The Oilers Improvement in Possession Numbers and Expected Goals

The Oilers may have finished the 2015/16 season near the bottom of the league, but looking a little deeper into the stats we see that the club improved in a few areas that are critical for winning games. First, they improved their overall share of goals at even-strength, going from 40.46% last season, up to 45.38%. That’s a significant jump, and was the third biggest change from the season prior across all 30 teams, behind Arizona and Florida. Goal share is obviously important, but we know that there is a lot of luck involved in scoring goals, with some teams riding higher than average shooting or save percentages to pad their goal-share stats.

Knowing that, it’s important to look into a team’s share of total shot attempts (i.e. Corsi For%) which serves as a good proxy for possession,  as well as expected goals, which measures shot quality and scoring chances as determined by Corisca Hockey. When it came to possession, the Oilers finished with 48.71% of all shot attempts (adjusted for score, zone and venue), good for 20th in the league, and up from 46.98% last season (26th overall). When it came to their share of expected goals, the Oilers made a significant jump from last season, going from a 43.32% share (28th league wide), up to 49.24% (20th overall). Below is a graph of the Oilers share of shot attempts (i.e., Corsi For%) over the past nine seasons, as well as their share of expected goals (xGF%).

CF and xGF Analysis

Full article is at The Copper & Blue.

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