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2021-22 Edmonton Oilers in Seven part three: Are the Oilers good?

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Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
Welcome to year three of the Oilers in Seven series. I kick-started this series a few years ago to break down the Oilers in a smaller sample size. I chose seven games based on the size of a playoff series. 
We are back! For the third time this year, we’ll be diving into the Oilers In Seven. As noted above, this is a series I kicked up a few years ago to look at the Oilers in smaller sets. While still a relatively small sample size in the big picture, seven games reflect a playoff series — something the Oilers will be looking to win a few of this year.

The Numbers

Games 1-7: 6-1, .857 points %
Games 8-14: 5-2, .714 points %
Games 15-21: 5-2, .714 points %
Season: 16-5, .762 points %
Games 1-7:
PP% – 47.8, 1st
PK% – 90.0, 3rd
Games 8-14:
PP% — 35, 3rd
PK% — 86.4, 12th
Games 15-21: 
PP% — 23.8, 8th
PK% — 87.0, 10th
Season:
PP% — 35.9, 1st
PK% — 87.7, 3rd
5×5
STATRANK G1-7 + LEAGUE RANKRANK G8-14 + LEAGUE RANKRANK G15-21 + LEAGUE RANKSEASON
CF%49.61 — 17th51.53 — 13th48.36 — 18th 49.79 — 17th
GF%48.15 — 18th52.5 — 12th44.44 — 23rd48.94 — 18th
xGF%52.23 — 12th46.35 — 25th49.89 — 18th49.43 — 17th
GF/602.31 — 15th3.71 — 1st2.11 — 21st2.71 — 7th
GA/602.49 — 24th3.36 — 30th2.64 — 19th2.83 — 26th
Team SH%7.39 — 15th12.35 — 1st7.19 — 24th8.97 — 5th
Team SV%92.63 — 17th89.2 — 30th92.23 — 16th91.41 — 23rd
PDO100 — 16th101.6 — 9th99.4 — 20th100.4 — 11th
All Situations
STATRATE G1-7 + LEAGUE RANKRANK G8-14 + LEAGUE RANKRANK G15-21 + LEAGUE RANKSEASON
CF%49.70 — 16th52.91 — 11th47.84 — 21st50.06 — 17th
GF%59.57 — 6th56.60 — 10th53.66 — 11th56.74 — 6th
xGF%57.41 — 1st49.39 — 18th50.44 — 18th52.52 — 8th
GF/603.95 — 4th4.25 — 1st3.11 — 13th3.77 — 2nd
GA/602.68 — 11th3.26 — 22nd2.68 — 13th2.87 — 17th
Team SH%11.72 — 7th13.64 — 2nd10.14 — 11th11.83 — 2nd
Team SV%92.46 — 8th89.40 — 23rd92.24 — 7th91.46 — 6th
PDO104.2 — 4th103 — 7th102.4 — 8th103.3 — 1st
Stats via Natural Stat Trick, glossary with definitions here.

Player Stats

Stats via Hockey Reference 

What it all means

The Oilers are good?
Yeah, it’s safe to say they’re good. At the time of writing this Thursday afternoon, Edmonton has the best points percentage in the entire NHL and are somehow navigating missing like… every defencemen they have.
Nonetheless, the last seven games were a weird stretch for the Oilers — one that only saw them lose two games. They split a home and home set with the Winnipeg Jets to kick things off, before dominating the Chicago Blackhawks at home. Edmonton lost to Dallas on the road, before pouring it on the Arizona Coyotes.
Edmonton beat Vegas on the road last Saturday while the Nation partied and Wednesday beat Pittsburgh despite playing one of the most boring games I’ve ever watched. In that stretch, however, the Oilers powerplay cooled off a little bit but still operated at a 23.8 percent clip. The penalty kill remained strong, too.
Unlike before, the Oilers didn’t really jump out as being elite in any single sense of the term. Instead, they were about average in nearly every category counted above. That’s not a bad thing, per se, when you look at games in a seven-game stretch. Edmonton undoubtedly won this series much like they have all year. Five of the games were played without Darnell Nurse and another three without Duncan Keith. Those aren’t insignificant pieces by any means, and the Oilers still somehow came out on top.
Edmonton is blessed by superstars in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers clearly have no problem in just outscoring everyone they come across. I mean, when those two are clicking they singlehandedly win games. But when push comes to shove, the Oilers are still a flawed team. Even with their top two left shot defencemen, the Oilers have been giving up far too many goals against for what you’d like to see.
Over this recent stretch, the Oilers had a +3 goal differential. Good, but not great by any means. To be great, the Oilers still need to make some improvements to their game. Complacency is the enemy and Edmonton can’t let their great start slip away.
Over the next seven games, the Oilers have a great chance to stay hot at home. At this point in the season, Edmonton has the fourth-best home record going 9-1 (ironically, the one they lost to the Flyers was one I attended). This seven-game set sees them play six of seven at home.
It kicks off Friday night against Seattle on the road, before home games against the L.A. Kings, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Over the last two years, the Oilers have posted the league’s 12th best home points percentage at .658 — a great target for them to hit to keep pace.

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 zach@oilersnation.com.

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