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Avs @ Oilers: Down to the Last Drops

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The Avalanche (33-27-12) head into Edmonton (20-40-13) seeing their playoff chances becoming dimmer and dimmer.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping two straight games and seeing the teams ahead of them continue to succeed, it's fair to say that the Avs are not going to make the playoffs this year. With the Avs ten points out with ten games to go, they are going to need a Vatican certified miracle to get past the Jets and into the final wild card spot. With that being said, the Avs have been playing some great hockey and have been giving fans some optimism for the future.

After the last ten games, players like Ryan O'Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog have more than proved their worth. I will admit that before the trade deadline I was a trade O'Reilly fan, but after seeing him at the height of his play of late, I have flipped my position. O'Reilly is the the Avs' current and future number one center and he's worth the money he'll get. His play with Gabriel Landeskog has shot the Avs into a contending spot, even if the new playoff format will keep the Avs out.

When I saw the new way the playoffs were formed last year, I knew that at some point a team would be held out the playoffs by the wild card standings that had more points than a team in the top-three of another division that made the playoffs. I think this year there's a definite possibility of that scenario happening and the team that would be on the short end looking from the outside would be the Avalanche. With most of their remaining ten games against the Pacific division, the Avs could very well go on a streak and have more points than the third place team in the Pacific and find themselves on the outside of the playoffs because they play in the Central. The possibility is there, but we'll see what happens. The fact remains that it's going to take a lot of points to make the playoffs in the West this season.

The Avs opponent Wednesday night is the sad story that is the Edmonton Oilers. At just 53 points and in the basement of the West, the Oilers look to be picking in the top five at the draft for the fifth time in the last six years. If not for the Coyotes' latest free fall, the Oilers would still be sitting in last place in the West. The Oilers latest defeat came at the hands of the Jets, further injuring the Avs' playoff chances. Despite the record, the Avs should not overlook the Oilers.

LINES

Landeskog-O"Reilly-Tanguay

Mitchell-Duchene-Iginla

McLeod-Cliche-Everberg

Caron-Hishon-Briere

Hejda-Redmond

Guenin-Barrie

Stuart-Holden

Varlamov

Berra

NOTES

- Ryan O'Reilly has points in 14 of the last 17 games.

- The Oilers have given up an average of 4.3 goals per game over the last ten games and own the league's worse goals against average at 3.34.

- 25% of the Oilers goals have been scored by either Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle.

GAME INFO

Game time: 6pm, MT

TV: ALT2