Three games into the season and I’m already thinking of throwing in the towel. That has to be a record, right?
I decided to look back at the dark days of Oilers hockey, the years since the cup run, to see if this is the worst start yet.
In short, it is.
But it can still turn around.
(Not if you’re sitting your best defenseman. But that’s a post for another day.)
|Season||Record after 3 games||Record after 10 games||# of games to 5 wins||# of games to 10 wins||# of games to sub .500*||Final record|
|2008-09||3-0-0||5-4-1||10||22||Never stayed below .500||38-35-9|
*This is the point at which the team fell below .500, never to reach it again.
I think the season to beat is last year. The Oilers, if you’ve blocked it from your memory, went 1-6-1 in the first 8 games and 5 of those 7 losses were to teams that would not end up making the playoffs. Things turned around slightly in game 9 as the Oilers visited Ottawa. Yours truly was in the crowd and while it wasn’t an impressive effort by any description, it was a win.
So how do we think the Oilers will actually do in their next seven games?
There are some fancy stats circulating that imply things aren’t as dire as a winless team (there were moments of greatness in both the Vancouver and Calgary games) but decision-making in the organization (both at a management and coaching level with the trade rumours and sitting of Petry) is poor. Any gains made from stats-smarts are being lost.
Last year’s team won 11 of its 44 games against playoff teams (25%) and 18 of 38 (47%) against non-playoff teams – ignoring home ice advantage.
And because of my shred of hope that remains somewhere within me, let’s say this team is 10% better. 35% against playoff teams and 57% against non-playoff teams. (I’m MAKING stats up already on post 2 of this site)
The next 7:
Lightning – P
Canadiens – P
Wow, that’s a soft 6 of 7 games at home.
Anyways, chances are they win 3 of 7. Ending up 3-6-1. Just like last year!