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Principe: Turning Back The Clock

by Gene Principe / Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers racked up nine goals on Saturday against the Blackhawks. (photo by Andy Devlin / EOHC)

I know that in the month of November we turned back the clock but on Saturday night the Edmonton Oilers really turned it back. Not by an hour but more like 25 years. It felt like and looked like the mid 80's when Edmonton cranked up the offence and demolished the #1 team in the NHL. It was literally to the point where if you turned your head, went to the washroom or got up for a snack there was a good chance you missed a goal. That's how lopsided the game ended up being in Edmonton's favor.

When you put up nine goals it's an automatic to start looking back at other times in Oilers history when they have absolutely been dynamite in their delivery of goals. The first time Edmonton scored 9 goals was in game 51 of the team's existence when they beat Winnipeg 9-2 Feb.1, 1980. In fact Edmonton has scored 9 goals in a game 25 times. They've won them all except for an 11-9 loss to Toronto Jan. 8,1986. The fans were chanting 'we want ten' on Saturday night and they should know 14 times Edmonton potted 10 against the opposing team. Last time it was done Nov. 26,1996 in 10-1 win against Calgary. Four times they have scored 11 in a game, 3 times 12 and twice they hit 13. 13-0 vs Vancouver Nov. 8,1985 and the infamous game where Wayne Gretzky called NJ 'a Micky Mouse organization' after the Oilers beat the Devils 13-4 Nov. 19,1983.

It was also a revealing game in regards to individual goal and point totals. Ryan Nugent Hopkins had 5 points and became the first 18 year old to have 5 assists in a game. It was the 90th time an Oiler had a 5 point game. RNH joined Petr Klima, Jason Arnott, Ales Hemsky and Doug Weight with Hemsky the last to do it Oct. 22, 2009. Wayne Gretzky leads the way with 57 games in which he had a handful of points (by the way he also had 14 games with 6 points, 6 with 7 points and 2 with 8 points.) It was the rookie who led the way offensively but he was followed closely by Jordan Eberle and Tom Gilbert who each had career high 4 point nights. Taylor Hall recorded his second career hat trick and the 112th hat trick in the organization's history. Not to mention 6 players had 3 points. There's no official record for that but guessing it might be two decades or more since that happened.

Allow me some latitude on all this but it was a little like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins playing the role of Wayne Gretzky. Taylor Hall that of Mark Messier and a little bit of Glenn Anderson when he crashed the net in search of goal #4. Jordan Eberle was Jari Kurri and Tom Gilbert was Paul Coffey. These are loosely based comparisons because if not downright impossible it's very highly unlikely for any current day Oiler to near let along ever match the results of former great one's. However for one night it looked like Edmonton jumped into 'The Hot Tub Time Machine' for Oilers hockey.


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