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6 numbers and 6 opinions about 6 bizarre intervals of Oilers hockey

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It’s 2 video games into the 2023-24 season, and Oil Nation is in a tizzy. The native heroes have stumbled out of the gate, shedding a pair of video games in Reverse George vogue to the identical opponent. They suffered their worst defeat in 8 seasons after they fell 8-1 within the season opener at Vancouver, then dominated the play within the return match in Edmonton with out something to indicate for it in a 4-3 regulation loss.

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2 video games is a tiny pattern which, as Zach Hyman stated within the aftermath of Saturday’s loss, can be a blip in mid-season. For now, although, it’s all that we’ve. This specific tiny pattern is particularly fraught with outliers which will be enjoyable (or on this case, “enjoyable”) to think about, safe within the data that they’re sure to regress in direction of the imply.

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Let’s pick a number of of the weirder numbers, combine in some associated observations, draw some (preliminary!) conclusions about what they do or don’t inform us, after which soar straight to opinions.

1 for, 8 in opposition to

The 8-1 beatdown the Oilers suffered in Sport 1 has been described as “a kind of video games that each group encounters over the course of a season, it simply stands out as a result of it occurred in Sport 1”. In reality it was Edmonton’s worst loss in any common season sport since 2015-16, after they equally absorbed an 8-1 pounding at New York Islanders in Sport 54. They haven’t taken a worse beating since 7 seasons earlier than that, after they misplaced 10-2 to the Sabres in January of 2009.

How unusual are such one-sided outcomes? Reviewing all 1312 sport scores from 2022-23, I realized {that a} 7-goal distinction was the most important of the complete marketing campaign league-wide! Occurred 9 occasions: 9-2 (as soon as), 8-1 (2x) or 7-0 (6x). The groups on the brief finish of these drubbings weren’t precisely Murderers’ Row: Anaheim, Arizona, Buffalo, Columbus (2x), Montreal, Nashville, Ottawa, Philadelphia. Not a one in all them made the playoffs. Ugh.

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So occurs that 1 for, 8 in opposition to can be Edmonton’s cumulative end in 5v5 play, 89 minutes over the two video games. Their 11.1% objective share is healthier than Washington 0% (shut out of their solely sport thus far), whereas the Oilers’ uncooked objective differential of -7 at 5v5 ranks useless final.

Opinion: Wowsa. There are dangerous begins and there’s no matter Edmonton has completed this previous week, particularly in Sport 1. The small pattern caveat is totally in impact after all, however when your opening evening loss is extra one-sided than 99.3% of all outcomes from the earlier season, properly that’s… not good.

Penalty kill clearance charge = 55.6%

9 occasions shorthanded, 4 targets in opposition to. Right here we go once more.

A 12 months in the past, the Oilers penalty kill was killing them at the beginning of the season, however regularly moved up the charts because the marketing campaign progressed. Cut up into quarters:

Oilers PK splits 2022-23

After giving up practically a objective per sport within the first half of the season, the Oilers slashed 12 targets in opposition to off their complete within the second half. Higher nonetheless, they turned a lethal menace the opposite approach, in the end main the NHL in shorthanded targets. Their internet differential improved by 20 targets, from -33 within the first half to -13 within the second, and their internet rank soared from twenty fifth to sixth, in the end touchdown in 14th not dangerous after their brutal begin. Alongside the way in which, additions corresponding to Mattias Janmark (Sport 15), Vincent Desharnais (Sport 43), Mattias Ekholm (Sport 62) and Nick Bjugstad (Sport 64) all chipped in to the unit’s enhancing efficiency.

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However for all of the progress the Oilers revamped the course of 2022-23, they’re beginning the brand new marketing campaign proper again at all-time low. Some fundamentals are lacking, corresponding to filling the capturing lanes, lifting opponents’ sticks in entrance, or not screening their very own goaltender in a failed try to entrance the shot. And never a touch of hazard the opposite approach simply but.

Opinion: It’s proper again to Sq. One for this unit. Not like the PP which is a constant power from every season to the subsequent, Edmonton’s PK unit is like one in all Forrest Gump’s candies: you by no means know what you’re going to get.

Past-brutal capturing / save percentages

  • Workforce save share = .750

It’s been very constant throughout the board. In Sport 1, Jack Campbell stopped 12 of 16 photographs (.750) in 27½ minutes; then Stuart Skinner stopped 12 of 16 photographs (.750) in aid because the Canucks saved on coming. In Sport 2, Skinner obtained the beginning and went the entire approach, stopping 12 of 16 photographs (.750). Sound acquainted?

In 89 minutes of 5v5 play, Edmonton’s goalies have stopped 24 of 32 photographs (.750). In 13 minutes shorthanded, they’ve stopped 11 of 15 (.733). And in 31½ minutes with the rating tied, they’ve stopped 9 of 13 (.692).

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That too just isn’t good. It’s not even dangerous. It’s ugly, ugly, ugly. Amongst all of the tiny samples elsewhere within the league, LA Kings are second worst in all-situation save share at .821, whereas the Toronto Maple Leafs are subsequent worst at 5v5 with .837. Even these awful numbers are miles forward of Edmonton.

  • 5v5 capturing share = 2.4%

This from the group with the perennial top-two scorers within the league, although when said at 5v5 their widespread superpower — the powerplay — is omitted by definition. Nonetheless, one would anticipate a membership with such excessive finish expertise and confirmed supporting solid to transform greater than 1 (one) of 42 photographs. Make it 1 of 47 (2.1%) at even energy, which embrace 5 extra fruitless photographs in 2:22 with the additional attacker on Saturday.

  • Capturing plus save percentages (PDO) = 0.774

An additional proof of the intense lows the Oilers have skilled at each ends of the ice to this point combines Sh% + Sv% right into a single quantity dubbed PDO. It’s probably the most risky of stats, however vastly necessary within the brief time period. The group with the upper PDO wins by far nearly all of particular person video games.

The group with probably the most photographs? Not a lot. It’s all about changing these photographs.

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Think about a group that scores on 10% of its photographs, however permits targets at an analogous charge (.900 Sv%). That yields a PDO of 1.000 which might at all times land a group mid-pack; final season, for instance, Florida (1.003) and Buffalo (0.997) straddled the midpoint at #16 and 17 respectively. Extra fascinating is the narrowness of the complete vary: Boston far out in entrance at 1.036 however the remainder constrained between 1.015 (Islanders) and 0.978 (CBJ). The Oilers had been solidly within the high half of the league at 1.006,

Whereas 2/82 of the way in which into the season, the Oilers 5v5 PDO is (drum roll) .750+.024=0.774.

Seven. Seventy. 4. Admire it whereas it lasts, fellow PDO geeks, we could by no means see its like once more. (Nor Vancouver’s reflective 1.226 for that matter.)

Second worst 5v5 PDO in the complete NHL proper now could be Calgary’s .916, which is a protracted, great distance from .774, practically thrice nearer to the median.

Opinion: That is so clearly an excessive outlier as to be safely ignored, aside from to attract the conclusion that capturing “luck” (as some contemplate PDO) has not been on Edmonton’s aspect to this point.

I’m assured the targets will are available in time, however have greater issues about defensive points which aren’t all on the goaltenders. Like the opposite “goalie boxcars” — targets in opposition to common and wins — save share can be a group stat. The Oilers dedicated some absolute howlers on defence and the Canucks loved a bit of puck luck within the 2-game set. I’d infer that some portion of the crummy outcomes will be attributed to a sequence of defensive gaffes, corresponding to a pair of uncontested mid-air deflections and a 2-on-0 breakaway that value the Oil the primary 3 targets on Saturday. On a distinct evening 1 of these deflections would have caught the goalie’s shoulder and the opposite harmlessly skittered broad and so forth. However in some unspecified time in the future, ideally actual quickly, the squad goes to wish some saves.

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Suffice to say that when the opposite group is changing 25% of their photographs and yours simply 2.4%, you would wish to outshoot them by a ratio of 10:1 simply to get inside shouting distance. Not usually one sees a full order of magnitude relationship in group outcomes corresponding to these, and certainly it might go unnoticed in most 2-game spans that weren’t numbered 1 and a pair of. However right here we’re, 0-2 with a league-worst 6.00 GAA and a pair of days off between video games, so we’d as properly discover it.

Impartial opinion: my pal Darcy “Woodguy” McLeod is on the very same web page, as per this tweet that landed whereas I used to be working up this submit.

Woodguy PDO


That’s the present “boxcar” (G-A-P) line for all 14 Oilers skaters who don’t determine as first unit powerplayers. That unit has scored 3 of Edmonton’s 4 targets with the person benefit, and three of its members mixed on the lone even-strength tally thus far. Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have 3 factors every, and have mixed to attain all 4 of the targets.

In any other case, bupkis.

Zilch from the scoring wingers, goose eggs from the underside six, diddly-squat from the d-corps.

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Opinion: Not scoring is one factor. It’s fairly one other when the blokes not scoring additionally make key errors on targets in opposition to, as Zach Hyman, Darnell Nurse and Connor Brown respectively did on the second, third and fourth Vancouver targets on Saturday evening. In the meantime Evander Kane is rocking a dash-5 to punctuate his personal line of zeroes. All of those guys have confirmed to be pretty dependable producers through the years, simply not but this 12 months. Which want I remind, is 2 admittedly unsettling video games deep.

1-2-3, -4, who’re we for? Connor! Connor!

Bizarre boxcar line for the league’s main mild, as McDavid has been concerned in all 3 of Edmonton’s powerplay targets whereas capturing blanks at even energy. Throughout his half-hour at 5v5, the Oilers had 41 of 58 shot makes an attempt together with a 17-9 edge in photographs on objective and by some means obtained outscored 0-4. At this second in time McDavid’s private PDO stands at .556. This from a participant who has been comfortably north of 1.000 for 7 straight seasons, as a result of his constant capacity to create above-average photographs by himself or teammates.

Opinion: A PDO of .556? For Connor McDavid of all individuals?? That is the precise second that we must always acknowledge and acknowledge as soon as and for all, our descent into the absurd. The outcomes are the outcomes, however in such a small pattern are enjoyable (or “enjoyable”) to play with whereas under no circumstances predictive of what’s to come back.

Which is simply as properly for Oil followers, simply saying.

Just lately on the Cult of Hockey

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