flounder.
Speaking of teams that are not quite down and out, the Boston Bruins, who claimed G Joey MacDonald off of waivers today and signed Marco Sturm to a 4-year deal, are no longer sellers at the trade deadline. A 6-2 win over the red hot Lightning last night not only put the Bruins 5 points behind 8th spot Carolina in the East, it also was a statement by them that they are going to make a push to get into the postseason rather than lay down and die. The Bruins are now 8-2-0 in their last 10 and have won 4 in a row. Even with Patrice Bergeron (lower body) and Glenn Murray (groin) out with injuries the Bruins keep winning.
-Sturm has 7 goals in his last 7 games.
-Marc Savard has 2 goals and 10 assists in his last 7 games.
-Brandon Bochenski has 6 goals and 5 assists in his first 9 games with Boston, making me winder waht the hell Chicago was thinking.... Bochenski seems to have found a home in Boston.
Never say never. 20 games is alot of time. The final stretch race has begun and is going to be thrilling to watch!