So what does it take to consistently rack up 100 point type seasons? As a one-off, a bit of luck would probably do it. A few bounces ... a career year from your goalie ... and a few extra OT wins and a team that's really a 90ish point team could do it for one year.
But realistically, to be considered a "100 point calibre team" ... IMO you need to outscore the opposition by 40 goals while your goaltending has average years by their standards. And rack up an average number of OT bonus points (about 5).
So how far off are the Oilers?
Well at even-strength they were EV +29 this season ... and there are a lot of reasons to expect modest improvement here, assuming reasonable health for the key guys.
But somehow they have to turn around the special teams. I think the PK may get a smidge better. And, depending on the NHLs crackdown-du-jour ... hopefully they will take fewer penalties this year, and have better luck avoiding 5on3's.
If they can do that (and it seems pretty realistic) then all they will need is an average powerplay to be a bonafide 100 point team. And while this current group of mgmt, coaches and players has given us zero reason to believe that they can manage to accomplish this ... it doesn't seem all that outrageous that SOMEBODY can find a way to lift this Oilers PP squad to the lofty heights of mediocrity.
My point: The Oilers powerplay MUST improve for the Oilers to progress. It is very unlikely that it will just 'improve on its own'. And it is Lowe's team, and his responsibility to create a situation where this is at least possible (if not likely). Either by making the necessary coaching assignments, coaching changes or player personnel decisions. It has to be a priority IMO.
to be honest igor i did say a long time back that the Oilers are very capable to hit 100 points, they just lack direction in certain areas, for me I'd rather shore up the goalie than the powerplay. Just my opinion but if your goalie isn't solid it doesn't matter how good the powerplay is sometimes you still won't win. As promising as Conkanen are going to be we still need an amazingly talented goalie, Brodeur level before we are a consistently 100+ point team.
The Oil look destined to get 100 points next season if they can just avoid injury at center. We have ridiculous depth at d and on the wings but at center we are average at best when healthy with very little support in the system if one of our top two go down.
I wonder if the past season would be motivation for Niinimaki to come play on this side of the pond this fall. It's not inconceivable that he would have gotten a call-up if he was healthy and getting a decent # of points.
As for the elusive pp, I feel very confident about a season with Petr and Marc here, without them I think we're doomed.