Last season, the Edmonton Oilers established themselves as one of the top offensive teams in the league. The club scored 247 goals, ranking third in the Western Conference. They posted a plus-35 goal differential and came within two points of winning the Pacific Division title.
What they also did really well was generate shots on goal. Across all game-states, the Oilers averaged 30.65 shots per hour, good for ninth in the league. At even-strength (5-on-5), the Oilers generated 30.12 shots per hour, good for 10th overall and first in the Pacific. And on the power play, the Oilers generated 54.19 shots per hour, ranking them second in the Western Conference.
Their ability to get shots-on-goal was a big improvement from seasons past, as it was the first time in a long time that the Oilers posted a shot-rate above the league average.
It’s early into the 2017-18 season, and there are plenty of score-effects occurring, but after their first five games, the Oilers have posted a rate of 37.1 shots on goal per hour — one of the highest in the league. Considering that the most a team has averaged in a single season since 2007-08 is 34.1 (posted by the Sharks in 2014-15), it’s likely that the Oilers won’t maintain a rate in the 40.0 range.
However, there’s still a good chance that the Oilers finish the season with one of the best rates of shots on goal in the league. Along with the Connor McDavid factor, the Oilers have at least two other things going for them: the growing offensive abilities of defenceman Oscar Klefbom and the coaching staff’s history when it comes to generating shots.
Following an excellent 2016-17 season where he played top pairing minutes and was a key piece on the power play, Klefbom appears to be ready to take another step in his development. Here’s what he had to say to Chris Wescott from EdmontonOilers.com following the win against Calgary, a game in which he had nine shots on goal.
“I told myself last year to shoot the puck a lot and it was effective, right? Obviously, when you play with some really good guys on the ice it helps,” Klefbom told EdmontonOilers.com. “I just want to continue and focus on my game here, shoot the puck and play my game and even develop even more in my offensive game.
Full article is at The Athletic Edmonton.