The Oilers were excited following their Sunday night game against the Buffalo Sabres. Following that 4-2 victory, the club was only three points out of a playoff spot when exactly a year before they were 15 back.
Knowing they’re still just a couple games back of the playoffs energizes the players in the locker room.
“I think, last year, you look at this time of the season, going into the Christmas break, we were out of the playoffs,” said Matt Hendricks. “You could count us out. Mathematically, maybe not 100 percent out but we were a long way from the playoffs. Now, for me, this is why I play. I love this. This is the best. Playoff hunt. We’re a long ways away from the playoffs, but we’re in a good position right now.”
The Oilers don’t need any reminding about what lies ahead for them. They want to continue to progress as they have this last stretch and stay in the hunt. Despite numerous injuries, Edmonton is 4-1-0 in their last five games. They have at least a point in five of their last six.
“Everyone on the team right now knows where we are in the standings. It’s not ‘well, why do I need to look today? I know where we are’ type of thing,” said Hendricks. “We have an opportunity here. We’ve got 50 games to go, or whatever it is, this year. We’ve got a lot of hockey left. We’re in a position right now where we kind of hold our cards. We hold our own destiny right now. We’ve battled. We’ve overcome some tough injuries and it’s a good spot to be sitting in this time of year.”