In 2012-13, the Oilers were 43.5% CF 5×5/close, this season, this season it’s 45.8; this does not–I REPEAT–does not–mean Edmonton will win the Stanley Cup this season. The Oilers are a little easier on the eyes this year.
I think we should probably talk about this season in terms of expectations. Reading the comments over the last few days, I think some of us are going to blow a shoe or two this year, because expectations are so high for this team and the results (so far) haven’t been there. So, maybe we should go back and stare at a few home truths:
THE EDMONTON OILERS HAVE NO WINNING TRADITION TO BUILD ON
None. They’re trying, with a new coach and a new captain imported from Boston and new systems and a brand new plan. While we’re feeling sorry for Magnus, maybe he’s William Holden and the rest of the Oilers are the British Army at the River Kwai. However, there’s a time to sow, and a time to reap.
THE EDMONTON OILERS DON’T HAVE ENOUGH ACTUAL NHL PLAYERS
They’re getting there, but God Almighty that’s one high, high mountain. I think Craig MacTavish tried like a bugger to add as many as he could during the summer (Ference, Perron, Gordon, LaBarbera and then a couple of longshots like Belov) but the fact is Edmonton didn’t have a pot to piss in in terms of veteran NHL players and it still shows. Add that to the young men trying to grow up in a heartbeat and you get this–an imperfect, uneven, difficult winter appears on the way.
WE HAVE NO SECRETS
The majority of Oiler fans feel it’s the same script this year as last, we’re Bill Murray with the rodent riding shotgun on our way to the Quarry in an old beat up truck to end it all. However, there are real signs of progress here–I can see it, and you can see it–so in a way that makes us unique. We have a secret: the Oilers are making progress, and the things we’re seeing (despite being slowed by injury and road trips) will eventually result in wins and passing teams for good.
It’s a brand new day, we’re just waiting for the warmth of the sun.
This weekend is a bitch schedule, the Coyotes are a tough out and the Kings are home and dry waiting for tomorrow night. Patience. Things are going to get better.