Comparing 2010-11 With 2009-10

While the addition of some quality young players to the team has made Oilers games more watchable than last year, I’ve been curious to see how the team has a whole has improved from last season’s debacle. After all, the point of a rebuild is to slowly improve, and ideally we’d see this team making gradual steps forward.

One quarter through the season, how does this group compare with the 2009-10 Oilers?

The following chart shows some of the key places we might look for team-wide improvement:

Season 2009-10 2010-11
Points 62 62
GF/Game 2.51 2.48
GA/Game 3.39 3.86
SF/Game 28.3 25.5
SA/Game 33.1 35.6
PP% 17.3 13.6
PK% 78 67.5

To recap what that chart says: compared to the 2009-10 Oilers, this year’s team a) scores marginally less, b) gets scored on more frequently, c) gets fewer shots, d) sees more shots against, e) has a worse power play and f) has a worse penalty kill.

I sincerely hope that’s the most damning thing I ever say about this team, because despite my modest expectations I was disheartened when I looked up the actual data.

The special teams shift has been this club’s biggest problem. Not only are both special teams units significantly worse this season than they were last year, but the Oilers spend less time on the power play (down to 3.86 power-plays per game from 3.98 last season) and more time killing penalties (from 3.72 kills per game up to 3.95) than they did one year ago. After allowing 67 goals while short-handed, they’re currently on pace to allow 105, and after scoring 52 power play goals a year ago they’re on pace to tally just 43. That shift has hidden marginal improvements at even-strength, where the Oilers are on pace to be minus-50 after putting in a minus-52 performance one season ago.

It’s still early, and so there is still an opportunity for this team to turn things around. But to date the influx of talent and change in coaching staff hasn’t had the desired result, because if the Oilers keep up this pace it will turn out that last season wasn’t rock bottom after all.

  • Freezing Weather Fan

    Jay Dub,
    I’ve got absolutely no problems with you, and enjoy your statistical side of analysis a lot. It’s always good for a sense of perspective. The only thing I have to say is…

    What happened to positive Friday?! 🙁

  • It’s hard to jettison a bunch of vets, overpaid and underperforming as they may have been, replace them with rookies and expect things like shots against to go down.

    This team is bad, but they have so much more potential to get better than last year’s group. Khabibulin’s ECHL save percentage was not expected either. I was hoping he could at least put up Deslauriers-like numbers, but that appears to have been a pipe-dream.

    Nonetheless, ELPH is fine by me. I can watch this team lose like the losingest bunch of losers that ever lost for the rest of the season.

  • magisterrex

    I don’t see any way this can go straight through the season. The kids are getting better each game, which is a huge difference over last year. It’s a long, long way until the finish line.

  • Horcsky

    Last year we started out a decent team and ended up being losers. This year we start as losers and will end up a decent team.
    I would expect gradual improvement this year as the kids find their roles.
    The Oilers have 3-6 defensive prospects in the system, no #1 or #2 studs. Larsson might fill a nice void, if there wasnt also the huge void at 1C.

  • While many people disliked thecaptainethanmoreau, Souray, Staios, and maybe even Pisani, losing a big chunk of our veteran core and some other players who’ve been around longer than 20 games (Ex. Stone / Potulny) is a huge hit to the team. It will eventually get better though, as the guys we have on the team now have a pretty high top end (whereas the majority of the aforementioned vets and non-rookies aren’t overly talented either).

    Anyways, this team really got much more inexperienced by the time this season started and quite quickly at that as we jettisoned all the “dead weight”. But while those guys (Moreau, Staios, etc.) might have plateaued long ago, there is still a lot to be said about that NHL experience that we lost.

    I’m not too worried though. And hell, even if this team does tank again, I’m fine with that too, as the top 3 prospects (currently) all sound like great options.

  • To be honest with you guys, from the beginning of this season, I wad hoping we could get a top 3 pick. Why not? I know enduring a long season of eye bleeding hockey is rough but I would to have a couturier in the line up.

    Also – what if we called up Sheldon souray? Or omark. Can’t hurt much of tambo isn’t afraid of another season of last place finishes.

  • DSF

    LIGHT A FIRE UNDER UPPER MANAGEMENTS -SSES. Start moving some of diminutive overload of players out of here for bigger upgrades . At least start on a proper rebuild this year . These people need more assessment time before determining which ones should go ? If they do then they should go first and formost , and Katz bring in someone that will do something about it ! We have purged long enough , and this long term cycle leaves little to believe they’ll fair any better with current upper management over the next few years . They simply can’t meet their goals in an adequate and timely manner .

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    NEW PROPOSAL ! Time for Oilers Nation to give new direction to meet targets of future team . Oiler nation writers , etc. contact other gm’s around league to see whom they might be willing to trade or deal for , for any and all of our players . Oilers nation will assess and only present viable options to our managerial team for approval . Drafts past, present and future all open for negotiation in these regards .

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Talk about blind hate for Horcoff, I think its Blind love.

    I feel sorry for Hall he has to sit by him all the time and hear him talk on what he should and shouldnt be doing thats like hearing Miley Cyrus talk about Welding. Maybe he should sit with Strudwick and learn how to play D too.

    WE need better vets

    On the other hand.

    Hemsky and Eberle will be top point players this year for the oil.