The Edmonton Oilers are at times so bad that you want to gouge your eyes out with hot pokers rather than watch them, or possibly blind yourself with lasers. But believe it or not, the standings lie. In many ways, the Calgary Flames are worse.
Let's go through all the stuff that makes a team good and see who's better. We'll do this heads up (Calgary vs. Edmonton only) so no other teams matter. The team that is currently higher in the league in each category will get the check mark.
Goals For: Edmonton
Goals For Per Game: Edmonton
Goals Against: Calgary
Goals Against Per Game: Calgary
5x5 Goals For/Against Ratio: Edmonton
Penalty Kill: Calgary
Shot Per Game: Calgary
Shots Against Per Game: Edmonton
Team Faceoff Percentage: Edmonton
OT/Shootout Wins: Edmonton
Blocked Shots: Edmonton
Sure, the Flames are better than the Oilers in many ways too. A somewhat notable one is the amount of games they've won compared to what Edmonton has managed. The trouble is that the Flames have the 5th highest payroll in the entire league and they're still trailing a team like the 29th-place Oilers in a lot of important statistical categories. That's probably not a good thing.
Highest scoring Flames defenseman: Jay Bouwmeester (26 points in 79 games; $6.68 million cap hit)
Highest scoring Oilers defenseman: Jeff Petry (24 points in 71 games; $1 million cap hit)
Combined salary of Flames' top three scorers: $13,500,000
Combined salary of Oilers' top three scorers: $8,683,333
Combined points of Flames' top three scorers: 174 ($77,586 per point)
Combined points of Oilers' top three scorers: 177 ($49,058 per point)
Combined age of Flames' top three scorers: 100 years
Combines age of Oilers' top three scorers: 59 years
Number of Flames' No Move or No Trade Clauses: 11
Number of Oilers' No Move or No Trade Clauses: 3
Am I sour that the Oilers lost their 47th game of the season on Friday night? Sure. Are the Oilers perfectly managed and guaranteed to become a contender? Nope. But having watched parts of both the Calgary and Edmonton games on Friday and also keeping an eye on both teams throughout the season, it's clear that even the 29th place Oilers are in a better spot than the Flames.
If you're an Oilers fan, hopefully that makes you feel better.