An impressive Oilers streak and a chance to capitalize

It’s Oct. 28 and the Edmonton Oilers have a 5-3-1 record — 2-1-1 at home and 3-2 on the road.

They currently have 11 points and sit third in the Pacific Divison.

What’s impressive about this too, is the team has games in hand. Other division opponents in Vancouver (12 GP), San Jose (10 GP), Calgary (11 GP), Anaheim (11 GP) and Vegas (10 GP) all have played more games than Edmonton.

It’s a good sign early on that the team’s record is what it is after a tumultuous first few games to start the year.

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The Oilers last six games have all come against 100-point teams from last year, and the Oilers came out with four wins, one loss and an overtime loss.

If you would’ve told me this would be our record through these six-matchups against Winnipeg, Boston, Nashville (x2), Pittsburgh and Washington, I would’ve laughed at you.

Instead, the Oilers have gone through a tough stretch of games and one more than just hold their heads above water.

Connor McDavid is doing things as expected, scoring 16 points through the teams first nine games pushing an incredible 145-point pace early on. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is also having a fine start playing alongside the captain, amassing 12 points in nine games.

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Over the past week, McDavid is finally getting some help from other lines as Leon Draisaitl has 10 points, and guys like Tobias Rieder (five assists) and Milan Lucic (one goal, three assists) are contributing in their own right.

That being said, the Oilers bottom six has basically been non-existent when it comes to contributing offensively to the team. Ryan Strome, Kyle Brodziak, Jujhar Khaira and Zack Kassian all have zero points on the year.

Drake Caggiula finally got on the scoreboard Saturday, potting two goals — one of which an empty-net goal.

Edmonton’s goaltending has struggled too as Talbot has a 2.88 GAA and .901 save per centage. Both numbers could be better.

The aforementioned fact that the Oilers have the games in hand while having a lack of bottom-six contribution and goaltender struggles is impressive.

Edmonton’s goals for per cent is only 43 per cent at 5v5 — much lower than the teams expected goals for per centage of 50.5 per cent. On top of that, the team’s PDO is only 97 per cent.

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It shows the Oilers have been unlucky thus far and that’s a good sign.

The Oilers schedule begins to lighten up here against a lot of middle of the road teams and it gives the team an opportunity to capitalize and make a strong push up the divisional ladder.

It’s been a strong start to the season and the team has a chance to build on it.

Time to see what they can do.

On Twitter: @zjlaing

  • Arfguy

    I hope the Oilers do not start considering any games as easy against middle-of-the-road teams. If nothing else, those games should be seen as crucial, as it gives Edmonton chances to gain valuable 2 points.

  • KevCantDance

    The Oilers will have played Washington twice before they play a divisional game. The first divisional game is Nov. 17, against Calgary. I actually like how Edmonton rates against the Pacific division based on what I’ve seen so far. Weird early schedule tho.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    If the Oilers can play like they have been the last few games and expecially the last one against the Preds there is a good chance they could collect two point in Chi Town.

    The Hawks played yesterday as did the Oilers, so both teams ought to be even on how much they have left in the tank, the Oilers secondary scoring has picked up Talbot has played well his last couple games, the defence has been better ( yes Benning still scares the hell out of me ) the Oilers have been winning puck battles, they have been better at driving to the net.

    It ought to be interesting, the Hawks didnt have a great start to the season much like the Oiler did but have picked it up since then, but the Oilers have as well, ought to be a fun game to watch. Go Oil!

  • “Edmonton’s goaltending has struggled too as Talbot has a 2.88 GAA and .901 save per centage. Both numbers could be better.”

    Im not gonna deny that goaltending has to improve but it still has played a huge part in this stretch. Talbot made some huge saves late in the game against Winnepeg, he looked solid against Boston and Washington, and Koskinen came up big against Nashville yesterday.