On Thursday, the Edmonton Oilers completed an incredible season sweep after beating the Ottawa Senators 3-1 at the Canadian Tire Centre for a 9-0-0 record against Ottawa in 2020-21, all regulation wins.
In the Oilers’ nine straight victories, earned in every circumstance imaginable, records fell, benchmarks were established, and the stats piled up. Some were blowouts, while others were come-from-behind, some games were played on consecutive nights, others started in the afternoon.
The series epitomized this unique 56-game, division-only NHL season: it’s never been done before and may never be done again. Here’s a look at the most amazing facts and stats from Edmonton’s regular-season series sweep.
New Franchise Record
Nine victories in a single season are the most the Oilers have ever earned against an opponent, one more than they had in their first Stanley Cup-winning season in 1983-84 when they had an 8-0-0 record against the Winnipeg Jets.
Three of the Oilers’ eight wins against the Jets that season was by a single goal, including one game that went to overtime before Edmonton’s Dave Hunter scored the winning goal. During the NHL’s 21-team era, the Oilers played the other four Smythe Division teams eight times per season. Under the NHL’s most recent format, teams faced their division rivals in four or five games each season, while this season, the seven teams in the North Division will play each other nine or 10 times.
Expansion Era First
Edmonton is the first team to go 9-0-0 in nine games against a single opponent since the NHL expanded from its Original Six in 1967.
The last time it happened was in 1965-66 when Gordie Howe’s Detroit Red Wings won their first nine games against the Boston Bruins. The teams played to a tie in their 10th meeting before the Bruins finally beat the Red Wings on their 11th try. Detroit finished the season with an 11-2-1 record against Boston.
Barrie Joins Elite Company
Tyson Barrie assisted on the game’s first goal Thursday, a power-play tally for Kailer Yamamoto, bringing his 2021 total against Ottawa to 14 points (three goals, 11 assists), which accounts for 40% of his season total (35) and is the most by a defenceman against an opponent in the last 15 years.
Since 1990-91, the most points a defenceman has scored against one opponent in a season is 15, achieved by Hall-of-Famer Ray Bourque (for Boston vs. the Hartford Whalers in 1990-91) and Gary Suter (for the Calgary Flames vs. the San Jose Sharks in 1992-93). Barrie’s 14 points are tied with Hall-of-Famer Nicklas Lidstrom (for Detroit vs. the St. Louis Blues in 1991-92) and one-time Oiler Lubomir Visnovsky (for the Los Angeles Kings against the Dallas Stars in 2005-06).
Dynamic Duo Does Their Thing
Not surprisingly, Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid led the way against the Sens. The Dynamic Duo, who rank first and second NHL scoring, each registered 21 points over the nine games.
Draisaitl had 10 goals (including two hat tricks), 11 assists, and a plus-12 rating against the Sens. In Edmonton’s 8-5 home win over Ottawa on Jan. 31, he served up six assists, one short of Wayne Gretzky’s franchise record.
McDavid scored four times and had 17 assists, including eight on the power play. The Captain’s top performance against the Senators came on Jan. 31 when he scored the game-winner and added four assists for five points.
The Race Continues
With Thursday’s win, the Oilers (52 points) have moved into sole possession of second place in the North Division, one point ahead of the Jets (51 points) and five back of the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs (57 points). The Oilers return to action Saturday night when they visit the Flames for the latest chapter of the Battle of Alberta.
Brian is an Edmonton-based sports writer and broadcaster. His experience includes working as a sports reporter for the Edmonton Sun, where he covered the Edmonton Oil Kings 2013-14 Memorial Cup championship season.