Following up to my post from the end of October where I looked at the Pacific division and each team’s underlying numbers.
Heading into Saturday night’s game at home against Vegas, the Oilers were fifth in their division with 26 points. The Flames are sitting in first with 32 points, and a +14 overall goal differential. The Ducks, thanks to their exceptional goaltending, are second with 31 points but have a -14 goal differential. Amazing. San Jose – who were expected to run away with the division are third with 29 points and a -2 overall goal differential.
Here’s how the Pacific division teams have done as of November 30, 2018. An explanation of each metric can be found in the glossary at the end of the article.
- At even-strength (5v5), the Edmonton Oilers have been good possession-wise, ranking 12th in the league when it comes to Corsi For percentage and Fenwick-for percentage. Their goaltending has been fine as well, ranking 13th in the league thanks to the play of Mikko Koskinen. The Oilers are doing well defensively, ranking 9th in the league when it comes to the rate of unblocked shot attempts (i.e., Fenwick) with 40.75 per hour and ranking 10th when it comes to the rate of high danger shot attempts with 10.47 per hour. Most importantly, the Oilers rank 10th in the league in goals against per hour with 2.24 per hour.
- The biggest and most alarming issue for the Oilers is goal-scoring. They’ve only scored 38 goals at even-strength, a rate of 1.90 per hour which ranks them 4th worst in the league. The only teams they’re ahead of? Anaheim, Arizona and Los Angeles – all division rivals.
- One more thing about goal-scoring – over the last two seasons, the Oilers have never posted a 25-game stretch where they’ve scored lower than 2.00 goals per hour. This really is incredible considering that they’re top players are all healthy. Part of the issue is luck, as their shooting percentage is below team averages. The big problem of course is the lack of talent on the wings, something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
- The teams that are currently strongest possession-wise are Calgary, San Jose and Vegas. Arizona started off strong, but their possession numbers have dropped since the end of October, while Calgary has gradually improved.
- When it comes to powerplays, the Oilers are tops in the Pacific and sixth league-wide with 8.73 goals per hour. San Jose is 11th and Calgary is 13th. When it comes to penalty kills, Arizona and San Jose are one and two respectively league-wide allowing less than 4.5 goals against per hour. Calgary, Vancouver and Los Angeles are among the league’s worst.
- While Calgary’s goaltending appears to have improved, both San Jose and Vegas are having issues with theirs. San Jose has a -10 goal differential at even-strength and Vegas has a -7 goal differential – remarkable considering the amount of hype around both teams in the off-season.
- Among 38 goalies who have played at least 450 minutes at even-strength this season, Sharks goaltender Martin Jones ranks last with a save percentage 88.1%. And Marc-Andre Fleury ranks 32nd with a save percentage of 90.7%. It’ll be something to keep an eye on as both clubs have high expectations and may need to explore the goalie market to ensure they have success.
Data: Natural Stat Trick
- Points percentage (PTS%) – The total points accumulated divided by the points that were available, including extra time.
- Goals-for and Goals-against (GF/GA) – The number of goals scored and the number goals allowed at even-strength.
- Goal Differential (Goal +/-) – The difference between the goals scored and the number of goals allowed (i.e., goals-for minus goals-against)
- Corsi For percentage (CF%) – The proportion of all the shot attempts the team generated and allowed that the team generated (i.e., Corsi For/(Corsi For + Corsi Against). This is used as a proxy for possession and can predict a team’s future share of goals (GF%).
- Fenwick For percentage (FF%) – The proportion of all the unblocked shot attempts the team generated and allowed that the team generated (i.e., Fenwick For/(Fenwick For + Fenwick Against). This is used as a proxy for shot quality and considers shot blocking a repeatable skill. It can also predict a team’s future share of goals, slightlty better than Corsi.
- Shots For percentage (SF%) – The proportion of all the shots on goal that the team generated and allowed that the team generated (i.e., Shots For/(Shots For + Shots Against).
- Scoring Chances For percentage (SCF%) – The proportion of all the scoring chances that the team generated and allowed that the team generated (i.e., Scoring Chances For/(Scoring Chances For + Scoring Chances Against),
- Goals For percentage (GF%) – The proportion of all the goals that the team scored and allowed that the team generated (i.e., Goals For/(Goals For + Goals Against).
- Shooting percentage (SH%) – The percentage of the team’s shots on goal that became goals (i.e., total goals divided by the total shots on goal).
- Save percentage (SV%) – The percentage of the team’s shots on goal against that were saved (i.e., 1-(totals goals allowed divided by the total shots on goal against))
- PDO – The sum of a team’s shooting percentage (SH%) and its save percentage (SV%). It’s based on the theory that most teams will ultimately regress toward a sum of 100, and is often viewed as a proxy for how lucky a team is. (Source)