It’s hard to believe that the Oilers are where they are today. Sitting in a playoff spot with a 10 point cushion. 1 point out of first place in the division and 5 points out of first in the conference. 10th in the league. When the lineup was finally set for opening night, I felt that the team could push for a playoff spot. The team is better, stronger, tougher, more defensively responsible and scoring at a clip that is hard to believe since we are not getting much in the way of secondary scoring. This team is built for a playoff push and it’s exciting.
Still, some are calling for Chiarelli’s head and job – still worked up over some of the moves he has made. The moves have all added up to a playoff contender. Today, the Patriots once again qualified for the Super Bowl. It got me thinking about longevity and consistency. When you change coaches and GMs every couple of years you might get lucky and go on a run, you might have some winning years, but to build something special and long term success, you need longevity. So, naysayers, brace yourself for years and years and years of Chia and Todd. That’s how successful organizations are built. McLellan had 7 years in San Jose and not until he missed the playoffs did the axe come down. Chia lasted 9 years with the Bruins and the Oilers gave up draft picks to secure both of these men. So, get used to them because this generation of the Oilers is going to the playoffs for a long time.
I am on vacation and had some time to stream the game last night and man do I love the way the team plays. Sure, they got outshot but that’s what happens when you score 3 in the first 10 minutes and are playing with a lead. There were some great physical plays, a couple of fights and my favourite – Connor going after Tkachuk after he ran Draisaitl unsuccessfully. It wasn’t just a feign engagement, it was a hard cross check that was emotionally charged. LB stopped enough pucks to get the win and actually posted a decent save percentage.
I’m loving what I am seeing and am ready to see what comes next! Go Oil!