Disaster

Jonathan Willis
November 09 2013 03:09PM

The Edmonton Oilers had a chance on Saturday to pick up two points from one of the league's worst teams. They had healthy bodies back, the Flyers had lost two straight, and this game represented a real opportunity to start things turning around after a strong effort in a win over Florida and a stronger one in a loss to Tampa Bay.

It didn't happen.

Losing Badly

It's not just that the Oilers lost, or who they lost against, but how they lost. Some fans will want to place the blame on Devan Dubnyk - who was actually reasonably solid until that fourth goal - or on the referees for mistakenly assessing a major penalty against an innocent Anton Belov.

But the real problem was the skaters. The following chart shows on-ice scoring chances at even-strength for the Oilers forwards against Philadelphia, as counted by me.

Player EV+ EV- Percentage
Luke Gazdic 0 1 0.0%
Jordan Eberle 1 7 12.5%
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1 6 14.3%
Boyd Gordon 1 4 20.0%
Ryan Smyth 1 4 20.0%
Taylor Hall 4 8 33.3%
Jesse Joensuu 1 2 33.3%
Mark Arcobello 2 4 33.3%
Sam Gagner 4 6 40.0%
Ales Hemsky 5 7 41.7%
David Perron 3 3 50.0%
Nail Yakupov 2 1 66.7%

And for the defence:

Player EV+ EV- Percentage
Nick Schultz 1 6 14.3%
Taylor Fedun 1 5 16.7%
Andrew Ference 2 9 18.2%
Jeff Petry 2 7 22.2%
Philip Larsen 6 6 50.0%
Anton Belov 6 5 54.5%

For the most part, it was the Oilers' best players getting killed against the Flyers. Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall all had among the worst marks on the team in this regard. These are the guys that typically push results - and did last year, even as the rest of the team gave everything back and then some. On defence, the Oilers top pairing of Andrew Ference and Jeff Petry were lit up, too.

The Oilers play in Chicago tomorrow. It seems unlikely to go well.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#251 IsaacsRevenge
November 09 2013, 10:13PM
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I am usually just a reader, and I hate pouty bitches that come on here and say 'this team sucks, I give up on them'. If the Oilers are your team, they are your team... But... This is wearing even diehards like me very very thin. I honestly think that MacT is pushing this team to see how bad it really is. Watching today's came, the holes were never more obvious. And getting rid of another effort-giving gritty player in Smid? The only message I see here is stop hiding behind others and start playing hard. Take your knocks, learn a system and start getting your personal development back on track. I don't think MacT likes where each players development has gone, and it is showing in their play. It looks like they are resetting back to the third rebuilding year by forcing the team to learn a system and develop individually. This just pisses me the F off because of all of the time we invested in watching the last two years, not realizing it was a complete waste. We were watching the team float on their existing skillset rather than seeing them develop into NHL players. I am glad they are not dishing Ebs away right now. Don't deal until the group you have is able to stabilize and learn system play. To me, the reason why new players came here in the past and failed was due to the lack of development and structure. This year you see a coach with structure, and new players coming in and buying it, but our core rebuild team has never learned structure play. You can't expect new players to want to play here without stability. Further to that, Bryzgalov coming in just introduces more instability in the locker room. I hate it because this only helps strip the locker room down even more. We have to see rock bottom, watch them learn to play through it. This should have been recognized years ago, Tambo didn't see it and KLowe was oblivious. I had no problem with the two of them until now... These games are exposing the real team.

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#252 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 09 2013, 10:27PM
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DSF wrote:

So, just what the Kings needed...two more high end forwards in Toffoli and Vey.

Jeebus.

They'll be dominant for years.

Unending dominance.

They are the cycling version of the Wings.

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#253 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 09 2013, 10:43PM
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@DSF

The Wings have been a top calibre team for 2 decades now. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The Kings are better now and have a brighter future and look built to last… but who knows what the future holds.

Kings drafting… something special.

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#254 Rob F
November 10 2013, 08:20AM
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Pete wrote:

Yeah, what he said. Usually when people b#tch about a product they stop using it. STOP USING IT!!

sorry to be picky

oilers preferred restaurants dont deserve to be targeted....they probably pay advertising $ to be listed....if anything they are also not getting what they paid for.....

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#255 rickithebear
November 10 2013, 10:06AM
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DKatz: Owns a business that requires people to purchase the ability to stop there suffering.

He either enjoys: helping or people suffering.

He now owns a NHL team people get on lists to get season tickets.

Look at the product under him!

I have my answer!

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#256 mackb
November 10 2013, 11:04AM
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@Rob F

(double post)

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#257 Debbie downer
November 10 2013, 02:45PM
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Loweblows wrote:

It's official-these kids have been taught how to lose- can we get Krueger back yet?

Wah waaaaaah

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#258 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 10 2013, 06:28PM
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@DSF

You don't even know what you are talking about anymore… which is kind of amazing since you brought the topic up!

Good for you.

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