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Let’s talk about streaking

As it sits right now, the Oilers are five points back of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. If they want to get back into the thick of the playoff race they’ll need to start putting together some winning streaks. 

I decided to look back at last season and found the lengthy streaks that the team had put together:

(Oct.18-Oct.28)  5 game WINNING streak (CAR, STL, WPG, WSH, VAN)

(Nov.8-Nov.17)  5 game LOSING streak (PIT, DAL, NYR, ANA, LAK)

(Dec.4-Dec.9)  4 game LOSING streak (MIN, BUF, PHI, MIN) *3 came in OT/SO

(Jan.12-Jan.18)  4 game WINNING streak (NJD, CAL, ARI, FLA) *3 came in OT/SO

(Mar.14-Mar.20) 4 game WINNING streak (DAL, BOS, VAN, LAK)

(Mar.23-Apr.1) 5 game WINNING streak (COL, COL, LAK, SJS, ANA) *1 came in OT/SO

The team also finished 2016/17 with eight different 3-game winning streaks and six different 3-game losing skids.

In fact, there were only two occasions last season where a win was sandwiched between two losses. When they won, they almost always won in bunches. The same for when they lost. Out of their 26 losses, only eight weren’t a part of back-to-back losses or a losing streak (3+ consecutive).

There were six lengthy streaks put together by this team, as I listed above, and as it sits right now they have one four game losing skid in the 2017-18 season. Everyone likes to sit and look back on last years team as one that came out and got off to an incredibly hot start and then walked into a playoff spot, but that’s simply not true.

This team won their way into the playoffs with an incredible 14-5-1 run over their last 20 games. That’s just under a third of their final points (103) in the final quarter of their season.

The 7-1-0 start was great, but the reality is that after their first 18 games last year, this team was barely .500 (9-8-1). While they would need a 4-0-0 run to match that pace this year, there’s still plenty of time left in the season for the Oilers to go on some four or five-game heaters.

I know it sounds like I’m “drinking the kool-aid” or wearing my “Oilers coloured glasses” the reality is that they have the best player in the world, a top flight goaltender, and once Andrej Sekera comes back, their defensive core will look much better. They have too much talent to be a team sitting near the bottom of the Western Conference.

The bottom line, this Oilers team is a streaky group. They win in bunches and lose in bunches. That could be a result of their youth and inexperience, or it could just be the way they are. Are there holes in the lineup? Absolutely, this team is not a Cup contender and I think everyone knows that. But this is a group that could easily win three, four, five, even six in a row and completely change the perspective on their season.

    • MrBung

      Agreed. We are well into the season and the Oilers have not won back-to-back games yet. I don’t think this team has the secondary scoring and special teams in a position to pull it off.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Yup, the math doesn’t lie. The points are there, on the table, for the taking. Nothing’s ever lost in November … not so long as the gains are made the rest of the way.

  • Cauliflower McPugg

    Watching Tampa dismantle the Sharks last night was difficult from the “thou shalt not covet” perspective. I kinda hope they win the cup, lemming GM’s trying to emulate that roster would make for a much better league.
    Also.
    G’luck widat…….. peter.

    • Glencontrolurstik

      It’s funny, but the media was borderline suggesting that about the Oilers last season, expecting an “upward curve into this season… How quick you forget….

  • tkfisher

    The streak i’m concerned about is the brown skid mark, our GM is leaving in his sheets the past handful of trades and player acquisitions. That is a streak that’s killing us. Talbot and Maroon were good, since then he’s fed us a steady diet of spicy Mexican street food.

    • MrBung

      Yep. Chia has damaged things quite badly. Cap hell (Lucic, Russell, ouch). Also on the side of the trades that seems to always be giving away value. That is why the team is where it is right now.

  • Glencontrolurstik

    I certainly wish that we would all stop putting all this pressure on Sekura… If he were to come back now, we would still not be fine… We all agree he is great & it’ll be great to have him back… But he alone won’t help our team as it stands now.
    Is it just me? But at around Christmas last season, I was thinking to myself how much depth we had on our team…
    The bottom two lines were quite dangerous & showed progression towards an upward curve. I was extremely excited to see that progression into this season… Is it that we are listening too closely to those “eastern scribes” that really just watch the highlights of the western games & feed off of each others opinions? Heck, I think I even heard one if them suggest trading Marner for Nurse? Are you kidding me? Or, are the Oilers really going down the road of “complacent mediocrity” & taking their fan base with them?

    • BobbyCanuck

      Many players that have had the type of injury Sekera has had, especially at his age, never bounce back to being the player they were before said injury…gulp

  • Hemmercules

    Dealing Eberle was probably pre-mature considering they need scoring and Mcd has a year of ELC left. if Eberle was tradable last summer it likely would be no different next summer. I guess they were banking on a Strome change of scenery boost but it doesn’t look like thats happening, not yet anyway.

    The team that played Jersey the other day is the team they have. If they work hard and stay determined they can beat any team like they did that night. They hung in there just fine with Pit both of those games but ultimately lost them. I feel like the consistency will come but they created an early hole and now they have to dig out of it. There is no breathing room for a 3 game losing streak now so they have to be really careful not to get down on their play and just keep pressing on.

    I still believe they can do it but they need a really strong month to stay in the hunt. If they falter over the next couple weeks they might as well start talking draft picks or think about trading them.

  • btrain

    Good Article. I think an interesting trend in the NHL this year are the handful of overachieving teams like the Devils, Wings, Canucks, Knights, and Avalanche. Even the kings are somewhat of a surprise as the second best team in the West right now, only a point behind the Blues. Anyway, in the Pacific, what we currently see is 2 of 3 playoffs spots being kept warm by early season overachievers in the Canucks and the Knights. Something drastic would have to happen for the Kings to fall out of contention with the lead they have already put up, but for the 2nd and 3rd slots, its really quite tight. Only 5 points separate the 4th place Sharks from the 7th place Oilers. The Oilers also have a game in hand over the Flames and Ducks, so a win tonight puts them right in the mix for the teams likely to push for a playoff spot in the Pacific.

    • MrBung

      Problem is that this Oilers group has shown no ability to win consistently and adapt to different teams and play. Their home record is abysmal. Their special teams are the worst in the league. I think this is about a .500 team. And be careful writing off the so called overachievers.

      • Glencontrolurstik

        I don’t know? Last year, an essentially new Edmonton Oiler’s team was over 22% on the power play & around league average on the PK… I thought they were adjusting their game really well against different competition, with all the positional options they were showing… That was one of their exciting points, I thought…
        This year however, “the whip” is not being used to counteract the oppositions style of play. It’s being used to try and get something, … anything going… This is what is the worry this season…

  • A-Mc

    Tyler! Thanks for the dose of reality. People remember the last 20 games of the season, combined with an excellent couple playoff rounds and think the oilers performed at that level all year. As you state, that simply isn’t true.

    If we win tonight, we’re sitting 6-8-1, which isn’t great but it’s far from something people would say we can’t crawl back from. I’ll admin i’m a bit worried because of the way the team has struggled in some games, but i have to remember that having sekera out is a big deal for this club.

  • BobbyCanuck

    Quick Poll

    Trash: If the Oilers do not win the rest of their games on this road trip, the season is lost

    Cheers: Relax, we are barely out of the play-offs, lots of games left to make it up

    Thanks Nation

  • the reasonable person

    The Reinhart trade ought to have meant the immediate dismissal of everyone involved. The Benson pick over DeBrincat is nearing just as bad too. Why not consult Connor on that one?

    Sick of breaking down all the other moves since Chiarelli has been here, since they are all debatable and not really as bad as everyone is making them out to be. The two moves above cost this team the chance to be a dynasty for a decade. Now we may or may not have some great years in the next 8.

    It really sours the experience of rooting for this team.

    • the reasonable person

      And anyone with half a brain knew right away how bad those moves were, especially the Reinhart one. Saying it when it happened was met with resistance. Now even the talking heads in the media have no choice but to admit the Reinhart trade was bad and they don’t say anything bad about the Royal Oilers family that many people borrow money to finance. Why oh why must us fans be tested to the limits eternally?

    • the reasonable person

      Hall for Larsson was a fine trade, and made playoffs possible. We needed to fill out the terrible roster somehow so we were desperate to sign guys like Sekere, Russell, and Lucic who are all key cogs in the roster whether you like it or not. Ebs had to go and everyone knew it, that only looks bad short term because of the fatal errors were made at the drafts.

      Why oh why oh why are we so stupid at the drafts, when that is now basically the only way to improve a team in the cap era?

  • SeethingRed

    “They have too much talent to be a team sitting near the bottom of the Western Conference.” Hmmm..
    McD – no question I’ll give you that.
    Drai – assuming he is off to unexpectedly bad start I’ll give you him too.
    But then who? Seriously…where is the rest of this “too much talent”..and don’t say Lucic cause that just isn’t true. The Oilers are suffering from the “Kiprosoff Effect” we lived through it in Calgary…the Oilers will recover as soon as they recognize stellar goaltending hid a lot of flaws last year…oh that and fire their GM before he guts your team any more.

  • Snoop Scottie Dogg

    Call me crazy but the Oilers roster is f’d up. When the league was big and strong they were small and fast. Now that the league is small and fast they are big and slow. I think the the 2013-14 Oilers would have been a better team in the current state of the NHL.

    Hopefully this is the start of win streak…