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Oilers, Wild in trouble according to the Thanksgiving Theory ahead of NHL Thanksgiving Showdown 2024

On this American Thanksgiving, a pivotal juncture in the NHL season, hockey enthusiasts are eager: “Where does your team stand in the playoff race?

This U.S. holiday, occurring approximately a quarter of the way into the NHL season has entrenched itself as an unofficial litmus test for a franchise’s postseason aspirations.

Delving into the histories since the 2005-06 season reveals a compelling narrative: of the 240 teams in a playoff spot on Thanksgiving, a staggering 76.7 percent — 184 teams — have seamlessly qualified for the subsequent postseason.

Following Thanksgiving, 56 teams experienced setbacks, with 31 of them situated in proximity to the final wild-card playoff position. In the salary-cap era, Only two teams failed to secure a playoff berth despite holding a lead of 10 or more points over the final playoff position.

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Amid Thanksgiving, What’s the Playoff Situation in NHL’s Different Divisions? 

Atlantic Division: Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning

Metropolitan Division: New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes

Wild-Card Spots: Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers


Central Division: Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets

Pacific Division: Vegas Golden Knights, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings

Wild-Card Spots: St. Louis Blues, Seattle Kraken

What about those who are out of Playoff contention spots then?

Yes, We mean the Oilers!

While Thanksgiving odds are against them, historical outliers, like the 1959 Chicago Black Hawks, highlight that significant comebacks are not unprecedented.

Examining the past decade, 30 teams made the playoffs after being outside the picture at Thanksgiving. In the remarkable turnaround leading to their 2019 Stanley Cup victory, the St. Louis Blues were seven points behind the second wild-card team (Dallas) during Thanksgiving 2018.

Similarly, the Florida Panthers experienced a compelling journey. In the aftermath of Thanksgiving 2022, they were trailing by just one point for the second wild-card spot in a highly competitive Eastern Conference. Their subsequent surge propelled them to the Stanley Cup Final, albeit falling short against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Well, We do love a good superstitious theory and Thanksgiving just got more interesting!


Mohammed Bazim
Mohammed Bazimhttp://thesportslite.com
Mohammed Bazim S is a final-year Journalism student with a deep passion for sports reporting. At the age of 19, he is already making strides towards his dream of becoming a paddock reporter and rinkside correspondent. With a particular love for ice hockey and Formula 1, Mohammed aspires to capture the excitement of these sports through immersive reporting. His enthusiasm, coupled with his dedication to honing his skills, sets him on a path towards bringing the thrilling world of sports to life for fans worldwide.

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