Exploring the Oilers’ Powerplay Issues

The Oilers powerplay has received extensive criticism this season as the club sits 19th in the league with a 17.5% success rate. The expectations were high as Todd McLellan and Jay Woodcroft ran very good powerplays in San Jose, even finishing in the top three in the league a few times. At the start of the season, Woodcroft discussed some of the concepts the coaching staff were going to instill and what would make them successful.

Everything for us comes off of the shot so we want to encourage our team to shoot the puck and we have clear retrieval points of how to get the puck back once the shot is taken. Teams in the NHL are very good on the kill, they bring a lot of pressure and so it’s very important that everyone is on the same page, but again, no set plays. We have principle and structure rather than set plays. (Source: OilersNation)

We know from past research that the generation rate of unblocked shot attempts (i.e., Fenwick For/60) is a good predictor of powerplay success (Source: Objective NHL). Unfortunately, this aspect of the game has been an issue all season for the Oilers as they don’t generate enough shot attempts on the powerplay, and often have their shots blocked. While premier powerplay teams like the Capitals, Ducks and Bruins also lead the league in Fenwick For per 60 (FF/60), the Oilers rank 19th (at 62.04) with little progress since October. Below is their 10-game rolling average of FF/60 on the powerplay this season (Source: Corsica Hockey).

Full article is at The Copper & Blue.

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