The start of this years season is the main difference in the pace of obtaining points between Dallas Eakin's Oilers and Ralph Kreuger's Oilers.
If you removed the first twenty games of the season when numerous injuries devastated the team, the pace of obtaining points has been keeping up exactly as it was last season. At game 20 this year the team had 10 points. At game 20 last year they had 20 points. At game 48 this year the team has 35 points. At game 48 last year the team had 45 points. All 10 of those points were lost in the first 20 games of this year’s season.
Eakins, therefore, is doing about as well this year as Kreuger did last year except he had to deal with quite a few more injuries this year than last year right at the start of the season. Any assertion that Kreuger did a better job than last year, in my opinion, is unfounded.
Another major difference between Eakins and Kreugers Oilers is goals against. In the first 48 games Eakins team sustained 35+ more goals against than Kreugers team did last year. Eakins team doesn't appear to be improving in goals against from the first half of the season to the second half. The average goals against in the first 24 games was 3.5 goals per game. The second 24 games of the season produced an identical goals against as the first half, which is also 3.5 goals per game.
We will see if the likes of goaltenders Ilya Bryzgalov and Ben Scrivens can do any better in the last half of the season than Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera did in the first half. Unless the defense gets some sort of significant and effective overhaul real soon, I suspect that no matter who is in goal the goals against won't improve dramatically. Chris Pronger anyone?