2013-14 Division Rivals: Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks

Jonathan Willis
August 12 2013 08:31AM

The Edmonton Oilers have moved to the new Pacific Division, and with the summer free agent splurge all but over it’s a good time to see how they stack up against their rivals. We start with the Anaheim Ducks, who with 66 points last season would have led all teams in the new division.

For forwards, I’ve used points from last season projected over an 82-game schedule, for defencemen time on ice per game in 2013, and for goalies their 2013 save percentage. Players in italics did not play a significant number of games in the NHL in 2012-13; red indicates numbers come from the AHL or Europe while green indicates a previous NHL season.

Forwards

The exact combinations obviously involve a bit of guesswork, and the Ducks combos in particular are a little more difficult because I’m not as familiar with them. I’ve left last year’s successful Cogliano/Koivu/Winnik trio together, and plugged in Dustin Penner on the top line for now – though of course newcomer Jakob Silfverberg may get the job, or Kyle Palmieri or Matt Beleskey (both of the latter saw some time with Perry and Getzlaf last season).

There are two obvious things that jump out about the chart above. First, the Oilers have seven players who were on pace for 40+ points last season; the Ducks have only four (though we’re splitting hairs a little given Cogliano and Bonino). Second, the bottom half of the Ducks roster looks a lot more potent than the same part of the Edmonton depth chart.

Assuming head-to-head matchups with these lines, I like the Getzlaf trio a little better than the Oilers’ kids right now, but not a lot better. For the second line matchup, I think Edmonton’s group is a better bet – Cogliano’s coming off a career-best season, Daniel Winnik has never hit 30 points in the NHL and Saku Koivu turns 39 in November. If all goes well, the Ducks have a solid group there, but a lot could go wrong. Luckily for Anaheim, they have bottom-six depth the Oilers can’t match – while I wouldn’t especially want to bet on Bonino and Beleskey, the other four guys in the group are all young and have significant upside. Anaheim’s been top-heavy for years, but they finally have a young NHL group that can address that problem.

Overall, Edmonton doesn’t match up terribly in the top-six but their depth group doesn’t look particularly good compared to the Ducks.

Defence and Goaltending

On defence, the Oilers match up pretty well in the two through eight slots; I would even be inclined to give them the edge in the depth game. The difference is in the number one slot: Francois Beauchemin is a fantastic defenceman and until they show otherwise the Oilers don’t really have a comparable all-round rearguard on their roster.

In net, I’m not convinced that Devan Dubnyk is worse than any of the goalies on the Ducks’ roster, but backups don’t come much better than Viktor Fasth and Frederik Andersen is an incredible prospect with upside that Richard Bachman simply doesn’t possess.

Again, it’s competitive but the Ducks have a lead overall in my view.

Overall

I’m not convinced that the Ducks will end up winning the Pacific Division; they rode the percentages last season and weren’t able to consistently out-shoot the other team. In the three full seasons leading up to last year, the Ducks fired at an 8.6, 8.4 and 8.2 shooting percentage at even-strength; last season they fired at a 9.4 percent clip. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but over a full season that alone works out to roughly 15 goals. Still, I feel comfortable guessing they’ll likely outperform the Oilers next season.

This is a team that the Oilers could catch with a strong season.

Recently around the Nation Network

At NHL Numbers, new writer Travis Yost breaks down every Western team's Corsi - that's shots, missed shots and blocked shots, which gives us an idea of which team controls possession - and the Edmonton Oilers in particular don't fare so well. Click the link for the shiny graph, though this segment from his conclusion may discourage our readers:

Just stare at it. Don't look away. Don't even blink. If you're an Oilers fan who watched even-half of last year's circus, you are a masochist for awful hockey. And if you made it through the entire season, you deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Click the link above to read more, or check out some of my recent stuff:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, 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.
Avatar
#51 Harry
August 12 2013, 09:04PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
9
props
DSF wrote:

Oh, good grief.

Try and look beyond the end of your nose.

Barkov, Shore, Matthias, Bjugstad and Howden are all very young players.

Shawn Matthias scored 21 points last season.

Boyd Gordon scored 14.

Scott Gomez scored 15 points last season.

Anton Lander scored ONE.

The Oilers #5C is likely Arcobello who scored ZERO points in the NHL last season.

You'll note that Matthias scored more points than Gordon, Lander and Arcobello combined.

Anything Gomez scores, likely more than Gordon, Lander and Arcobello combined, is just a bonus.

I am shocked at your apparent lack of knowledge when it comes to simple projections. If you think FLA has a better depth chart at center as of this.season then theres just no hope for you whatsoever. At some point peoples bias' just present themselves with idiotic comments such as yours on this blog over the past few weeks.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that your a Canucks fan. Am I right?.

Avatar
#52 Smythyyy
August 12 2013, 10:49PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
8
props
Fatbob24 wrote:

Yeah, well they better! He signed a big boy contract and he's going to earn it or I'm gonna get grumpy!

You can go grumpy all you want. But Eberle is actually on a value contract and so far he's proven he's worth every penny.

Avatar
#53 The Soup Fascist
August 12 2013, 09:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
10
props
Lochenzo wrote:

I think you're overestimating the Canucks. Van could be one of the top teams, but there's a chance things can implode. A lot hinges on how their roster adjusts to Torts. But their depth is nowhere near what they had a few years ago. And, unfortunately for them, there is this perception around the league generated from the SCF vs the Bruins that if you lean on them, they'll go away. I'm sure Luongo will be professional and be a good goalie for them...at least until the Olympics.

Thanks, I forgot about the coaching change. You are right if things are all sunshine and roses off the start, I am sure Tortorella will be a breath of fresh air, if things get off to a rocky start ..... the circus may be coming to town.

Avatar
#54 Will
August 12 2013, 09:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
4
props

I know he's not signed yet, but does anyone really believe Selanee wanted to go out on last year's season? He'll be back and that definitely changes things a bit.

Looking forward to more of these.

Avatar
#55 Mikey
August 12 2013, 10:00AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
7
props
John Chambers wrote:

Yeah the way I see it there'll be four teams challenging for two playoff spots: Anaheim, Edmonton, Dallas, and Phoenix.

LA, San Jose, Vancouver, Chicago, Stl, and Minny are locks, while Colorado, Calgary, Nashville, and Winnipeg are hopeless.

Honsetly, I don't see Van and Minny as locks. More as sure bets.

And COL is not hopeless. They will be challenging for a playoff spot just as Edmonton should.

Every year people pick "Locks" and most never pan out. Did anyone really think ANA were going to be as good as they were? Honestly? What about MIN? Weren't they going to be a dominate team?

Avatar
#57 Benji
August 12 2013, 10:23AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
9
props

Nuge with 49 points?? Ya right, the healthy, no shoulder issue, nuge will at least be on pace with ebs. I would project him around 65 points in 75 games

Avatar
#59 Mikey
August 12 2013, 10:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
7
props
DSF wrote:

Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen are very good young defensemen.

So was/is Justin Schultz. Point being you can't bet on inexperience.

Avatar
#60 Mikey
August 12 2013, 10:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
7
props
John Chambers wrote:

The Avs D is just awful. They could add Jason Strudwick to their depth chart to push someone out of the top-6.

It reminds me of the D the Oilers boasted during the ELPH years (are those over yet?), with a nice forward corps who will score goals only to surrender them at an even highe rate.

Calgary, Colorado, Winnipeg, Florida, and Buffalo are all steering toward the lottery.

You're right about their D, it's pitiful. They will make some sort of trade I assume

Avatar
#62 The Soup Fascist
August 12 2013, 11:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
5
props
DSF wrote:

Here is your projected lineup for tomorrow piece.

http://canucks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=679770

A couple of notes based on what I'm hearing:

Kassian will likely play on the top line with Burrows moving to Kesler's wing.

Brad Richardson is pencilled in at #3C (as per the link above) but Brendan Gaunce and Bo Horvat will be given every chance to try and crack the lineup.

The #4C position will be a dog fight between Gaunce, Schroeder, Santorelli, Horvat and NCAA free agent signing Kellan Lain.

Hmmm. Interesting the blogger in the piece you highlighted does in fact have Richardson as 3C. He is listed with the Canucks as a RW and IIRC primarily played RW (when in the lineup) in LA with Curt Fraser as his centre.

If that is the case I feel much better with Boyd Gordon as the #3 centre in Edmonton. His offensive numbers are unlikely to be stellar, but I like him much better than Richardson.

Avatar
#66 Smokey
August 12 2013, 01:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@DSF

Goshaweful defence and goaltending is their Achilles heal. Forward depth and talent is as good as the Oilers.

Avatar
#68 Harry
August 12 2013, 08:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
4
props
2004Z06 wrote:

"Goes out every single season and produces"? Really? Didn't produce much last season. I think this season will determine if Ebs is the real deal, or just another average player with a Horcoff-esque contract. I am hoping for the former!

Please tell me your not compairing Horc to Eberle?! They are world apart in term of pure skill. Eberle will easily be a 60+ point guy year in and out. Horcoff, not so much

Avatar
#69 Citizen David
August 12 2013, 08:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
15
props
DSF wrote:

Oh, good grief.

Try and look beyond the end of your nose.

Barkov, Shore, Matthias, Bjugstad and Howden are all very young players.

Shawn Matthias scored 21 points last season.

Boyd Gordon scored 14.

Scott Gomez scored 15 points last season.

Anton Lander scored ONE.

The Oilers #5C is likely Arcobello who scored ZERO points in the NHL last season.

You'll note that Matthias scored more points than Gordon, Lander and Arcobello combined.

Anything Gomez scores, likely more than Gordon, Lander and Arcobello combined, is just a bonus.

Funny that you made a big deal about Arcobello not getting any points in the NHL last year which he played only one game when you're in the midst of defending Bjugstad and Howden when they combined played 29 games had one goal and zero assists between them and were -19.

Boyd Gordon got an offensive zone start in the 30%'s.

Check it out

http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f3=Shawn+Matthias&f5=FLA&f4=&f7=&bubbleType=corsiOn&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2012_s&f2=5v5&f3=Boyd+Gordon&f5=PHX&f4=&f7=&bubbleType=corsiOn&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

Third year Nuge vs, rookie Barkov? Not even a competition. Shore can't touch Gagner. You're full of it.

Avatar
#70 Wäx Män Riley
August 12 2013, 10:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
10
props
DSF wrote:

Suggesting Coyle didn't have a meaningful impact is just ridiculous.

Maybe try this C depth on for size Sparky:

Sasha Barkov

Drew Shore

Shawn Matthias

Marcel Goc

Scott Gomez

Nick Bjugstad

Quinton Howden

And, yes Huberdeau is a natural centre although he won't play there.

Actually that is a pretty brutal list of center depth.

I would take RNH, Gags, Gordon, and Lander over that every day.

This list has a lot of maybes, ifs, and potential, but that is it. Take that out and you are left with: Goc, Gomez,........ That is it. Sometimes you have some points, but this is so far over the "troll" line it's funny.

Avatar
#71 madjam
August 12 2013, 10:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
8
props

Three fast emerging super talents in Hopkins , Hall and Yakupov , with a healthy dose of fast improving J.Schultz , Eberle Gagner and Perron spells a dynamic reach for the top . Not even MacT. and/or Eakins greenness should be able to screw that up . No way this club shouldn't do well/succeed this year considering all the talent we have . Knit pick on what we still might lack , but look at what we have in abundance that should all breakout this year !

Avatar
#72 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
August 13 2013, 07:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
4
props

@DSF

Try and look beyond the end of your nose.

says the guy with more misses then a blind guy swinging at a baseball....

Avatar
#73 Harry
August 13 2013, 10:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
3
props
DSF wrote:

Suggesting Coyle didn't have a meaningful impact is just ridiculous.

Maybe try this C depth on for size Sparky:

Sasha Barkov

Drew Shore

Shawn Matthias

Marcel Goc

Scott Gomez

Nick Bjugstad

Quinton Howden

And, yes Huberdeau is a natural centre although he won't play there.

I find myself reading this comment again this morning and laughing my ass off. You seem so sure in your statement that FLA has a good if not great depth chart at center?! If your going by those players that you listed off I have to say that you know absolutely nothing about.hockey

Comments are closed for this article.