As you’ve seen from the beginning of the year compared to where we are now, even though we’re in 30th place, there’s a stat we heard that 24 games have been either a one-goal game or an empty-net situation. If we end up winning half of those, we’re in the playoff hunt.
This must be on some sort of a script that Pat LaForge is circulating to the staff because I heard Bob Stauffer make the same point on Oilers Lunch yesterday. How is it wrong?
1. The Oilers’ record in one goal/one goal + empty netter games is something like 10-16-8. If you strip out the OT/SO games, they’re 7-16 – their OT/SO record is 3-8. Even if they were at .500 in both types of games, so say 12-11 and 6-5, you’re talking about an extra 13 points.
2. An extra 13 points would put the Oilers at 53 points, last in the Western Conference, and 8 points out of a playoff spot.
3. I assume that when he says “If we end up winning half of those”, he’s talking about regulation wins, turning zero points into two. While he’s right about this, that would involve a record in these games of like 19-4, which nobody ever ends up producing without either being awesome and/or incredibly lucky.
4. The Oilers goal differential is 29th in the NHL. They don’t lose a lot of one or one+ENG goal games because they’re unlucky; they’ve lost them because they’re terrible.
There are reasons for hope in Edmonton. The volume of one goal losses isn’t really one of them.