The Oilers have rattled off four straight wins, all against Eastern Conference opponents. They’ve been quality opponents too, with the Oilers beating Montreal, Tampa Bay and Washington.
But why haven’t the Oilers had success against teams in their own conference?
“It may be a confidence thing, I’m trying to figure it out,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “It’s easy to sit and say that word ‘heaviness’ in our division and things like that. I’m starting to not buy that. It may be a confidence issue and we’re going to look at that. That’s a very good hockey team that we played tonight and we were able to play with them, we got some excellent goaltending, we were able to kill penalties when we needed to and we were able to score when we needed to. I can’t see why we can’t have that same type of confidence that our players exuded tonight against teams in our own division.”
The Oilers still have plenty of hockey left to prove they can get their own conference record on par with that against the East. As they’ve shown, starting 0-4-1 wasn’t the end of the world either. They’re sitting at 4-4-1 with two games left in their homestand.
“I think it’s great,” Benoit Pouliot said. “Our start wasn’t the best but it’s a long season. We’re only nine games in so there’s a lot of hockey left. Even though you start bad… we’re not going to be winning every night for sure. It’s just a matter of being consistent at doing it and not going into a slump like at the beginning of the year and we’ll be fine.”