That's a good question. With the level of talent in the current NHL I'm not sure if it would really be applicable these days if a team hadn't. In the West there's very little difference between the quality of any teams that made the playoffs (other than Dallas and Colorado, both weren't that great this year). Any other team has the potential to win after the trade deadline moves.
Also, if they hadn't changed the schedule to make so many divisional games Edmonton would have been higher than 8th.
Yea in the next few years i think we'll see more lower placed teams making Cup runs and winning Stanley Cups because of the new NHLs evening playing field and more teams being able to make upgrades at the trade deadline
I lived in Edmonton in the 80s during the dynasty years(and damn was Calgary good back then) and back then they weren't always at the top of the league during the regular season (some years - far from it). I'll never forget the Steve Smith goal because I saw it live as a kid.
This years team "has it" - barring any last minute injuries.