The sun has set on August, it will soon rise again on September. With September just around the corner, training camp soon follows. We are just six weeks away from the drop of the puck on a brand new regular season, and with fresh ice comes fresh odds.
The Oilers’ over/under has opened at 97.5 points over at BetOnline. Now, depending on how you think the Oilers did this offseason, that might not seem like a whole lot of points. If you think they didn’t do as well as you would have hoped, that might look like an enormous amount of points.
Whether you like the Oilers to cruise past that number or not at all, there are a few variables to consider after a wild offseason for Ken Holland’s Oilers.
- NET GAINS - Mike Smith really rocked it out for the Oilers last season. He’ll have the weight of the world on his shoulders in an 82 game season after putting up a .923 SV% in 2021. The Oilers are also hoping that Mikko Koskinen can at least his way back into the .900s after a season he’d like to forget. If Smith can hold the fort down somewhere near his impressive 2021 numbers, and if Mikko Koksinen can bring his numbers up to at least league average, good things will come. If they don’t? Holland will be working the phones.
- D-PLUS - The biggest question mark going into 2021-22 won’t be the goaltending, it’s going to be Ken Holland’s defence. There’s a lot riding on a likely pair of Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie, while new acqusitions Duncan Keith and Cody Ceci will be asked to shore up the back end along with Oiler first rounder Evan Bouchard and a mix of Slater Koekkoek, Kris Russell and William Lagesson. Oscar Klefbom is not expected to return to the club this season due to injury, and Adam Larsson signed as a free agent with the expansion Seattle Kraken
- FIREPOWER UP FRONT: Ken Holland went to market and made the most of it by acquiring Zach Hyman on the free agent wire. Hyman is likely to play alongside Connor McDavid and will hope to form a super line along McDavid and Jesse Puljujärvi. Holland picked up right shot centre in Derek Ryan, he also acquired Warren Foegele from the Hurricanes in a trade for defenceman Ethan Bear. There’s a lot of moves that will make the forward lines better on paper, how much of it will translate to the win column?
Now back to the comfy confines of the Pacific Division, the Oilers will face off against some familiar faces this year. Vegas will be a tough customer as usual, but they’ll have some new faces to see in Seattle this year. I think the Oilers are better on paper than Calgary, but that’s why the play the games. The Oilers will need to win (and should win) a large majority of their games against San Jose, Vancouver, Anaheim and LA this year if they’re going to hit 98 points in the standings.
If they can avoid pitfalls in goaltending and on defence, they ought to be on their way to exceeding 97.5. If the Oilers stumble out of the gate for whatever reason, it could be a climb.
Over or under: 97.5 points for the Oilers in 2021-22
This poll is closed