If berths in the Stanley Cup Playoffs were awarded on potential, the Edmonton Oilers would have locked one up a long ago.
Boasting the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft from each of the last three seasons -- Nail Yakupov (2012), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Taylor Hall (2010) -- the Oilers are loaded with young, high-end offensive talent. That list does not include Jordan Eberle (22nd pick in 2008), 22, Magnus Paajarvi (10th pick in ‘09), 22, Sam Gagner (sixth pick in 2007), 23, and free-agent Justin Schultz, 22, whose 15 points lead all rookie defensemen.
Alas, entering Thursday, the Oilers found themselves sitting five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. It seems all of that talent requires some seasoning.
After a 3-0-2 streak that got them back into the race, the Oilers dropped two straight before bouncing back to blank the Blues 3-0 in St. Louis on Tuesday.