Although the All-Star game is a bit past the halfway point of the season it is a good time to take a look at where your team stands. For the Edmonton Oilers, they are standing pretty good right now. They are on a 16-game winning streak and are starting to climb up the standings.
Edmonton Oilers, A Tale Of Two Teams
This season has been a tale of two different teams. There was the one at the start of the season where they couldn't do anything right and had to fire their coach. Then there is the Kris Knoblauch-coached team. The team has gone on an 8-win streak then now has another at least 16-game streak.
On November 23rd, the Oilers were 3rd last in the NHL, only Chicago and San Jose were worse. They had a -19 goal differential and were 10 points out of a wild card spot and 14 points back of the final spot in the Pacific Division.
Fast forward to today and the Oilers are 10 on the NHL and have a +36 goal differential. They are now 3rd in the Pacific and have a 3-point cushion on LA with 3 games in hand. They are also only 5 points back of the Golden Knights for 2nd and have 5 games in hand.
How did the Edmonton Oilers turn things around?
1. Goals Against
The Edmonton Oilers on November 23rd had the 5th most goals allowed. Since then the Oilers have seemed to work their way up the ranks. Right now the only team that has allowed fewer goals is the Winnipeg Jets. Going from the bottom of the league to the top is going to equal more wins.
2. Goals For
Back on November 23rd, the Oilers had only scored 53 goals in their 18 games. That is an average of just under 3 goals/game. They currently have 160 goals in 45 games. That is just over 3.5 goals/game which is an increase of more than 0.5 goals a game.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if your goals against go down your goaltending gets better, but this has been a major part of why the Oilers have gotten better. Stuart Skinner has been one of the best goalies in the NHL as of late.
Post All-Star Break
So far this season the Edmonton Oilers(45) have played the fewest games in the league. This means after the break they will have to play more games in the same amount of time as the other teams. This is going to add extra wear and tear on the players.
The good news is that the Oilers have all the momentum in the world right now and that should carry them forward. It should be an exciting finish down the stretch for this team. If they keep it up they could even catch the Canucks who are 12 points ahead with 4 more games played than the Oilers.
All that I know is I am very interested to see what the Edmonton Oilers do at the trade deadline. I think this could be the year they load up for a big run.