Recently I’ve been digging into the team’s overall possession numbers, as well as other metrics, trying to find some positive signs from the 2015/16 season. My expectations going into the season were high considering the success Todd McLellan has had in the past when it comes to possession, but those expectations were tempered knowing that the roster had major deficiencies and the amount of injuries the club had to deal with. What I’ve found so far is that even though the team mustered less than 50% of the total shot attempts at even-strength this past season, the club did remain rather consistent, hovering around 20th place in the league through the whole season. I consider this progress as the Oilers have historically posted brutal possession numbers and would typically trend downwards as the season wore on. It’s also worth noting that for the first time in over seven seasons, the Oilers posted a 25-game stretch where the team Corsi For% was over 50%.
What I’ve also found using rolling 25-game averages is that even though the team steadily declined in their share of shot attempts near the end of the season, the club actually improved, rather nicely, over the course of the season when it came to expected goals (xGF). This metric, available at Corsica Hockey, takes into account the quality of shots, including the type of shot, the distance from where it was taken, whether it was a rush shot or a rebound, and from what angle it was taken from. You can read more about the expected goals methodology at Corsica Hockey. Please note that the Corsi and expected goals data has been adjusted to account for score, zone and venue.
For my own verification, I also looked into War on Ice’s scoring chance data and high danger scoring chance data (adjusted for score), two metrics that expected goals takes into account along with other factors. Looking at the rolling 25-game averages, I found that the Oilers gradually improved when it came to the rate at which scoring chances and high danger chances were generated this season.
Full article is at The Copper & Blue.