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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020-21 Edmonton Oilers in Seven: Rebound incoming

Welcome to year two of the Oilers in Seven series. I kick-started this series last season to break down the Oilers in a smaller sample size. I chose seven games based on the size of a playoff series. 

The Numbers

Games 1-7: 3-4, .429 points %

Season record: 3-4, .429 points %, 22nd in the NHL

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Games 1-7:
PP% – 11.5, 25th overall.
PK% – 75.0, 21st.

Even Strength

STAT RATE G1-7 + LEAGUE RANK
CF% 46.63 — 26th
GF% 46.67 — 21st
xGF% 53.15 — 9th
GF/60 2.52 — 15th
GA/60 2.88 — 24th
Team SH% 7.69 — 19th
Team SV% 91.44 — 14th
PDO 99.1 — 19th

All Situations

STAT RATE G1-7 + LEAGUE RANK
CF% 48.00 — 21st
GF% 45.24 — 22nd
XGF% 53.43 — 10th
GF/60 2.71 — 22nd
GA/60 3.29 — 22nd
TEAM SH% 8.23 — 23rd
TEAM SV% 90.34 — 15th
PDO 98.6 — 21st

Stats via Natural Stat Trick, glossary with definitions here.

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Player Stats

Stats via Hockey Reference 

What it all means

The Oilers have gotten off to a bit of a rough start in the 2020-21 season. They dropped big losses to the Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens in games where the score was closer than it really should’ve been. They’ve rebounded with big wins in their own right, too, taking down the Canucks, Leafs and Jets in three very different styles of games.

If this seven-game set were a playoff series, the Oilers would’ve been down and out early. But the beauty is that the Oilers are in the middle of a 56-game regular season. There are some good things we can take from the start of the Oilers season. First of all, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are producing. McDavid has 10 points to Draisaitl’s nine and beyond McDavid’s big game against the Leafs, the pair have been relatively “quiet.”

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In fact, the Oilers as a whole have looked pretty quiet to start the season. Their shot attempt and goals for rate are in the lower third of the league, but their goaltending has been solid from Koskinen thus far stopping a league-average amount of shots. Their solid expected goals rate, coupled with a below-average shooting percentage, leads me to believe the Oilers are due for an offensive rebound sooner than later when it comes to filling the net.

As we look ahead to the next seven games, Edmonton plays the Jets, Leafs twice, the Senators twice, the Flames, and the Sens once more. I really like the Oilers chances in this next set of games to come out with some big performances.

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]