Bringing it home

When talking about the Oilers struggles this season at his media availability this afternoon, Woodcroft commented about the success the Oilers have had on the road this season and wanting to make their home arena a tougher place to play in for opponents.

The good news is that we’ve demonstrated a competitiveness, a will to win, a finding a way to win. Our level of simplicity and effectiveness on the road where we’re 5-2, we got to bring that home. And we got to figure out a way to make this the toughest arena in the National Hockey League to come into. We’ve done that in the past, we got to do it again. And I think that comes down to a level of consistency and building a level of consistency in your game. (Source)

Had to take a look at the data to see what exactly the difference was between the Oilers performance at home versus on the road, expecting to see some differences. But that’s not exactly what the data shows.

2022/23 Record Points% Goals For/Goals Against
Home 4-5-0 0.444 34-34
Road 5-2-0 0.714 25-24

While the Oilers have had more success on the road so far this season, there’s not much that you can take away and build off of or want to replicate at home. Their overall goal differential is only marginally better on the road, and it’s it’s worth noting that their underlying numbers at even-strength (5v5) inidicate that their results are unsustainable.

Oilers – 2022/23 (5v5) Home Road
Corsi For% 48.87 45.18
Fenwick For% 47.56 45.11
Expected Goals For% 48.61 43.18
Goals for/against 17-21 12-14
Goals for% 44.74 46.15
Shooting% 7.23 8.62
Save% 90.65 92.81
PDO 0.979 1.014

The Oilers are currently one of the worst teams on the road when it comes to controlling the flow of play and total scoring chances as reflected by their 45% Corsi For percentage and Fenwick For percentage. They have a -2 goal differential at even-strength as well, which again is only slightly better than their -4 goal differential at home.

The real reason they’re having success on the road is their goaltending, which is posting a 92.81% save percentage. Reason for that is Skinner who has played four of the Oilers seven road games while Campbell, who has struggled so far this season, has played seven of the nine home games. So if there’s anything the Oilers can take away from their road success, it’s that they should play Skinner more often at home.

Other than that, the Oilers don’t have any real strengths on the road. I’d be curious to hear Woodcroft elaborate on his comments and see if there’s anything tangible he’d like his team to improve on.

Data: Natural Stat Trick


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