Ilya Bryzgalov Provides an Entertaining Post-Lockout Interview (Video)
Ryan Whitney Is Shocked SI’s Power Rankings Place Oilers Third (Video)
The Edmonton Oilers have accumulated a lousy 84 wins over the past three seasons. As a result, they have finished in last place in the NHL’s Northeast Division in each of those seasons, and they have actually finished dead last in two of those season (the other, last season, saw them finish second-last, ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets). As a result of their recent string of futility, they have been the beneficiaries of three consecutive first-overall draft picks, and while that should help the team improve drastically, just how much this young squad has improved ahead of the lockout-shortened 2013 NHL season is still up for debate.
On the one side, you have the people at Sports Illustrated, who have pegged the Oilers as the NHL’s third-best team in their latest power-rankings for the upcoming season.
As for the Oilers’ very own defenseman, Ryan Whitney, he doesn’t seem to have the same sense of confidence is his team’s young roster, suggesting that perhaps the legalization of marijuana has influenced Sports Illustrated’s pre-season picks.
Here’s what he had to say to reporters when asked about SI’s predictions:
I, myself, probably wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Oilers are the league’s third-best team at the moment, but I also wouldn’t go so far as to say that anyone who believes they will experience such a dramatic improvement must be high. After all, we saw the Penguins and the Blackhawks turn years of futility and early draft picks into Stanley Cup championships over the past decade.
Who’s to say that the Oilers aren’t next?
Hat Tip – [HockeyWebCaster]