Oilers Roll Through October
Edmonton could tie a team record on Tuesday with a win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens. Only two times before has an Oiler team had 9 wins in October, in ’81 and ’83. This year’s team could do the same by beating the Habs tomorrow night and it would cap off a pretty decent month for the Oil.Who’s the first team to score 40 goals this season? Not Colorado, not Detroit, not Philadelphia and not even the St. Louis Blues and Doug Weight. Edmonton is the first team to do it.
They have the most balanced offence to go with it too. 8 players have at least 7 points, 12 have at least 5. Only one player has yet to find the scoresheet, and Reasoner has only played 3 games.
But a solid offence is useless unless your also playing well defensively. And the Oilers are doing that too. Only two players have a minus rating (Hecht-4 and Reasoner -1).
Ty Conklin has given the Oilers every reason to have confidence in him as a back up, he’s won both games he’s started and has an impressive 1.62 GAA and .939 save percentage.
Mike Comrie has overcome a somewhat slow start, he now has 5 goals and 4 helpers for 9 points playing as the first line center.
Georges Laraque still scares of the “best” of them. Donald Brashear turned down Laraque’s invitations to dance, 3 or 4 times during the second period alone on Saturday. I wonder why?
Former “weakest link” candidate, Sean Brown, is playing very strong this season. He shares the lead on the team with a +7 and has 5 points to go with it.
They beat Colorado (twice), played decently against Detroit, and also beat Vancouver and Chicago.
There are tons of positives to take out of the team’s performance this past month. But there are some negatives too.
Tom Poti’s holdout has clearly hurt him. He has played five games, four of them were far less than what is expected of him.
Eric Brewer plays 20-25 stellar minutes per game but has 2-3 bad shifts too. He’ll grow out of it though.
Mike Grier is playing very tentatively, is his shoulder 100% or is he being very protective of it for a reason? He was recently demoted to the fourth line, but found his way back to the third on Saturday.
They did lose to two lesser teams in games against Nashville and Toronto, their performance against the Leafs was one of their worst in years.
Anyway you look at it, you can’t deny that Edmonton has played well on most nights and deserves to be near the top of the conference. They have remained relatively healthy so far and go into November facing a similar schedule to what they had in October. (A longer road trip, but about the same level of competition). It could be another good month for the Oilers.