Game Notes Predators @ Oilers: Going Streaking

Photo credit:Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
1 year ago
Last season the Oilers picked up 80% of their 49 wins during winning streaks of three or more games. When they won, they won in bunches. They had two three-game winning streaks, won four in row three times, had three different five-game winning streaks and won six consecutive games once.
— The Oilers are riding a four-game winning streak in which they have outscored teams 18-11 including 12-6 at 5×5. Edmonton has really tightened up its 5×5 play, after a loose first few games of the season. If that continues, combined with their offensive skill, they could go on a good streak.
— Lengthy winning streaks are rare for Edmonton. The Oilers have only had one winning streak of 7+ games since 1987. They won nine in a row in 2001.
— Since 2000 the NHL has had 37 winning streaks of 10 or more games. Calgary, Colorado and Pittsburgh each won 10 in a row last season, while Florida won 13 consecutive games. Here is a list of all organizations who went on long heaters this century:
16 games: Columbus (2017)
15: Pittsburgh (2013)
14: Washington
13: Florida and New Jersey
12: Boston, Chicago, Florida, Minnesota and Pittsburgh
11: Anaheim, Chicago, New Jersey, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, San Jose, St. Louis and Tampa Bay.
10: Anaheim, Boston (twice), Buffalo (twice), Calgary (twice), Colorado (twice), Columbus, Nashville, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa Bay (twice), Vancouver and Vegas.
— So, 21 teams have had lengthy heaters, and of the other 11 teams, Edmonton and Seattle are the only teams who don’t have a seven-game winning streak, or longer, since 2002. Arizona, Carolina, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal and the New York Rangers have all had at least four streaks of 7+ games. Edmonton is due for a long streak.
— In Saturday’s 3-2 win in Calgary, the Oilers ended an ugly streak of allowing a power play goal in seven consecutive games. It is a step in the right direction for their penalty kill. They were more disciplined, and were only on the PK three times, which helps, and they reduced the cross-seam passes. If the penalty kill can find its level of previous seasons, the Oilers could get on a roll.
— During this four-game winning streak Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have eight points, Zach Hyman has seven, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has six, and Evander Kane has five. They have nine players with at least two points and 16 skaters picked up at least one.
And only Cody Ceci (2GF-3GA) and Jesse Puljujarvi (1-2) have been outscored 5×5.
— While the Oilers are rolling, the Predators are struggling. They started their season in Prague and defeated San Jose in both games, but since returning to North America, they are 1-5-1. They have been outscored 25-15 and they scored six goals in their only victory. Like many teams early this season the Predators will step on the ice tonight after a three-day break. Extra rest hasn’t been much of benefit for road teams.
— Connor McDavid is off to the best goal-scoring start of his career with nine goals in nine games. He scored eight goals in his first 10 games in 2017-18 and again last season. His 18 points through nine games aren’t his most productive stretch. Last year he had 7-12-19 through nine games and picked up 1-2-3 in his 10th game to produce 22 points in 10 games. It wasn’t only McDavid who was red-hot though. Leon Draisaitl outscored McDavid producing 10-13-23 in the first 10 games.
— In the first 20 games of the season Draisaitl produced 40 points and McDavid had 36. They’ve set a pretty high bar and while McDavid is scoring more goals than ever before early in a season, he is slightly behind last year’s point totals. Crazy. I won’t be surprised if he has more than 36 points through 20 games this season though. Crashing into the goalpost slowed him down for two games, and he still has 18 points in nine games.
— Edmonton is now third in the NHL in GF/GP at 3.78 and they are tied for 17th in GA/GP at 3.11. The Predators are also 17th in GA/GP, but they are 29th in GF/GP at 2.44. Roman Josi is off to a slow start with four points in nine games, after scoring 96 points in 80 games last year. I didn’t expect him to produce that much again, but a reason I predicted the Predators would struggle this year is so many players had career years last year for them. It was going to be incredibly hard to repeat.
— Outside of Josi, Filip Forsberg scored 42-42-84 in 69 games for a 1.22 points/game clip. His previous best was 0.82. Matt Duchene set career highs in goals, 43, and points with 86. His previous bests were 30 and 70. Rookie Tanner Jeannot scored 24 goals. It wasn’t realistic to expect similar production from all four. Between 2019-2021 the Predators were 20th in GF/GP and 29th in combined PP% at 15.6. Last season they were 13th in goals scored and sixth on the PP at 24.4%, despite not adding any new proven offensive players. The jump was mainly due to Josi, Forsberg, and Duchene killing it. This season the PP is 8.6% through nine games and they are 29th in goals scored. I didn’t expect them to be this bad offensively but hovering around 20-22nd was likely.
Forsberg and Duchene each have seven points in nine games (0.78 pts/game). Forsberg’s career average is 0.83 and Duchene’s is 0.76 so they are close to what you’d you normally expect. The Predator’s PP is awful right now. They have three goals on 36 opportunities. The Preds are third in PP chances/game at 4.00. They’ve been getting loads of opportunities but can’t pull the trigger. Edmonton needs to limit the PP chances, like they did in Calgary, and don’t give the PP any confidence. The first penalty kill tonight will be important. I’d pressure the Predators right away, as their power play isn’t as confident as it was last year.

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