The Edmonton Oilers romped through October like a hurricane, and with one game left in the month the club is on the verge of shock and awe. If the Oilers win tonight, the club could play .500 hockey from here until the end of the schedule (73 points in 73 games) and finish with 89 points—within striking distance of the playoffs! A fast start is a rare thing in Oilers Nation, but this club has one, and it is real and spectacular. Tonight is an important game, because the Oilers can complete a dominant month and move on to the next challenge secure in the knowledge they grabbed everything possible from the opening stanza. Giddyup.
Connor McDavid leads the NHL in scoring. The last time Edmonton had the scoring leader, Wayne Gretzky was an Oiler, the radio was playing U2’s With or Without You, women had big hair and men in mullets roamed the streets freely. This is news! Enjoy!
Cam Talbot is inside the top 5 overall in save percentage this season, with a rocking .934. Now, this is early days and regression should be anticipated, but for an organization that has been devastated by poor goalie performances in October past, this has been an outstanding turn. Music!
Lineups courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com
- Edmonton finishes off October tonight, and that is followed by a long and winding road trip through Toronto, NYC (both Rangers and Islanders), Detroit and Pittsburgh. The club comes home to play Dallas and the Rangers, then heads to California for games against Anaheim and the Kings—and then the Stars in Dallas. That is 10 games in 19 days. We will know a lot more about this team on November 20.
- A lot of anger and rage online these days, as Oilers fans continue to be a house divided. Some say this start should not be trusted, others say those who question this start are ruining fun. For me, I can say that nothing in recent history has been so enjoyable in terms of being an Oilers fan, and frankly the thought of watching McDavid do this all year has me pumped for every game day.
- That said, as I wrote yesterday, there are some things to ponder. There is no sin in discussing what is and is not fixed, and it is not treason to discuss the facts before us.
- Everyone is happy with this start. Full stop.
- Some are wondering if there can be sustain. Full stop.
- These two things are not at cross purposes. Seriously.
- Before each and every home game we’ll be putting on a NationGear pop-up store at Vacancy Hall (10363 104th Street NW – in the Mercer building) for a couple hours before puck drop. Feel free to swing by before (store closes an hour before puck drop) to upgrade your wardrobe with the latest NationGear without having to wait for shipping.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers come out sleepy again (there is just something about Sunday) and Ottawa scores early—twice. Edmonton begins to regain some traction, but are dashed with a late goal by Ottawa, making it 3-0 after one period.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: As frustrating as the first period is, the second period becomes even more galling. Edmonton dominates, gets a parade of chances, but cannot cash despite dominating for the entire 20 minutes.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: In a watershed comeback, Edmonton scores four unanswered and then puts this thing to bed with an empty netter. 5-3 Oilers, and we claim it was never in doubt (while checking blood pressure). McDavid is involved in the winning (really putting myself out there on that one).