I’m going to get crap for this but what the hell, go ahead and pile on. When Las Vegas enters the NHL next season maybe they won’t be chasing the Sharks, Kings, or Ducks in the Pacific division. Possibly the newly formed Knights could be looking up at the high-flying Edmonton Oilers. In six games played, the Oil has 10 points, the second most goals in the NHL, all with a solid +7 goal differential. Yeah, they’re pretty slick.
Obviously, after six games I’m jumping the gun a bit. We have no idea if this team can sustain their early success and break the postseason drought. Edmonton fans haven’t seen a playoff game since the Game 7 Stanley Cup loss against Carolina. So you can only imagine their desire to get back. However, the 2016-17 Oilers are on pace to score over 100 more goals than they did last season. Edmonton hasn’t scored more than 250 goals since that 05-06 Western Conference Championship team. In fact, this year’s team is projected to score the same amount of goals as Edmonton’s last Stanley Cup winning team in 1989-90. Scary, right? The Oilers have been so irrelevant over the past 25 years it’s been sad, but the end is near.
Leading the charge is obviously McJesus. Connor McDavid is lighting it up as we all expected. Edmonton’s Captain is on pace for over 120 points. Silly right? Granted, McDavid won’t play 82 games, will hit a drought, and has had a relatively weak schedule thus far. Either way, his video game like numbers at 1.5 points per game are getting everyone’s attention. Next on the list is right wing Jordan Eberle who’s averaging a point per game, and same for center Leon Draisaitl. Also, making a difference is bruiser free agent signing Milan Lucic with four points early on. Overall, every forward has a point, and only two defenseman remain pointless. Really good point distribution. Compare that to the woeful LA Kings, with 14 goals for and 18 goals against. If it wasn’t for Tanner Pearson‘s four goals, the Kings might not even have the measly two wins they do have. Is this article making any sense yet?
Let’s head south to Anaheim. Granted, the Ducks historically start slow, but still. After securing their home opener on Sunday, Anaheim is struggling to put the puck in the net. With a goal differential of -2, the Quackers will have to lean on their offensive leaders, and strong defense core to have a successful season.
Lastly, the Cup runner-up Sharks are slowly getting started to 2016-17 as well. At 3-3, San Jose is struggling to score and have a frightening team +/- of -17. The Sharks however have an excuse, they played an extra 24 games last season. Give these guys a break.
Sure, you could argue that LA, Anaheim, and San Jose are just slumping. Or you could analyze all four teams rosters and make an educated guess. Connor McDavid is the most talented player out of all four teams and is only in his second season. Not too mention, Todd McLellan in just his second season with the Oilers and could be the best coach in the Pacific. The formula is there for Edmonton to take over the division. The Oilers owned the West and the NHL for decades, and it could happen again.
Unfortunately, it could be at the expense of Las Vegas. Okay, now let me have it.