Everyone in Oilersnation knew this was coming. It has been discussed for weeks. I wrote about the Oilers’ poor starts in mid-November. It has been an issue since early November, and this weekend it cost them two games. They allowed a goal 49 seconds into the game in Seattle on Friday and last night the Los Angeles Kings scored 2:01 into the game.
Very few teams can win consistently playing catchup, and the Oilers are no different.
Playing catchup is not a recipe for success. In the past five seasons, only five teams have finished the season with a points% above .500 when allowing the first goal.
In 2016-17 Pittsburgh won 20 of 35 and had a .571 points%.
In 2017-18 no teams were above .500P% when allowing the first goal.
In 2018-19 Tampa Bay was the only team above .460P%. The Bolts dominated that season and went 23-12-1 (.639P%).
In 2019-20 Boston was 18-7-4 (.621P%) and the only team above .472P%.
Last season Florida was .607P% (17-8-3) and Pittsburgh finished .519P% (14-12-1). But in only 56 games.
The Oilers are 7-7 when allowing the first goal and they are 9-0 when they score first. I’m no genius, but it seems pretty clear how much of a difference it makes.