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The Oilers’ schedule is about to get a whole lot tougher

It’s a good thing that the Oilers piled up the wins in their first ten games because starting tonight things get tough.

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The Oilers play their eleventh game of the season tonight, when they visit the New York Rangers. After an opening ten games that saw the Oilers compile a 7-2-1 record against relatively soft opposition, the team’s schedule gets significantly tougher over the next ten. They play more games on the road, as you might expect they also travel more, and they’re going to be facing much tougher competition. You’ve probably heard all of this before, but since I was curious I took a bit closer look. It’s night and different. Take a look at the table below.

Home Road Home/Road Miles Days 2015/16 Average Points Games vs 2016 Playoff Teams 2015/16 Average Corsi% Corsi Teams Top 10/Middle 10/Bottom 10
Calgary, Buffalo, Carolina, St. Louis, Washington, Ottawa Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto 6/4 4540 20 85.5 2 49.52 1/4/5
Dallas, N.Y. Rangers, Chicago N.Y. Rangers, N.Y. Islanders, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Dallas 3/7 7138 18 102.5 10 51.68 7/1/2

Travel miles courtesy of On the Forecheck’s Super Schedule. Corsi numbers represent each team’s score adjusted percentage, and are taken from Puck On Net.

For a team looking to climb out of the NHL’s basement, a good place to start is by beating the other team’s at the bottom of the standings. And for the first ten games of the season the Oilers did that. That was a good thing for the team and the fans, a necessary first step. Also good is the fact that the team already has 15 points in the bank, so no matter how bad this next ten game stretch goes those points will still be there.

But looking at the schedule that lies ahead there really aren’t many that Oilers fans are going to be looking at as games that the team could or should win. Hold on tight folks, the next couple of weeks could be ugly.