It truly is amazing when you look at what this year's Oilers team has accomplished.
After 80 games, this team has 99 points. Last year, they had 67 after the same number of contests. That club finished the season with 70 points after 82 games so potentially this year's club could finish as many as 33 points better.
"We've built on what we started last year. Even though the results weren't there we really changed the way we thought about things. The belief system started to come around," Mark Letestu stated.
"As we win, success has bred some confidence in our group as we've gone on here."
The Oilers of last season scored 203 goals and gave up 245. This year? It's almost a total reversal. They've scored 239 and given up 208. The club is only one behind Chicago for the second-highest goal differential in the Western Conference (+31).
Video: PRACTICE | Friday at Rogers Arena
"It's been a pretty special year for all of us," said goaltender Cam Talbot, who is tied for second in the NHL this season in wins with 41. "What we've been able to accomplish in this room coming off a disappointing season last year has been really special to be able make the jump we made. But there's still a couple of games left here and with a little bit of help we could move up the standings hopefully."
Letestu was asked what the strengths have been for this team in 2016-17.
"Offensively, I think our team's clicking. We're getting a lot of contributions from a lot of places. Our top line's been carrying us. The penalty kill's been great, the power play's been great. Goaltender's been excellent.
"There's a lot of things in our game to like. That's how you end up with a 99-point team at this time of year. But there's always things to improve and we'll try to correct as we go."
Talbot echoed Letestu's statement.
"It just speaks to the resiliency in the group. The guys have confidence in everyone in this room. It doesn't matter who's in the lineup or out of the lineup, we can play against everyone. Even against the top teams when you're down by a goal in the third period. Last year we'd get down and think the game got away from us already but that's not the case here.
"We know we can come back against any team. We've got the personnel in the room to do it."