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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers In Seven — part seven: Even-strength play leads the way

Hello, hello, hello.

Welcome back to part six of my series Oilers In Seven where we take a look at the Oilers in, well, seven-game sets. This time is a little different as we’re looking at the Oilers last nine game set. More on that under all the numbers in the write-up, however.

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.

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Feedback is welcome in the comments, or on Twitter.

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The Numbers

Games 1-7: 6-1, .857 points %
Games 8-15: 4-3-1, .563
Games 16-22: 3-2-2, .571
Games 23-29: 4-3, .571
Games 30-36: 2-4-1, .357
Games 37-43: 2-4-1, .357
Games 44-52: 7-1-1, .833

Season record: 28-18-6, ,593 points %, 12th in the NHL

Games 1-7
PP% – 45.5, 1st overall.
PK% – 88.5, 5th.

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Games 8-15:
PP% — 9.5, 26th overall.
PK% — 81.8, 18th.

Games 16-22:
PP% — 39.1, 2nd overall.
PK% — 92.0, 3rd.

Games 23-29:
PP% — 35.7, 4th overall.
PK% — 85.0, 10th.

Games 30-36:
PP% — 28.5, 6th overall.
PK% — 68.7, 28th.

Games 37-43:
PP% — 22.7, 17th overall.
PK% — 76.9, 15th.

Games 44-52:
PP% — 26.9, 9th overall.
PK% — 79.2, 19th.

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Season totals:
PP% — 29.5, 1st overall.
PK% — 82.9,  8th.

Even Strength

STAT RATE G1-7 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G8-15 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G16-22 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G23-29 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G30-36 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G37-43 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G44-52 + LEAGUE RANK  SEASON TOTALS
CF% 44.02 – 30TH 50.13 — 16TH 48.97 — 18TH 47.45 — 23RD 45.43 — 29TH 46.08 — 23RD 51.00 — 13TH 47.84 — 26TH
GF% 54.55 – 10TH 50.00 — 17TH 48.65 — 18TH 44.12 — 24TH 30.00 — 31ST 36.24 — 30TH 63.46 — 3RD 48.16 — 24TH
XGF% 41.96 – 30TH 53.25 — 10TH 52.79 — 8TH 48.58 — 20TH 42.15 — 29TH 49.55 — 14TH 54.20 — 5TH 49.38 — 16TH
GF/60 3.1 — 9TH 1.89 — 29TH 3.19 — 10TH 2.5 — 15TH 1.56 — 30TH 2.19  — 26TH 4.26 — 1ST 2.7 — 18TH
GA/60 2.58 — 11TH 1.89 — 4TH 3.36 — 25TH 3.16 — 24TH 3.65 — 30TH 3.53 — 25TH 2.45 — 10TH 2.9 — 25TH
TEAM SH% 12.95 – 3RD 6.25 — 28TH 10.71 — 9TH 8.57 — 14TH 5.56 — 30TH 7.78 — 25TH 12.84 — 2ND 9.25 — 14TH
TEAM SV% .9167 – 11TH 93.23 — 4TH 88.82 — 23RD 90.59 — 23RD 88.33 — 30TH 87.86 — 28TH 92.18 — 7TH 90.52 — 25TH
PDO 1.046 – 3RD 99.5 — 20TH 99.5 — 16TH 99.2 — 19TH 93.9 — 30TH 95.6 — 29TH 105 — 3RD 99.8 — 21ST
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All Situations

STAT RATE G1-7 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G8-15 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G16-22 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G23-29 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G30-36 + LEAGUE RANK RATE G37-43 + LEAGUE RANK
RATE G44-52 + LEAGUE RANK  SEASON TOTALS
CF% 43.96 — 30TH 50.56 — 17TH 49.23 — 19TH 45.96 — 25TH 47.66 — 23RD 46.66 — 22ND 50.52 — 16TH 47.99 — 27TH
GF% 59.57 — 5TH 45.45 — 23RD 54.00 — 9TH 45.24 — 24TH 39.53 — 28TH 41.30 — 28TH 64.18 — 2ND 51.22 — 14TH
XGF% 40.50 — 30TH 52.59 — 12TH 50.49 — 14TH 47.41 — 24TH 47.18 — 22ND 51.74 — 10TH 55.75 — 1ST 49.87 — 17TH
GF/60 3.95 — 3RD 1.84 — 30TH 3.83 — 5TH 2.68 — 16TH 2.42 — 26TH 2.71 — 25TH 4.73 — 1ST 3.2 — 11TH
GA/60 2.68 — 11TH 2.21 — 5TH 3.26 — 19TH 3.25 — 24TH 3.7 — 30TH 3.85 — 27TH 2.64 — 8TH 3.05 — 20TH
TEAM SH% 15.64 — 1ST 6.07 — 29TH 12.80 — 4TH 9.45 — 17TH 8.17 — 23RD 9.22 — 22ND 14.53 — 1ST 10.85 — 4TH
TEAM SV% .9177 — 9TH 92.50 — 4TH 88.78 — 22ND 90.50 — 21ST 87.50 — 30TH 87.38— 27TH 91.72 — 7TH 90.18 — 19TH
PDO 1.074 — 1ST 0.986 — 23RD 101.6 — 10TH 99.9 — 19TH 95.7 — 29TH 96.6 — 27TH 106.3 — 2ND 101 — 10TH

Stats via Natural Stat Trick, glossary with definitions here.

Player Stats

Stats via Hockey Reference 

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What it all means

As I mentioned earlier, I choose to break down this stretch over a nine-game span vs. the usual seven games. Edmonton has been playing some of their best game of the season and seven games was a fairly small sample size during that time given nearly every other team. It’s also going to give even sets moving forward the rest of the way, except for the final set which will see eight games.

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Nonetheless, the Oilers have been absolutely on fire for all off the new year. Edmonton has cruised out to a 7-1-1 record in their last games and are playing their best even-strength hockey of the season. They posted their second positive CF% stretch of games and have played their best all-around hockey of the season.

Their expected goals for rate of 54.2 was their best of the year and truly indicative of how well they’ve played at even-strength. It’s been a key for an Oilers club who have dominated in terms of special teams all season. Their powerplay still paces the league at 29.5% while their penalty kill chugs along at 82.9%, too.

It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for Edmonton to start clicking with strong even-strength play. It’s been key in this nine-game stretch as their penalty kill posted their third-worst stretch of the season.

Their even-strength goal scoring was very impressive scoring 4.26 goals per hour in the clubs’ best stretch — by a long shot — that has helped propel the club forward. The Oilers second line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto each on the ice for over a dozen goals.

They’ve been tremendous at even-strength since they were put together on New Year’s Eve and there’s no doubt the trio won’t be going anywhere for a while. It’s also freed up Connor McDavid, too, who has been on one of his best stretches individually. He’s led the way driving play with a 56.38 CF% and a strong 56.97 xGF%.

Over the next seven games, Edmonton plays @ Arizona, vs. SJ, Nashville and Chicago, before a three-game road trip @ Tampa, Florida and Carolina. The front four games of the stretch are crucial games for the Oilers as all but San Jose are still in the hunt for a wild card spot in the west.

On Twitter: @zjlaing