The Edmonton Oilers have been idle so far in March and they ended their recent road trip on a high note, defeating the St. Louis Blues on February 28th. However, overall the Oilers' recent road trip wasn't that great. They lost to Tampa Bay, they lost to Washington, and they lost to the Nashville Predators. In the game against the latter team there certainly seemed to be a miscarriage of justice as Nashville's game winner was scored on an illegal play. However, in a world where results matter more than excuses the Oilers need to respond in their upcoming home stand.

The Oilers will be home for weeks

Edmonton's scheduling is certainly conducive to a push in March. Starting on Saturday night, when the Oilers host the Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton will play eight straight on their home ice. It's certainly a good time of the year to play the Wings as they are a team that just sold players ahead of the deadline. The implication is that Detroit aren't really a complete team right now. Furthermore, the players that are on the Red Wings can't be feeling any pressure after the Wings basically waved a white flag on their season.

Coming up in the Oilers' home stand, they have the New York Islanders, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Montreal Canadiens, the Dallas Stars, the Boston Bruins, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Los Angeles Kings.

There is a fair degree of parity there when it comes to the caliber of the competition. Certainly Pittsburgh, Montreal, and Boston are among the playoff contenders right now. Other teams coming up soon are either write offs for the season or teams whose playoff potential isn't that clear.

Oilers need points

In the standings, Edmonton sit in 2nd spot in the Pacific Division entering Friday. They are well behind the San Jose Sharks, a team that has a 7-point lead on Edmonton and a game at hand. Edmonton have a two-point lead on Anaheim, but the Ducks have a game at hand as well. If the Sharks prove too hard to catch then Edmonton certainly won't want to lose second spot to the Ducks as it will affect home-ice advantage in the playoffs.

Furthermore, Edmonton can't really take the playoffs for granted at this point because the Calgary Flames have won five straight to get back into the divisional race.

The upcoming game against Detroit is definitely one that the Oilers will need to target as a dunk for two points. That game is the late one on Saturday, starting at 10pm ET or 8pm MT in downtown Edmonton.

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