Its 5 games into the 2013-14 season and the Oilers have a record of 1-3-1. The best part about this is the out lash from fans and the media on Twitter. People have crucified Devan Dubnyk due to his poor play, the salivating media have been all over Nail Yakupov's lack of performance and fans are praising Luke Gazdic and Mike Brown for their bonehead fights because that's all there is to cheer for.
When I read these comments I am reminded of the beginning of the 2009-10 season. After the first 5 games the Oilers were 3-2-1 and people were already praising Steve Tambellini and Pat Quinn for their ability to turn the team around. After 10 games the Oilers were 6-3-1 and the Oilers MVP goaltender was the greatest acquisition of the off season. Then as often happens with a small sample size the wheels fell of and the Oilers were quickly in the Fall for Hall sweepstakes ending the season with 62 points winning only 21 more games after that fantastic start.
The first 5 games of that season are also interesting because teams like the Canucks and the Red Wings had records of 2-3-0 after 5 games. At the 10 game mark Vancouver had a 5-5-0 record holding onto the 10th spot in the conference and Detroit had a record of 4-4-2 and holding onto the 11th spot in the conference. Vancouver would end the season with a 49-28-5 record and win the North East Division while Detroit would end the season with a 44-24-14 record finishing second in their division to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Shifting to the Eastern Conference for the same season the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Candiens also got off to a rough first 5 games. Both teams had a record of 2-3-0 in their first 5 games, after 10 games Boston had a record of 5-4-1 and Montreal had a record of 5-5-0. At the end of the season Boston finished with a record of 39-30-13 and Montreal finished with a record of 39-33-10. Both teams made the playoffs that year and Boston possessed Toronto's 2nd overall draft pick as well thanks to Toronto's Phil Kessel acquisition.
Taking a look at the standings so far for this season (Oct 13, 2013) there are a lot of things we know aren't going to be the case come April.
- Calgary will not be second in the division
- LA will not be holding down the wild card spot in the Pacific
- Vancouver will not be in 6th place
- Toronto won't win the Atlantic
That's why the fan base needs to calm down. The Oilers have played 5 games, sure they have made some mistakes in games that were winnable, and until more games are played a true picture for the season cannot be made.