Looking into how the Edmonton Oilers and the rest of the league did last season, I’ve started coming up with some rough numbers that the Oilers should be striving for if they want to be in the mix for a playoff berth.
|5v5||>52.0% GF%, 2.5 GF/60|
|5v5 with McDavid||>57.0% GF%, 3.6 GF/60|
|5v5 without McDavid||>50.0% GF%, 2.4 GF/60|
- The top 14 teams at even-strength in 2017/18 finished the year with a 52.0% goal-share (GF%) or better. And of the top 14 teams (based on GF%), the average rate of goals per hour was 2.50.
- Since we’re dealing with the Oilers, I think it’s important to split the even-strength time between when McDavid is on the ice and when he’s not. We can fully expect the goal-share to be great with him on the ice, but the team has got to break even when he’s not. In 2016/17, the Oilers posted a GF% of 48.9% (89 GF, 93 GA, -4 differential) and a goal-per-hour rate of 1.98. Things were worse in 2017/18 when the Oilers posted a GF% of 41.62% (82 GF, 115 GA, -33 goal differential) and a goal-per-hour rate of 1.81 without their captain.
- Should add here that if McDavid’s on-ice goal-share drops down to mortal-levels, say below 55% GF%, something is wrong (either he’s hurt or someone is dragging him down) and it needs to be addressed right away.
- I’ve set the targeted rate of goals-per-hour for the powerplay fairly low. This team has to be in the top 10, especially if their even-strength results are average. They have the offensive talent, but it remains to be seen if the coaching staff can put together the right tactics.
- I’ve also set the targeted rate of goals against per hour fairly low for the penalty kill. Strive for league average, and hope that the goaltending comes through.
The reality is that a lot is going to have to go right for the Oilers this upcoming season. They have enough talent up front and on the blueline to contend for a playoff spot, but their goaltending, special teams and depth have to be significantly better than last season. They’ll also need some of their prospects like Jesse Puljujärvi or Kailer Yamamoto to emerge as productive NHL players, and hopefully the Oilers blue line remains healthy.
I’m not overly confident that everything is going to work out, as we know how random and volatile an NHL season can be. Plus there are a lot of question marks around the goaltending and if the powerplay and penalty kill will be better with a revamped coaching staff. Health always remains a concern and the team unfortunately doesn’t have the scoring depth that a lot of the top teams do.
Since so much is up in the air, it’s imperative for a team with playoff aspirations to look into which areas they could potentially squeeze out more goals from. One game-state in particular that I’d be interested in is when the club is shorthanded (4v5) and if they could try to produce the same rate of shorthanded goals as they did last season. Although they allowed the fifth highest rate of goals against on the penalty kill last season, they scored 10 shorthanded goals – a rate of 1.51 goals per hour, which was best in the league. It’s also one of the best shorthanded scoring rates over the past five seasons league-wide.
What’s interesting is that the team scored seven of their ten shorthanded goals in the first half of the season, when the team allowed the highest rate of goals against. And when the team’s penalty kill results improved in the second half, the shorthanded goals dried up, as the Oilers scored only three more times…..
Full article is at The Copper & Blue.