We’re far enough into 2009-10 to have a basic idea of what this year’s edition of the Edmonton Oilers is. Let’s look at this team and compare their projected numbers to the numbers from last season, and see if it fits with Steve Tambellini’s off-season moves.
2008-09/2009-10 Season Comparison
- Record: 38-35-9, 85PTS | 34-37-11, 79PTS
- Goals Per Game: 2.78 (18th) | 2.91 (16th)
- Goals Against Per Game: 2.98 (22nd) | 3.04 (25th)
- Power Play: 17.0% (22nd) | 21.7% (12th)
- Penalty Kill: 77.5% (27th) | 78.8% (20th)
- Shot Differential Per Game: -4.4 (27th) | -5.5 (27th)
- 5-on-5 Goals For: 152 (16th) | 160 (9th)
- 5-on-5 Goals Against: 150 (21st) | 168 (26th)
- Faceoffs: 47.8% (27th) | 45.8% (30th)
- Save Percentage: .908 (12th) | .906 (17th)
Places where the Oilers rank lower than 20th in the league in bold; under 25th in bold and underlined.
What Steve Tambellini Did
Steve Tambellini would have known everything encapsulated on the left hand side above. His team was miserable on the penalty kill, at faceoffs, and at shot differential. They were simply bad at preventing goals 5-on-5 and on the power play, and sub-average at scoring goals. In fact, the only department where the Oilers were better than average was save percentage, thanks in large part to the goaltending of Dwayne Roloson. With that in mind, he made the following moves:
- Quinn et al. in, MacTavish et al. out
- Khabibulin in, Roloson out
- Comrie in, Kotalik out
- Brodziak out
Leaving aside the first move for a moment, the second and third moves are more or less washes, and the fourth move doesn’t do anything to help the team.
As for the rest of it, it’s probably fair to question if Pat Quinn’s more free-flowing style at even-strength is a better fit for the roster than Craig MacTavish’s line-matching. On the other hand, the power play has improved a lot, and the penalty kill is marginally better.
How would you rate Tambellini’s response to his team? Are you surprised by the results so far?