Checking in on the Oilers Pacific Division Rivals

Forty games into the 2016/17 season, and the Oilers are holding a playoff spot, ranking third in the Pacific with 47 points, good for fifth in the Western conference. The team is coming off of a big win against a good Boston club last night, with Maroon, McDavid and Talbot leading the way. Up next is a back-to-back set against the Devils, who will have played the night before, and the Senators.

With the team in a playoff race now, it’s worth checking in on how the Oilers Pacific division rivals are doing in terms of goals and the shot metrics that predict future goals. The three California teams are going to be the ones to beat, but if the Oilers can get consistent even-strength scoring from the lines that don’t feature McDavid, they could potentially challenge for that third spot.

Here’s what the Pacific Division looks like today. I’ve included each team’s record, along with their points percentage, which is the points divided by the total points available (Source: Hockey Reference).

Team Games Record PTS PTS% GF% CF% XGF%
San Jose Sharks 39 23-14-2 48 0.615 52.98 52.03 53.07
Anaheim Ducks 40 20-12-8 48 0.600 43.16 44.72 41.48
Edmonton Oilers 40 20-13-7 47 0.588 52.38 51.10 49.00
Calgary Flames 40 21-17-2 44 0.550 47.16 49.59 47.14
Los Angeles Kings 39 19-16-4 42 0.538 50.55 54.07 53.03
Vancouver Canucks 40 19-18-3 41 0.513 46.05 47.63 46.57
Arizona Coyotes 38 11-22-5 27 0.355 49.17 49.45 51.51

What we can also do is look at how each team is doing over 10-game, rolling segments this season. What we do here is take games 1-10, find the average of the metric, then take games 2-11, find the average, games 3-12, and so on. Doing so can highlight trends and can give us a better perspective of how a team’s entire season has been going.

I’ve focused on even-strength play (5v5), as it evaluates a team in a natural game setting where coaches are rolling their lines, trying to score and defend, and is where the majority of the game is played. These numbers are also score adjusted, based on Corsica Hockey’s methodology. This way, we eliminate score-effects, as team’s that trail in a game start to take more risks and generate more shots, while team’s that lead in a game tend to play safer, and generate far fewer shots. Without adjusting, team’s that trail a lot, like the OIlers have in the past, start posting better shot-shares, for example, mainly because they’re taking more risks trying to tie a game. So adjusting for score-effects puts more emphasis and value on the events that occur in close game situations and gives us a more accurate assessment of a team. More on adjusted metrics can be found at Corsica Hockey.


Full article is at The Copper & Blue.

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