Could it be that the Smythe Division, ridiculed for so long, has become the toughest division? The Edmonton Oilers are convinced it is.
Glenn Anderson scored from a scramble in front of the net at 2:19 in overtime at Uniondale, N.Y., Tuesday night to give the Oilers a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders and an 8-1 record outside their division.
However, the Oilers, seeking the form that led to Stanley Cups in the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons, have only a 2-5-1 record among teams in their own division. Their lack of success has prompted a question about what's wrong with the Oilers.
What's wrong, apparently, is the Smythe Division. Even the lowly Kings have been tough for Wayne Gretzky and his mates. The Kings hold a win and a tie in the two meetings.
The Oilers have won their last two games without much help from Gretzky. He was scoreless Saturday night for the first time this season in a 4-3 win over Montreal. In this game, he set up Edmonton's second goal, by Paul Coffey in the second period, for his only point.
Minnesota 2, Washington 2--Dino Ciccarelli scored two power-play goals at Bloomington, Minn., to reach 20 goals faster than any player in the NHL this season, but all it got for the North Stars was a tie.
Ciccarelli has his 20 goals in just 15 games. He has scored 13 of them on power plays.
In the 1981-82 season, when he set a North Star record of 55 goals, Ciccarelli did not get his 20th until the 23rd game.
Calgary 5, Vancouver 3--Carey Wilson scored two goals in the second period at Calgary to help the Flames roll to their sixth consecutive victory.