A commenter over at OilersNation called the 2006 SCF run a "fluke", and I was reminded of one of my pet peeves. You see, there was nothing flukey about the Edmonton Oilers run to the finals. They were a fantastic team all season long, something which was obscured by their miserable goaltending.
Courtesy of NHL.com, here are the team numbers for the regular season:
- Goals For/Against: 249 - 242
- Shots For/Against: 2444 - 2091
- Oilers' Save Percentage: 0.884
- Opponents' Save Percentage: 0.898
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the Oilers had managed a league average save percentage - something in the .900 range. If that's the case, those 242 goals against drop down to 209 goals against - a 33 goal shift. If we assume that one win is approximately equal to a 3-goal shift in goal differential, the Oilers move from being an 8th place team to winning the division and contending for the President's Trophy.
This was a very good team; something that both reflects positively on the players involved and also shows the depth of the mistakes made in the summer of 2006.