I was poking around on The Post a few minutes ago, trying to figure out where the Caps are playing. ESPN says TSN, but I don't know what stands for. In any event, they mentioned in there that people are starting to compare these Caps to the Oilers that I mentioned in my last post.
My knee-jerk reaction was that that was absurd, because I already pointed out that the '85-'86 Oilers had 48% better than league average in points (standings points, not goals), and these Caps are only 33% better. Which, btw, would approximately tie them with the '85-'86 team. So this team is not on pace to run away with the best team record ever, contrary to my expectations.
In absolute standings points, they should set the record by quite a bit, but there are a lot more points available this year than there were that year.
Anyway, getting back to the Oilers comparison, I decided to compare scoring rates between the two teams. The Oilers scored 34% more goals than the league average, and allowed about 2% less than the league average. This year's Caps, meanwhile, are scoring 41% more than league average, while allowing 3% less than average. And it wasn't an off-year for those Oilers; it was the second-best year of their run. The best year ('83-'84), they scored 41% over average (tenths of a percent better than Caps, 2009-2010 edition) with less than 1% better than average goal prevention.
So that comparison isn't all that absurd.
I'm greedily hoping the Caps can score six tonight (though I'll be happy as long as they win), as that would put them at an even four goals per game over the season. I'm betting, although I'm unsure how to check without a week or more's work involved, that that would be the latest in the season for a team to average that in over a decade. Actually, probably two decades, and maybe even a quarter century. The '05-'06 Red Wings seem the only likely challenger to that. Hmm... decided to check that one... Nope, the Red Wings were only at 216 goals after sixty games.