Stats from a six-game losing streak

The Oilers have lost six consecutive games – and the list of individual players excelling and faltering in that stretch is an interesting one.


Player GP G A PTS +/- Shots SH%
Nail Yakupov 6 2 3 5 0 11 18.2
Shawn Horcoff 6 1 2 3 1 6 16.7
Sam Gagner 6 0 2 2 -4 14 0.0
Taylor Hall 6 0 2 2 -4 29 0.0
Magnus Paajarvi 6 2 0 2 -4 11 18.2
Ryan Jones 3 0 1 1 1 3 0.0
Lennart Petrell 6 1 0 1 -1 4 25.0
R. Nugent-Hopkins 6 0 1 1 -4 7 0.0
Ryan Smyth 6 0 1 1 -4 9 0.0
Teemu Hartikainen 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.0
Anton Lander 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Ales Hemsky 3 0 0 0 -1 1 0.0
Jerred Smithson 4 0 0 0 -2 0 0.0
Mike Brown 6 0 0 0 -4 0 0.0
Jordan Eberle 6 0 0 0 -8 14 0.0

All of these totals need to be considered in context: it’s six games; that’s a short span of time. With that caveat, here’s what I found interesting:

  • Shawn Horcoff and especially Nail Yakupov have weathered the storm nicely. Eight points, a plus-one rating, and 17 shots even as the team as a whole dropped six in a row? Impressive.
  • Taylor Hall has 29 shots, more than any other two players on the team combined? I don’t care if he has just two points and a minus-4 rating, this is clearly a streak where he deserves better results than he’s gotten. I’m not worried about him even a little bit.
  • The top line as a whole – Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins – has combined for 50 shots and no goals. That’s ridiculous and will not continue.
  • Two of the three most-used fourth-liners – Jerred Smithson and Mike Brown – have combined for zero shots over these six games. Ryan Smyth, the other most-used fourth-liner, has nine. Shot totals aren’t the be-all and end-all of analysis, but if I was picking the single useful player off a fourth-line that’s been humiliatingly dominated by the opposition over this stretch, it would be Smyth.
  • Brown often gets a free pass because he hits things and punches things but he has 12 shots in 33 games this season. He’s averaged at least a shot-per-game in each of the last four seasons, and he needs to get back to that level – it’s great that he’s physical but he can’t be a total non-entity with the puck.


Player GP G A P +/- Shots SH%
Jeff Petry 6 0 1 1 -4 7 0.0
Nick Schultz 6 1 0 1 -6 4 25.0
Justin Schultz 6 0 1 1 -7 9 0.0
Corey Potter 4 0 0 0 0 5 0.0
Ryan Whitney 5 0 0 0 -1 7 0.0
Mark Fistric 3 0 0 0 -1 1 0.0
Ladislav Smid 6 0 0 0 -3 9 0.0

That second pairing is getting killed, both in plus/minus and in scoring chances. By eye, I haven’t been that impressed with Nick Schultz this season but I don’t think he’s to blame – Justin Schultz looks to be having a total defensive meltdown at this point in the season.

Corey Potter is a deserving lone ‘plus’ on the Oiles blue line over this stretch. With him on the ice, the Oilers have out-chanced the opposition 14-8 in the four games he played; with him off the ice in those games they were +20/-40 in even-strength scoring chances. Playing third-pairing opposition helps, but even so that’s impressive. Potter is also the only Oilers’ defenceman to have a positive on-ice scoring chances number over this stretch of games

The plus/minus numbers for the other defenceman also broadly reflect the scoring chance numbers. Whitney’s been a little in the red, Fistric more so, and the Smid/Petry pairing is having trouble in the top-pairing role.


Devan Dubnyk 4 0 4 0 13 0.906 3.36
Nikolai Khabibulin 2 0 2 0 8 0.879 4.02

Goaltending numbers are almost useless in the short-term, but I was surprised to see Devan Dubnyk’s save percentage above 0.900, given that he’s allowing over three goals per game. Still, he’s averaging 35 shots against per game over those four, so despite the number of goals against it’s not like he’s the primary problem.

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  • PrimeBane

    So you’re saying there’s a little hope? 😉

    I’m so torn between tanking for another pick or having a shred a pride by the team finishing the season strong.


    • Mike Krushelnyski

      After the Colorado game, we finish the season with five games in seven nights – ANA x2, CHI, MIN, VAN.

      We’ll be tanking whether we like it or not.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      One more lotto pick Scott. Then management starts punching that accelerator. One more kid to help soften the blow for having to sell/trade one of the “Kids” for “scientific experiments” and help another area of weakness on this hockey club.

      Things will be different now i’m confident, starting at the draft. MacTavish will be nobodies puppet.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    There is a lot of banter about Schultz and his play of late……the Justin variety. I too see him faltering but his offensive upside is being diminished by playing with a defensive d-man.

    He looks a little spent, and when that happens usually your defensive game goes first. To say he was overplayed is a little of an understatement and his minutes need to be scaled back even further for the rest of the season.

    I once heard a quote from a celebrity which stuck with me…….not sure who it was but the quote goes something like. ” when you start believing your own hype, the end is near”. I hope that the over hyped fab five and all the attention they have been getting is not getting inside their heads.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    JW – i don’t understand your comment on Smyth. If he’s the only regular on the 4th who is actually getting shots on goal isn’t that a good thing? Can you enlighten me on that?

    Kind of tying that back into and Brownlee’s article on Smyth the other day. What’s the deal with him centering the 4th line last game? Is that Krueger leaving him in the lineup out of respect (and because there isn’t that much of a difference between him and Smithson)? Presumably that means that an out of position Smyth at C is relatively equal to Smithson and/or anyone else we could line up at 4C – on the basis that they wanted to give Lander the additional minutes. If that is the case, then I find it hard to imagine that if he goes into to next year slotted as a 4th line winger who can PK and play 10ish minutes a night the Oilers could find a more effective player in that role.

  • RexLibris

    Justin Schultz would probably do well with a better shutdown partner.

    Rob Scuderi, perhaps? UFA after this year, makes $3.4 million right now. Petry and Smid, J. Schultz and Scuderi, Potter and N. Schultz, Fistric as the 7th and Klefbom in the AHL to start? Maybe not the biggest of improvements, but a shade better than what it has been this season.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    I harp on Potter a lot and I do need to give him some credit because he has been better of late.

    But, the truth is if Potter is one of your top D-man it doesn’t necessarily emphasize Potter’s progression but more so the digression of the D-core as a whole. That, my fellow Oiler fans, is not a good thing….

    If you can’t get the puck out of your own zone the rest of the game is an uphill battle. Part of that is the strategy (you need someone to pass to) and part of it is the personnel. IMO.

    A stud D-man should be the priority this summer.

    • Ducey

      Ah, the Oiler’s fan. Difficult to move off their position of hatred for a player. (And I am not just ragging on you Mr Blue – Gregor hates Potter too)

      Instead of giving Potter credit, you say everyone else must suck. The reality is that Potter has been one of the Oilers better Dmen for the last few years and most of this season.

      That stats prove it and Krueger knows it – thats why he keeps playing him.

      Potter is exactly what you need in the Cap era, an underrated player that overperforms his contract. Yet, Oilers fans continue to pine for a name defenseman, who likely will underperform his contract.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        To be clear, I don’t hate Potter. Not a fan, though.

        Lately he HAS been better. But, I think you need to take into context that everyone around him isn’t playing very well and that the coaches strategy isn’t working. It’s a factor. IMO.

        “That stats prove it and Krueger knows it – thats why he keeps playing him.” This is one reason why you need to watch the game to properly interpret the stats, if in fact the stats suggests he has been one of the better defenders the last few years. I don’t think that’s the case, however.

        I would even argue that his Cap hit is high. But, that’s just me.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    “The top line as a whole – Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins – has combined for 50 shots and no goals. That’s ridiculous and will not continue.”

    JW, any thought/insight into why they are not scoring? That line got broken up earlier in season, same thing was happening….happening again. Puck luck?

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      The last 6 games involved teams fighting for a playoff spot, save Calgary and Edmonton was in the mix too. The intensity and physicality was amped up and the Nuge line through pucks at the net but mainly from the perimeter to avoid paying the price.

  • Losing streak stats often misleading . Concern for some obviously , if they continue same trend over next six games .

    Off topic : A small sample for examples only of some reasonably valuable contracts we might try to get on revamping core,etc.. A lot are NT , but that depends on the player to waive it to come here.

    Bieksa 4.6 , Giroux 3.75 , Couture 2.875 , Stewart 3.0 ,Duchene 3.5 ,Clarkson 2.67 ,Berglund 2.25 , C.Kunitz 3.725 ,Letang 3.5 , Wheeler 2.5 , Bogosian 2.5 , Franzen 3.95 , ( Stall, Del Zotto,Stralman, McDonagh ) 3.975,2.55,1.7,1.3 respectfully .

    Low value examples : Parros .938 ,Boll 1.05 ,Yip .75 ,Fiddler 1.8, Nystrom 1.4 ,Ponikarovski 1.8 ,Gomez .7 ,Pysyk .87 , Tootoo 1.9 ,Henrique .854 ,Orr 1.0 ,Franson 1.2 ,Dupuis 1.5 ,Talbot 1.75 ,Alzner 1.285 , Bogozian 2.5 .

    To many to mention in all catagories to be honest and lots to choose from just go to capgeek .

    • Ducey

      No one can afford to pay Clarkson that kind of money. He is not worth it.

      His point totals are 22, 32, 24, 18, 46, and this year an 82 game equivalent of about 40.

      You don’t pay $5 million for someone whose best years are .5 pp/g. It will be Horcoff II.

      I’d love it if the Oilers signed him, but not for that kind of money.

      • G Money

        Someone will pay it.

        Of course I hope the Oil can get him for less. This is also one reason why front loaded contracts were all the hype! See Hossa.

        30 goals last year. That’s something and with grit it’s the recipe that’s needed. JMO.

      • Ducey

        Hemsky’s Cap hit is 5mil. If Clarkson is 5.5mil and you trade Hemsky all those cap problems are solved and I think you upgrade the top six. Again, JMO.

        Can it work financially speaking? Yes. I believe so.

        Chicago’s top four cost 23mil and change.

        Edmonton’s top FIVE with Clarkson would cost 25mil-ish next year. Going up maybe two or three when you re-sign RNH the following year.

      • Death Metal Nightmare

        Clarkson was trendy very early in the short season cause he was on a major point streak. he cooled down beyond cold over the last 2 months. FOUR POINTS in 2 months (23 games).

        its great he fights, hits and has a bit of a scoring touch but he’s really not a top 6 forward. he poses as one on a bad team but he’s a tweener.

        he deserves about 3 mil max.

        he also shouldnt take Yak or Ebs spot in the top 6. Hemsky and Gagner can both go for all i care.

        and Eberle needs to get the lead out of his a$$ (like the rest of this team).

        • John Chambers

          As far as UFA’s who can play in the top-6, there’s a pretty good buffet coming up, especially wingers with size:

          Nathan Horton, Clarkson, Clowe, and Iginla. Not to mention some likely buy-out candidates like Heatley, Ryan Malone, Martin Havlat, etc.

          But all of the above have warts, and the team really doesn’t need to take on risk.

          So … my preference is that we sign a player like Steve Weiss (good 2-way centre), and hopefully sign him for Jason Garrison money (6 years, $4.5M per), and then either buy out Horcoff, or lever Weiss to trade Gagner for a defenseman (Del Zotto, Alzner, Enstrom).

          I’d also rather trade for a productive (and healthy) bruising winger like Steve Ott or Troy Brouwer. We have the draft picks and assets to make a deal like that work.

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            Does Wiess play a rough styled game? I don’t get a chance to see the Panthers much, but all accounts seem to lean towards a softer game. Is that what’s needed for a 2nd line center? Or 3rd? Personally, I don’t think so and I’m not sure he is much of an improvement over Gagner or Horcoff.

            I do think Wiess could be better than Gagner defensively.

            Interesting thinking, though.

          • John Chambers

            Weiss’ QualComp has been the highest on the Panthers for years, and he usually pushes positive Corsi which is remarkable. Last year his line with Versteeg was very strong.

            I guess that’s the challenge with defining toughness. I think guys like Clarkson who can get up in your face are valuable, but guys like Weiss who can win the possession game against tough opponents are a different kind of “tough”.

            You’re correct in that physically Weiss is in the same make as Gagner, but he’s a much more refined hockey player, and can likely put up the same number of points without being a huge liability defensively.

          • Bucknuck

            That is remarkable.

            I would wonder if he needs someone like Versteeg or even a Horton, who bring more of the knucklehead “toughness”, to make him more effective, though. Something I think Gagner himself needs. He’s never really had that.

            But, I think you’re onto something here. Good points.

            For me, toughness means grit, strength, spit out some teeth and keep playing, all and all a more physical game and tough means things like puck pursuit and possession, digger, skate hard, etc.

            Both can mean tough to play against.

            I may have just confused myself… @&%$@#$!!! lol

      • Bucknuck

        Yes, but some idiot will pay him 4-5 million. Am I missing something here, everyone? He had a hot start, 16 pts in 14 games with a +5. He has 5 pts in the last 28 games with a -12 rating. The Oilers do not need another player who disappears when the going gets tough. He had a career year last year and 14 games this year, and I strongly believe his best year is behind him, and if you are looking for a 2nd liner, they need to put up more than 40 pts in a season consistently. By comparison, Brodeur has had 2 pts in 26 games this season. Apparently Gregor feels this is good enough to dangle Yakupov out there. Thankfully, MacT would not make that blunder, which we would be regretting for at least a decade.

        If they go after Lucic, also a huge mistake given what his coach has thought of his play as of late. 6 million reasons to stay away.

        Would much rather have Clowe, who, for all his faults, actually has a track record of being a more consistent and skilled coke machine (already playing better in a new environment).

        Winnik would have been a great fit. Lowetide suggested it last off-season. And of course, we decided to retain Jones and bring in Smithson and Brown (Jones, by the way, has scored more pts in his 21 games than Clarkson has scored in the last 28 games).

        Also, way too long to wait, but wouldn’t it be nice if Kessy turned out to be more than a flash in the pan? For those who were mocking this trade a while ago, so far he’s looked great in the playoffs, and the loss of one lightweight skilled forward (Reider) has now been eased by his replacement with another (Miller).

  • G Money

    Assessing the Oilers blue line this year is not an easy job.

    A lot of speculation that it is Krueger’s system at the root of it.

    While this might be an ‘easy’ answer, an answer is needed. To put things (including J. Schultz’s performance) in perspective, here are the Corsi On differentials for our D men from last year to this year:

    Corsi Differentials – 2011 to 2012

    Player 2011 2012 Diff

    Petry -2.1 -11.7 -9.6

    Smid -5.6 -12.28 -6.68

    Potter -3.74 -9.45 -5.71

    Whitney -12.76 -20.44 -7.68

    Schultz -16.59 -7.65 8.94

    Fistric -2.42 -12.99 -10.57

    Note EVERY SINGLE PLAYER with the exception of Schultz Sr is worse, in most cases by 6 or more shots. (I used Fistric’s Dallas numbers).

    Note that every single member of this years D is WORSE THAN ALEX PLANTE WAS LAST YEAR (his Corsi On in 2011 was -7.63 in 48 games).

    Smid & Petry held their own against the best of the other team last year. This year, like every other defender, they look like poo.

    If it really is Krueger’s system at fault, maybe the reason Schultz Jr. has been on a long downslide after starting so well is that the better he and his teammates got at “the system”, the worse the results got on the ice.

    When every member of your D is WAY WORSE this year than last year, the team needs to understand WTF is going on before it can make good decisions about the blueline.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Appears to me the only kid on this team who doesn’t get outworked most nights is Yakupov, and his late season game can only confirm it.

    Who knew it would be the Russian selection to set the necessary pace on this hockey club. His teammates best follow his lead if they want to get this thing turned around.

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    Eberle is at -8 is great. we should trade Yak for some “good canadian kids” so we can be proud of them even when they suck really f-ing bad.

  • Edmontons top player structures are going to look like what?

    Hall – 6 Mil

    Eberle – 6 Mil

    RNH – 6 Mil

    Yak – 6 Mil

    Hemsky or replacement – 4-5 mil

    Gagner or replacement – 4-5 mil

    Schultz – 3-4 mil for two years then possibly up?

    Smid – 3.5

    New Dman for the top four 4-6 mil?

    Nevermind your middling guys like PVR, Hartikinen, Petry (who may not be middling)

    3.5 for Dubnyk

    who knows where Klefbom will end up.

    Thats a lot of money. roughly 45 mil for 9 players? plus then another 12ish for another 4? Plus Klefbom

    That leaves what… 7 mil for 10 players?? yeesh. Obviously more if the cap goes up but there arent guarantees there, even if it goes up 10 mil in the next 3 years 17 mil for 10 players including klefboms second contract is kinda tight.

    That assumes horcoffs contract doesnt get extended at 5.5 mil a year for the next 20 years.

  • Marcus

    Smyth’s 9 shots don’t count. There’s a reason he usually only scores with his patented wrap arounds. NHL goalies aren’t fooled by his floaters. Jeez, I shoot harder and I haven’t played a beer league game in almost 20 yrs.

  • DSF

    The performance of the Schultz pairing at even strength is breathtaking.

    For defensemen who have played 40 games this season, they are the worst pairing in the entire league and not by a little but by a lot.

    Nick Schultz has a +- ON/60 of -1.49

    Justin Schulz -1.46

    The next worst D in the league by that metric is Brian Campbell at -1.15 while Mark Streit, who has been discussed as a possible addition to the Oilers blue line, is 4th worst at -0.96.

    • John Chambers

      Tambellini and Lowe have really bought into TSN and the hockey world’s hype about these players.

      In reality, J. Schultz should’ve been given a 3rd pairing assignment and reduced minutes, while Eberle can’t do anything but get dominated against vets.

      But he’s not a bad player. And neither is Nuge, and neither is Ebs. Prior to the lockout ending they were tearing up the leagues and tourneys they were playing in, and all three will turn into high-quality NHL’ers.

      If I’m one of the Oilers young core, I’ve got two words and a song for MacT: “Gimme Shelter!”

    • DSF

      No denying there is room for improvement with the Schultz squared combo, but by this metric (ie +/- ON/60) Shea Weber is 56/80 defencemen in the NHL.

      Poile better get right on trading him….

      • DSF

        Shea Weber is almost even (-0.07) on a team that can’t score.

        He’s doing fine.

        Worth noting that the Smid/Petry pairing is dead even despite playing the same system as the Schultz pairing.

        • Newj

          You would find few to support that assessment.. a franchise player making a league high of almost 14M per? who captains a team that made playoffs last year and under performed this year and he will likely finish the year with a negative +-.

          Usually your positions are well based but I think most would say Shea had a less than fine season.

          I think its fair to say he brings a few tangibles that arent measured by statistics however.

          • Bucknuck

            Actually, you would find few to support the assessment that you bring anything remotely close to intelligent insight about anything related to hockey.

            I have been through this before with you, but I will repeat it because you seem quite slow at acquiring new information (or are just simply incapable of doing so). I will compare him to Suter, who I believe is your biggest crush?

            Shea’s been great. Not his best year but his traditional stats have suffered while playing with the worst collection of talent in the NHL. +/- doesn’t always tell the whole story. But in terms of +/-, he spends lots of time paired with a rookie whose +/- is near worst on the team, and his +/- is 3rd best for D-men on the team while playing the most difficult QoC for 26 min a night. Josi has played a lot like J Schultz this season, and Weber has been a far better mentor than N Schultz. Weber’s -1 compared to Suter’s -1 are not equivalent. Suter is 5th best D-man on team in terms of +/-, and is paired with better D-men and has better forwards to pass the puck to.

            Weber has twice as many goals and is 4th in team goals, Suter is 11th on the team in goal scoring (and behind Spurgeon). I also already explained to you that a lot of Suter’s assists have been 2nd assists, while most of Weber’s have been 1st assists.

            All of this isn’t to say that I wouldn’t want Suter on my team (although I wouldn’t want him at that price tag). But Weber remains top 10 if not top 5 D-man in the league right now, and you would actually find few who would not support that assessment. If he was playing in Minnesota, or LA, or Boston, he would be doing far better with his traditional stats, which are still quite good (he’s never been a ppg man and that’s not what most teams need from their franchise d-man).