Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers In Seven — part two: Will the real Edmonton Oilers please stand up?

Hello, hello, hello.

Welcome back to part two of my series Oilers In Seven where we take a look at the Oilers in, well, seven-game sets.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

If you’re new to the series, welcome! For those reading once again, welcome! This series is here to give you a better understanding of the Oilers on a smaller scale.

I somehow mangled my math, so today’s article highlights the team’s last eight games. You still get the idea, though.

Feedback is welcome in the comments, or on Twitter.

The Numbers

Games 1-7: 6-1
Games 8-15: 4-3-1
Season record: 10-4-1, 3rd in the league

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Games 1-7:
PP% – 45.5, 1st in the league
PK% – 88.5, 5th in the league

Games 8-15:
PP% — 9.5, 26th in the league
PK% — 81.8, 18th in the league

Season totals:
PP% — 27.9, 2nd in the league
PK% — 85.4, 8th in the league

Even Strength

CF% 44.02 – 30TH 50.13 — 16TH 47.40 —28TH
GF% 54.55 – 10TH 50.00 — 17TH 52.54 — 13TH
XGF% 41.96 – 30TH 53.25 — 10TH 48.13 — 21ST
TEAM SH% 12.95 – 3RD 6.25 — 28TH 10.67 — 16TH
TEAM SV% .9167 – 11TH 93.23 — 4TH 92.47 — 9TH
PDO 1.046 – 3RD 99.5 — 20TH 101.4 — 13TH

All Situations

CF% 43.96 — 30TH 50.56 — 17TH 47.52 — 26TH
GF% 59.57 — 5TH 45.45 — 23RD 53.75 — 10TH
XGF% 40.50 — 30TH 52.59 — 12TH 46.74 — 25TH
TEAM SH% 15.64 — 1ST 6.07 — 29TH 10.09 — 14TH
TEAM SV% .9177 — 9TH 92.50 — 4TH 92.14 — 6TH
PDO 1.074 — 1ST 0.986 — 23RD 102.9 — 7TH

Stats via Natural Stat Trick, Glossary with definitions here.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Player Stats

Stats via Hockey Reference 

What it all means

The Oilers have been an absolute tale of two teams this year. The first seven games saw them blow the league out of the water on a PDO-bender, while the last eight games have seen things cool off a bit for the Oilers.

One of the more noticeable changes is that the Oilers are playing a much better possession game going from the bottom of the league to the middle of the pack. This will be something very important to track as we all know good possession teams have a much higher chance of winning games, and eventually making the postseason.

Edmonton’s goal rates and team shooting per centage have both dropped significantly, but that was to be expected. The numbers seen in the first seven games are absolutely unsustainable, and the team has regressed to the mean there.

Goaltending has actually gotten better for the Oilers in the last eight games and a big reason why the team is sitting where they are near the top of the league. Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith have been playing fantastic hockey this year.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Edmonton’s luck, or PDO, has come down and that’s largely in part due to their sharpshooting per centage drop. Over the last three years, their PDO has been 99 so just a bit under the mean of 100. We’ll likely see some regression from the Oilers goaltending sometime in the future

Through 15 games, Leon Draisaitl has made a case for being one of the best players in the entire league early on this year. He’s spent some time on the penalty kill, has continued dominance on the powerplay, and the coaching staff has entrusted him with big draws at big moments in the game.

His development has skyrocketed to a place I don’t think many could’ve expected it to. It was well thought he would be a very good NHL player one day, but did anyone really expect the type of play we’ve seen from him?

He’s shooting 25 per cent this year which is substantially higher than league average. He shot 21.6% last year, too. Both are well up from his career average of 16.6%, but I wonder if he’s just a guy who will have above average shooting numbers like this. Playing on a line with Connor McDavid surely has some sort of impact on that.

Right now Edmonton is somewhere between contender and pretender, but it’s still a little hard to say just how much they’re leaning one way. The team still has a big problem when it comes to their depth scoring and is something I think needs to be addressed head-on. The other day I suggested looking at an Adam Larrson or Matt Benning trade for some middle-six scoring.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

On Twitter: @zjlaing