Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Top XX Reasons

Top XX Reasons I'm Optimistic that the Oilers will Finish Higher in the Standings than the Flames

While I was going to wait until pre-season was over to run down this list, the fact that there is jack-all to do in Lethbridge has allowed Matt to outpost me by a wide margin.

As a result, to ensure that this blog doesn't become a Potemkin village for the Flames fans, I've been forced to up the schedule. I currently have no idea how many items the list will include (off the top of my head, it seems endless); but, for the sake of convention, I'll start counting down from #10.

Reason #10 the Oilers will be better than the Flames this season:
"The Oilers were not that bad last season, and the Flames were not that good*"

2003-2004 Stats
Calgary: 42-30-7-3 = 94
Edmonton: 36-29-12-5 = 89

In terms of overall points, it was pretty much a wash. Calgary had only one fewer loss than Edmonton. Peanuts.

For fun, let’s assume that each team would have won 50% of its ties in shootouts (a fair assumption for the moment), in which case Edmonton would have had another 6 points and Calgary another 3.5. This leaves us with a 2.5-point gap - so much more peanuts.

Now, let’s take out the head-to-head match-ups and the respective records were:

Edmonton: 35-25-11-5 = 86
Calgary: 38-29-6-2 = 84

That's right, Edmonton was, in fact, the better team against the rest of the NHL.

Conclusion: at the end of the day, the Flames and Oilers were basically equal in terms of regular season points, so it really all comes down to who improved more since last season . . .which will be summarized in the remainder of the list (hint: it wasn't Calgary).

*I fully acknowledge that this isn't a reason the Oilers will be better than the Flames, per se; but, it does provide necessary background for the remainder of the list


Awesome! I'll reserve judgement on this whole idea for now, but if the rest of the list is as good as "the only reason the Flames were better than the Oilers is that they creamed them head-to-head", then I expect to enjoy the HELL out of it.

Well, it's a good point. The difference between a team that didn't make the playoffs and a team that did has a psychological carryover of thinking one is much worse than the other.

Truth is, they were basically the same in the regular season and the Flames rode out an (admirable) overacheiving streak in the playoffs, and then lost a bunch of those players over the summer. We got Pronger, have the scoring depth that Calgary doesn't, and I think our defence is improved and better.


The Oil had a nice run at the end of the 03-04 season when they were chasing a playoff spot and every game was a 'must win' for them. They played above their heads for two or three weeks to keep that playoff race interesting and showed a lot of heart.

But it is a stretch to argue that their strong March made them a better team than the Flames then and a better team now than the Flames are today.

Stretch is one word for it, alright. Maybe if the head-to-head record was close, or if the Oilers had actually gained more points than the Flames last season, I'd entertain this argument.

But to exclude head-to-head play as a means of proving which team is better? Whatever.

I'm also interested to learn about this tremendous scoring depth the Oil has, unless "depth" is a euphemism for "we don't have anyone who can score over 20".

Awfully cheeky for a guy whose team has made the playoffs once in nine years.

Not that we have been much better. Sigh.

I thought you might like this:


That's the depth to which oil fans have sunk. The pull out the history card. Well, sorry pal, it's 2005. 1996 doesn't do much for you right now.

Scoring depth...that is too funny.

That is a beauty site Andy. I love it

>Scoring depth...that is too funny.

We don't rely on one player to score 20-30 per cent of goals. Our defence can actually chip in and help offensively and our third and fourth lines are going to be better.

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