So the analogy goes. After the 1/3 mark (28 games and 54 to go), the Oilers are one point ahead in the Pacific Division. There is no doubt, they could be much further ahead if they had given it that extra push when it counted. They have 4 overtime/shootout losses and that's 4 lost points right there and 5 games they lost by 1 which they could have realistically won 3 of them, so that's 6 points, and 10 points total, putting them top in the league.
That said, they are on the playoff bubble and a small streak of losses could see them looking on the outside.
When you see defensive-zone mistakes where players are out of position or not picking up man, not back-checking, or staring at the puck too much, little mind-blips can cause the other team to score in a blink, a loss, and no playoffs.
In the East, there are currently 6 points (3 games) between 1st and the last Wild Card spot, and 6 points between that and last place.
In the West, there are currently 9 points between 1st and the last Wild Card spot, and 9 points between that and last place.
The Oilers are only 4 points (2 games) out of a playoff spot, and the have games in hand on other teams, so any fan who sees the Oilers breaking through this year will surely be disappointed.
They are still not a complete team, and STILL have glaring holes in the lineup.
For forwards, only 4 are in the top 50 in scoring (McDavid, Eberle, Draisaitl, and Lucic).
For defense, only 2 are in the top 50 in scoring (Sekera and Klefbom).
A couple more injuries to any of those players, and the Oilers are doomed and will miss the playoffs.
Not having Davidson or Nurse in the lineup hurts this team and will hurt as Dillon Simpson is about to make his debut from the AHL.
Jesse Puljujarvi has scored only one goal and has 7 points in 21 games while Drake Caggulia has 5 points in 10 games. As I've said many times, if the Oilers do not send Jesse down to the AHL before game 38, it will still glaringly show the lack of vision of player development.
Currently, the Oilers are barely holding their heads above water and might be in over their head. And if they are in over their head, when they tread water they may only have a bubble to breathe out of.
But at some point, that bubble will burst.