It has been 3,870 days since the Edmonton Oilers lost game 7 to the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. Since that 19th day of June in 2006, fans of the Oilers have been treated to some really, uh, interesting hockey. There have been glimpses of hope along the way, but for the most part, it's been an endless hole of burning garbage.
This year, it looks good so far. Granted, it's not too awfully difficult to improve over an unsatisfactory 70 point finish from 2015-16, but the Oilers are sitting, well, pretty for the time being. Sixty points in forty-nine games has them projecting to an improbable 100 points at the end of 82 games.
The Oilers have gotten everything they can out of Connor McDavid, they've gotten some solid goaltending from Cam Talbot, and Leon Draisaitl is going to smash his 49 point finish last year. And while they made what is still a terrible trade by sending Taylor Hall to New Jersey, the Oilers received a serviceable top four defenceman in Adam Larsson.
They've gotten a little luck along the way, as well. Matthew Benning is an every-game start on the blue line. Before his injury, Darnell Nurse showed a significant amount of growth. Patrick Maroon is playing out of his mind right now on the top line with McDavid and Draisaitl. Yeah, it's a streak and an unsustainable shooting percentage, but enjoy the ride while it lasts. Heck, Jordan Eberle has started to come on in the last couple of games. They're getting better than serviceable goaltending from Cam Talbot right now, and that's something that's been missing from significant chunks of the season since
Dwayne Roloson. Devan Dubnyk.
Conservative estimates show that the Oilers will need around 90 points to make the second season. They've got 33 games to do it in.
Don't you dare forget about the past decade, but try not to look too far back into the abyss. April comes sooner than you think, and the Oilers just need to tread water between now and then.