Last night, we considered the scoring chance plus/minus for every defenceman on the Edmonton Oilers. This morning, it’s time to look at the forwards.
Data courtesy of Oilers blogger Dennis at mc79hockey.com.
|Player||SC +/-, Season||SC +/-, Last 10||SC/Game||SC/60|
The top of this list is totally, completely, and utterly unsurprising. The top-six feature all four reliable veterans on the team, along with the two rookies who stepped into the line-up like they’d been there for five years. As currently constructed, these six are the engine of the team.
Jean-Francois Jacques benefits from a few different things. The Oilers have gotten better at even-strength as the season has worn on, and Jacques was injured at the start of the season so he missed some of the games that helped drag down everybody else’s numbers. That said, I’m pleasantly surprised by how little Jacques is giving up – and over the last 10, his scoring chance number is as good as anyone on the team not named Penner, Horcoff, or Hall. Perhaps we see part of the reason he outlasted Stortini?
Linus Omark and Magnus Paajarvi have been much better since being paired with Sam Gagner. While paired with Ryan O’Marra, Omark went minus-17 in the scoring chance count; since O’Marra was sent down he’s gone just minus-2.
I didn’t believe it, but it appears Tom Renney is serious about turning Andrew Cogliano into a defensive centre. Sure, his faceoff number is still atrocious, and his scoring chance number isn’t pretty, but he is playing against the toughs and he’s spending a ton of time in his own end. I’d still prefer to see him on the wing, but after a year of being treated as a miscellaneous part by Pat Quinn we can at least acknowledge that Renney has him slotted into a specific role.
Ryan Jones is a player that tends to polarize the fanbase; his goal-scoring and hustle appeals to many fans, while people like me look at his numbers and shudder. He’s easily the worst regular on this list, well back of Gilbert Brule, and that’s the biggest reason I think the Oilers should move him. Guys who bleed scoring chances at a rate of 9.3 per hour (particularly while playing the dregs) just aren’t likely to be positive difference makers over the long haul.