The Oilers begin a nine-game American road trip in Chicago tonight. The journey ends in Denver on March 12th, and in between, the Oilers play the entire Central Division (Chicago twice), Colorado, Minnesota and one Pacific team (thank goodness for realignment) - Dallas.

The Oilers have17 points through 17 games, obviously 1 point per game. They sit 12th in the Western Conference in points earned per game.

The Oilers have no chance of catching Chicago, Anaheim, Vancouver, St. Louis, Los Angeles, or San Jose. That means they've got to get through, over or around Phoenix, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville and Detroit for 7th or Phoenix, Dallas, Minnesota and Nashville for 8th.

To ensure (probably ensure, the amount of 3-point games in the West is insane) a playoff spot the 8th-place team must earn 55 points, equivalent to 94 points in an 82 game schedule.