There was a time, even very early this season, in which some of the Oilers players would talk about "measuring stick" games against perennial playoff contenders. However, given the start to the season the Oilers have had and their belief in themselves, that mindset has changed.
Even as Edmonton travels to face the hottest team in the League - Columbus - on Tuesday, they don't view it as a chance to see how they matchup.
"We're after points. I don't think we measure ourselves against other teams," said Oilers centre Mark Letestu. "We've set standards, we've set goals that we measure internally. I don't look at teams around the League and think we have to beat them to prove anything to ourselves. We've got our standards in our room and our expectations we have to live up to. I think that's how we measure ourselves day to day, not by other teams."
It's all internal evaluation for this Oilers team, having bought into the belief system Head Coach Todd McLellan instilled last season. Now the club knows they can compete with the best and understands the kind of play they need to get wins consistently.
"I think last year was almost an orientation year," said Letestu. "Coach talks about the 'belief system' and this year a lot of that stuff has been implemented for a year and I think we're seeing it come out a lot more often. The standards, obviously, have been elevated again and I would assume they will continue to be elevated as the year goes on."