The NHL will have a slightly new look this season. New Divisions, a new playoff format and hopefully a new Stanley Cup Champion. Because of the realignment, new rivalries will be formed. One team to watch is the Edmonton Oilers.
These changes are going to help a few teams, but the NHL may have given the Edmonton Oilers a gift this year. After a short conversation with Derek Stykalo from Oil On Whyte - Fansided’s Edmonton Oilers Page – I’ve come to think that gift may be a big fat trip to the NHL Playoffs.
The new format or divisional structure helps the Oilers tremendously given they now only need to be in the top 8 out of 14 teams and not the old 15, or even the proposed 16 that the Eastern Conference had.
As with everything in life there are no guarantees, but at least for Edmonton they may now see the light. If the Oilers have a shot at the post season, it is going to take a fast start and a bunch of luck. But, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. In this case Edmonton may just be both lucky and good. Lets see how this plays out.
Not only will the realignment given some teams playoffs hope; it will also form new rivals. The Winnipeg Jets and San Jose Sharks may become two teams that Oilers fans can’t stand. The Jets are a team that can get under your skin, while San Jose is just San Jose, they can drive a team nuts.
Past games between the Sharks and the Oilers have been physical as well as heated. With a few more meetings this season it should only throw fuel on the fire.
I’m not sure if it is a Canadian pride battle, or just a developing utter hatred. That is why the Jet vs. Oilers games are going to be something to watch this season.
The biggest one that I’m looking forward to is the Jets. These two clubs have ancient history dating back to the 80′s when Gretzky and company would make life miserable for the Jets and their quest to get out of the first round of the playoffs. Both clubs have passionate fan bases and with the Jets expected to push for the playoffs. Games against the Oilers will help bring back that fierce rivalry.
I’m not sure how well the realignment will work, but one thing is for sure we may get to see some old-time hockey between some new school rivals.