The Edmonton Oilers American Hockey League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons, is in a dog fight for a playoff spot in the league’s Western Conference. The Barons are tied for the 8th seed with the Milwaukee Admirals (66 points).
However, Milwaukee has three games in hand on Oklahoma City. Which means the Barons are also trying to catch the Rockford IceHogs, who sit at 7th with 68 points, two ahead of OKC. The Barons have a game in hand on Rockford.
Milwaukee and Rockford play each other on Friday night, meaning the Oilers affiliate can gain some ground on one of them with a win or two this weekend. However, Milwaukee plays tonight as well, meaning they can continue to push the pace in the playoff race.
OKC hosts the Grand Rapids Griffins (affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings) for two games this weekend. The Griffins are 2nd in the Western Conference with 79 points this season.
Oklahoma City is on fire right now. They are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 and are on a 6-0-0-1 streak. The Barons are 13-2-0-2 in their last 17 games overall and undefeated at home (8-0-0-1) in that stretch.
What had once been seen as a surety that the Oilers development team would go without the playoffs this season, has now been thrown into positive doubt. For young players like Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton, Oscar Klefbom (should he return to OKC), Roman Horak, Travis Ewanyk, David Musil and more, making the playoffs could be an invaluable step in their development process.
The Barons have 15 games left on their schedule, including the two this weekend.
Current AHL Western Conference Standings as of Wednesday March 12, at 3:30 p.m. MDT:
|TEAM NAME ||GP ||PTS |
|60 ||80 |
|60 ||79 |
|58 ||73 |
|59 ||76 |
|61 ||73 |
|59 ||69 |
|62 ||68 |
|58 ||66 |
|61 ||66 |