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The Day After 39.0: Edmonton Oilers revel in record-setting streak, ‘something that no one can take from us’

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Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Put it in the Guide and Record Book: the Edmonton Oilers, for the first time in franchise history, have won 10 straight games.
The feat, accomplished by Connor McDavid and co., was something the excellent Oilers of the ’80s never could. The closest Wayne Gretzky and his group of record-setters ever got was eight.
“There’s a lot of wins in this organization for a long time, so it’s kind of hard to believe they never won 10 games in a row back then with the teams they had,” said Leon Draisaitl, who scored in the third period to help force overtime, where Evan Bouchard gave the club the 2-1 win.
“We’ll obviously take it and (it’s) something that nobody can take from us from now on.”
Indeed.

THE DAY AFTER IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY


These Oilers had been close before, winning as many as nine games between March 27th, and April 13th in 2023. That one ended only due to the playoffs starting.
Then, there were the pesky Oilers of the early 2000s where between Feb. 20th and March 13th, 2001, they strung together nine straight. Theirs ended in thanks to a tied game with the Florida Panthers.
The closest the dynasty teams ever got were eight, accomplished between 1983 and 1985.
“I think when it’s all done, maybe we’ll sit back and enjoy it a little bit more,” said head coach Kris Knoblauch, clearly more interested in wanting to make it 11 when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the frozen tundra of northern Alberta Tuesday. “I think what feels really good is we’re moving up the standings, looking for the playoffs and trying to build for a long, successful playoff season.
“I think down the road, maybe when the season’s done, it will feel even better that we accomplished something that a lot of good hockey teams didn’t do before.
“Right now, I just like our focus on what we need to do tomorrow.”
Coach speak.
Relish in it, boys, because that’s one helluva record to hold.
They became the 58th team in the NHL’s modern era, which started in 1967-68, according to Stathead, to win so many games in a single season.
The first to do so were the  1970-71 Boston Bruins, who won 10 straight between December 5th and December 25th, 1970. That same organization is also the most recent to win as many games, when during their wildly impressive 2022-23 regular season, they won 10 games between February 14th and February 24th, 2023.
“We just found ways to win games, whether that’s been through goaltending, special teams, power play, penalty kill, third, fourth, first line, everybody is contributing,” said Knoblauch. “You don’t put a streak together relying on just one line, or a few guys. Very happy we were able to do it. Some high-scoring games, some low-scoring games, but finding ways.”
And for the Oilers, it wasn’t like the streak was easy, either.
It started out east on December 21st, with a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Then, the Oilers rolled through the Rangers, Sharks, Kings, Duck, Flyers, Senators, Blackhawks, Red Wings and, at last, the Habs.
The last three all coming in one-goal games.
“When you’re winning games, you have confidence. You don’t have to doubt yourself and feel that you need to change your game,” Knoblauch said. “I think there’s been the confidence of ‘we’ll just stick with it, and we’ll win a hockey game.’
“I’ve been very happy with our guys, and we’ve been doing that. We’ve been talking about playing that way for a couple of months. When we go back to that game against winnipeg, where we thought we played really well and stuck with it, and we ended up getting a break and end up winning that game. Just stuff like that, and it’s not always going to go your way, other teams are going to have pushes, and we just got to remember to stay composed.”
With their next game coming against the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday, you know the Oilers will want to be up for that one.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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