There are many steps needed to win a Stanley Cup. There are too many to list, but in simplest terms it goes like this.
Step one: Get in the playoffs.
Step two: Beat two divisional foes.
Step three: Defeat conference foe.
Step four: Defeat other conference opponent.
Pretty straight forward.
— Okay, that four-step program reminded me of Rex Kwon Do and his eight-step program.
If only training and getting to the Stanley Cup was that easy. The truth is you can’t get to the Cup Final without beating divisional and conference opponents first. Of course, defeating them in the regular season doesn’t guarantee you will have the same success in the playoffs, but you have to start somewhere. “Do you think anyone thinks the Oilers are a failure because they go home at night with a 16-5 record?” (A Rex quote.)
— The Oilers play 32 games against Eastern Conference teams, 24 games against the Central Division and 26 v. the Pacific Division. It is why I don’t really buy into the “weak” division argument since every team actually plays more games outside their division. And if you believe in the aforementioned four step process then the Oilers are well on their way to achieving step one.
— They are 16-5. They have the best points% (.762) in the NHL. Every team who has ever won 16 of its first 21 games has made the playoffs. Step one is a lock.
— The Oilers are 7-0 against Pacific Division teams and 13-2 overall against the Western Conference. And they can improve to 8-0 and 14-2 tonight when they play their first regular season game in Seattle. Edmonton defeated Seattle 5-2 on November 1st in Edmonton. That was during a run where Seattle went 1-8. But since then the NHL’s 32nd franchise is 4-1-1 in their last six and have defeated Carolina, Washington, and Florida — three of the top-five teams in the league.
— The Oilers can’t take the Kraken lightly. No doubt Edmonton has more skill, but the Kraken are finally getting solid goaltending and their goals against have plummeted. Philippe Grubauer is 2-1-1 with a .929Sv% and 2.21 GAA in this mini-heater, while Chris Driedger is 2-0 with a .929sv% and 2.50 GAA.
— That is a massive improvement from the Kraken’s first 17 games. Grubauer was 4-8-1 with a .875Sv% and 3.27 GAA. Driedger was worse, posting a .791Sv%, 4.78 GAA and going 0-2. Joey Daccord started two games as well and didn’t fare any better, going 0-2 with a .855Sv%, 4.06 GAA. Seattle’s defensive structure hasn’t changed much, they are simply getting more saves.
They allowed 25.9 shots against/game in the first 17, while allowing 32.5/game in the last six. Their high dangers scoring chances have increased slightly recently. It is almost impossible to win in the NHL without competent goaltending.
— It is one of the main reasons the Oilers are 16-5. Mikko Koskinen and Stuart Skinner have been solid. They’ve had some stellar games (STL, LVK and WPG), but overall they are just making quality stops when the team needs them. Edmonton has enough offence that most games, if they get solid goaltending and decent team defence, they have a very good chance to win.
— The Kraken have defeated Washington, Florida, and Carolina in their past six games. Those teams are all top six in the NHL. And when you consider Ottawa defeated Carolina last night, and Chicago downed Washington, the Oilers need to be leery of a lower-seeded team.
— Since November 9th (11 GP) the Kraken have the best power play in the NHL at 34.6%. The Oilers are seventh at 23.5%. Jared McCann and Jordan Eberle each have three PP goals in that span. Seattle doesn’t have big offensive stars, but their power play is running hot right now.
MONTH OF GIVING…
A big thanks to the Ranch Golf and Country Club and to Mr. Derk. Originally they donated one package each, but when the bidding got high they actually gave out two and we doubled our money to $8800. Thank you Corey, Wes, Tim and Dave for your bids.
Day Three: Pyramid of Giving
We will build a pyramid of giving to help the Holiday Hamper. It is a simple donation.
We will have 15 people donate $100.
Eight people will donate $200.
Four people will donate $500
And two people, or companies, will donate $1000.
And we will raise $7,100 for the Holiday Hamper. (Tax receipt included).
It goes from 2-6 p.m on TSN 1260. You can text the show between 2-6 p.m. at 101260 and include your name and donation. Thanks in advance.
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