Mar 3, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner (89) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Oilers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

At The Halfway Mark - How Do This Year's Oilers Stack Up To Last Year's Oilers?

We’ve reached the halfway marker of this season, and not a minute too soon.

Let’s take a look at last year’s team and stack them up next to this year’s team.

We can then compare both sets of numbers to see if this ship is improving any.

Ready?

BASICS

2011-12 Oilers after 24 games – 12-10-2 (24 points)

2012-13 Oilers after 24 games – 8-11-5 (21 points)

A little behind last year’s total through 24 games.  Kind of not what I was expecting.  Thought maybe this year with the addition of Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz we might be a bit ahead of last year’s total.  Oh well.  Let’s continue on.

2011-12 Oilers after 48 games -18-26-4 (40 points)

2012-13 Projected Oilers after 48 games – 16-22-10 (42 points)

The 2011-12 Oilers went a hideous 6-16-2 over their next 24 games to lock in at 40 points.  I’d like to think that this year’s Oilers can put the season over 40 points, but that would re-quire them to get at least 19 points in their next 24 games, something that wouldn’t have happened in the first half if they didn’t defeat Dallas last week.  Still, 8-13-3 doesn’t seem all that out of line after 8-11-5 in the first 24.

2011-12 Oilers Goals For / against after 24 games: 66 / 62

2012-13 Oilers Goals For / against after 24 games:  54/71

Carry the one, divide by 7, add six…this year’s Oilers have allowed more goals, and scored less.  Not so alarmed about the allowing more goals, it’s the “scoring less” part that’s a little stank.

DOES THIS TEAM HAVE A CHANCE AT THE PLAYOFFS?

Like last year’s team at the halfway point, no.

Well, yes, but not really.  You believe in magic?  Voodoo?  Enchantment?  Spells?  Trickery?  Then maybe.

The Oilers are dead last in the Western Conference right now, and have to play almost as good as Chicago has been in the last six weeks in order to come within sniffing distance of the playoffs.

The playoff cut-line is right about 54 points right now.  Your mileage may vary – if there are a bunch more three point games, it could get up to 56 or even more. 54 points would require the Oilers to go something like 16-7-3 (or maybe even a little better) to come near eighth place.  To put it even simpler, they have to win twice as many games as they have in the second half of the season as they did in the first.

Should the Oilers perform as well in the second half of the season as the first, it would keep them out of the playoffs by 12-16 points in a 48 game season.

This year’s team has scored less goals in 24 games than last year’s team despite having another number one pick to play with, a brand new shiny 22 year old rookie on defence, and more “grit” (whatever that means).

IS IT TIME?

Oh yeah, it’s time.

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