Edmonton Oilers brilliant comeback partly driven by a good fortune that could change in one second

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Any way you slice it, Edmonton’s comeback from an atrocious start to the 2023-24 season is remarkable but it’s also the result of good fortune.

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It’s a truism that injury is a big part of success and failure in hockey, but for the second season in a row the Oilers have so far — knock on wood, fingers crossed, and whatever else superstition applies — been one of the least injured teams in hockey.

In 2022-23, Edmonton only six teams had fewer man-games-lost due to injury than the Oilers, reports NHLinjuryvix.com.

In 2023-24, Edmonton has had fewer man games lost than any other NHL team. Vegas has lost 395 man-games this season compared to 52 for the Oilers.


Vegas has lost regulars like William Carrier, Jack Eichel, Alec Martinez, Robin Lehner, Nic Hague, Brett Howden, Pavel Dorofeyev, Aiden Hill, Nicolas Roy, Shea Theadore, Zach Whitecloud and, ahem, Mark Stone for two or more week stretches due to injury.

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The Oilers? The longest injuries have been to Connor Brown for six games, Mattias Janmark for ten, and Dylan Holloway for 21.

Advantage Oilers. Major advantage Oilers.

But as we all know, injury is part of hockey. What happened in the past does not guarantee that good health will continue. We can only hope that Edmonton’s good luck does so.

P.S. This in from hockey commentator Pierre LeBrun: “Just my two cents, but Zach Hyman is probably the best UFA market signing in more than a decade. He can hit 50 goals tonight against his old team here in Toronto.”

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