Can’t say enough about Connor McDavid’s performance in the series against Los Angeles. Over the seven games, the Kings had no answers for McDavid, as the Oilers dominated puck possession at even-strength (Corsi For% of 63%) and the share of scoring chances (Expected Goals For% of 73%) with him on the ice. The results: in the full series, the Oilers outscored the Kings 11-4 at 5v5 with McDavid, and 5-1 in the two must win-games.
The Oilers struggled without McDavid on the ice, regularly getting out-shot and out-chanced, posting shot-share numbers below 48%. Four of the five goals they managed to score happened in the Oilers 8-2 blowout of the Kings in game 3. Between games four and seven, which included the two must-win games, the Oilers scored 0 even-strength goals without McDavid on the ice and allowed four.
|Corsi For%||Fenwick For%||Expected Goals For%||Goals For%||GF/GA|
There were games in the series where the Oilers did out-shoot the Kings without McDavid on the ice, as shown in the graph below. The problem is that they when they did control the flow of play in games and keep pressure in the offensive zone, they couldn’t convert those into actual goals – an indication that key players like Draisaitl have been playing hurt since the end of the regular season.
The Oilers were clearly struggling between games one to five, so it wasn’t susprising to see McDavid play over 42% of the team’s total 5v5 time in games six and seven – an increase from the 33% share he saw over the first five games of the series and over the course of the regular season. It’ll be interesting to see if Woodcroft continues deploying McDavid excessively, or if he tries to scale things back in games one and two against Calgary to see if the rest of the roster can find their production. McDavid is just playing at such a high level right now, and we know others are playing hurt, so it’s hard to imagine his share of 5v5 ice time go anywhere below 35%.
Quick summary of how the two teams matched up over the seven game set.
|Edmonton Oilers||5v5||Los Angeles Kings|
|57.83||Expected Goals For%||42.17|
The issue for the Kings in the regular season was their lack of finish and it definitely carried over in the playoffs. In the final twenty five games of the regular season, their 6.99% shooting percentage was the worst in the western conference, only slightly better than the 6.58% they posted over the seven game series. Their goaltending was better in the playoffs than it was in the regular season – which didn’t susprise me considering Quick’s numbers were actually pretty solid over the final stretch of the regular season.
Smith was solid too, posting a +2.61 GSAA, third highest among the 17 goalies who played at least 100 5v5 minutes in the first round. And just ahead of Quick who ranked fifth overall with a +2.22 GSAA.
And finally a quick summary of how the individual players performed over the seven games.
Worth repeating again that Draisaitl and Hyman shouldn’t be playing together. In 56 minutes at 5v5, they were crushed by the Kings, posting a Corsi For% of 41.50%, an Expected Goals For% of 34%, and getting outscored 5-1. Playing away from Hyman on a line with McDavid, things are a lot better for Leon as he’s posting stronger shot-share numbers (61% Corsi For and 70% Expected Goals For) and a +2 goal differential. And Hyman I think is bound to break-out soon – he’s been difficult to play against and posting similar on-ice shot-share numbers to Draisaitl’s.
Data: Natural Stat Trick
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