The Edmonton Oilers had a chance on Saturday to pick up two points from one of the league’s worst teams. They had healthy bodies back, the Flyers had lost two straight, and this game represented a real opportunity to start things turning around after a strong effort in a win over Florida and a stronger one in a loss to Tampa Bay.

It didn’t happen.

Losing Badly

It’s not just that the Oilers lost, or who they lost against, but how they lost. Some fans will want to place the blame on Devan Dubnyk – who was actually reasonably solid until that fourth goal – or on the referees for mistakenly assessing a major penalty against an innocent Anton Belov.

But the real problem was the skaters. The following chart shows on-ice scoring chances at even-strength for the Oilers forwards against Philadelphia, as counted by me.

Player EV+ EV- Percentage
Luke Gazdic 0 1 0.0%
Jordan Eberle 1 7 12.5%
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1 6 14.3%
Boyd Gordon 1 4 20.0%
Ryan Smyth 1 4 20.0%
Taylor Hall 4 8 33.3%
Jesse Joensuu 1 2 33.3%
Mark Arcobello 2 4 33.3%
Sam Gagner 4 6 40.0%
Ales Hemsky 5 7 41.7%
David Perron 3 3 50.0%
Nail Yakupov 2 1 66.7%

And for the defence:

Player EV+ EV- Percentage
Nick Schultz 1 6 14.3%
Taylor Fedun 1 5 16.7%
Andrew Ference 2 9 18.2%
Jeff Petry 2 7 22.2%
Philip Larsen 6 6 50.0%
Anton Belov 6 5 54.5%

For the most part, it was the Oilers’ best players getting killed against the Flyers. Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall all had among the worst marks on the team in this regard. These are the guys that typically push results – and did last year, even as the rest of the team gave everything back and then some. On defence, the Oilers top pairing of Andrew Ference and Jeff Petry were lit up, too.

The Oilers play in Chicago tomorrow. It seems unlikely to go well.

  • Batfink

    DKatz: Owns a business that requires people to purchase the ability to stop there suffering.

    He either enjoys: helping or people suffering.

    He now owns a NHL team people get on lists to get season tickets.

    Look at the product under him!

    I have my answer!

  • Spoils


    This is officially group therapy.

    I missed the Philly and the Detroit games. Only two games I missed this year. But the depression game for me was TO.

    Philly was blacked out on GameCenter so I ended up watching the condensed game.

    Philly out chanced us?
    It wasn’t a great game?
    We had a chance at one point, but got over- powered. Magically Claude Giroux snapped out of it against us.

    I was thoroughly disappointed by the condensed game, but this morning I caught myself being delusional again. Hmm I wonder what other fans are saying. I wonder why we won and how this is just a precursor to us turning around… going on a 20 game winning streak etc.

    we are making the playoffs!

    Can you empathize with my desire for delusion.

    Fact is, I love this team and I need something to shut the voices off –

    “This team is NOT very good. RNH, Hall and Ebs are too weak defensively. The Blues didn’t want Perron for a reason. Nail was a miss. We are going to lose forever.”

    Chicago next? Nail’s turn to get 8 points?