The Oilers entered December in a precarious position, with a record of 9-12-1. As much as the team had begun winning more under Kris Knoblauch, they were not exactly back in the playoff hunt,
So wouldn't you know it, the Oilers used December to double their victory total for the season. They went 9-3-0, which included ending the month with a five-game winning streak.
As a result the Oilers are now 18-15-1 and sitting just three points out of a playoff spot at the time of posting. January will be a pivotal month for the team, and here are four bold predictions which can also make it a special month if even two of them come to fruition:
1) The Oilers will be top of the scoring charts
As Oilers fans know, their team led the NHL in scoring last season. This was no mean feat, considering it came in a season when the Bruins set NHL record for the most ever wins and points in a single campaign.
Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all surpassed 100 points during the 2022-23 season, the first time since 1995-96 a team had three players all reach this mark. They also set an NHL record with the best power play percentage since the statistic started being recorded in 1977-78.
With all this in mind, more of the same was expected this season. Instead, the Oilers struggled out of the gates with a 2-9-1 record, the worst start in franchise history through 12 games.
With 31 goals scored during the 2-9-1 start to the 2023-24 campaign, this represented an average of 2.58 per contest. By contrast, the Oilers averaged 3.96 goals per game last season.
Since then however, as results have improved for the team, unsurprisingly so has scoring. During a run of 16 wins in 22 games, the Oilers have totalled 92 goals for an average of 4.18 per contest.
Overall, the Oilers have scored 123 goals at an average rate of 3.62 per game, which ranks fourth-highest among all NHL teams. The Canucks lead the way with both 136 goals overall and an average of 3.78 per game.
In fairness, you can make the argument this will turn out to be the least bold of the four predictions we have made for January. Not that this makes it a walk in the park, but regardless, the Oilers are primed to once again lead the NHL in scoring come the end of this month.