How would the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars matchup in a playoff series?
Photo credit:© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing5 days ago
Welcome to a new mini-series Tyler Yaremchuk and I will be doing taking a look at how the Edmonton Oilers matchup against various teams in the Western Conference, and what a playoff series could look like. Tyler will take a look at the rosters, while I’ll dive into some key underlying numbers.
The Stars are a pretty scary first-round opponent for the Oilers. The main reason why is Jake Oettinger. Even though the Stars lost to the Flames in the first round last season, Oettinger was incredible, posting a 1.81 goals against average and a .954 save percentage. He is more than capable of single-handedly winning hockey games. I also really like their blueline. They could always have one of Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, and Ryan Suter on the ice and those three are solid in their own end. Heiskanen specifically is very capable of being a big difference-maker. He’s one of the few defensemen that is both smart enough and fast enough to stop Connor McDavid.
They also have one of the best top lines in hockey with Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Joe Pavelski. Robertson could very well finish second or third in Hart Trophy voting this season and Hintz is a strong two-way centreman. Pavelski is a strong veteran who has a lot of playoff experience. A guy like Jamie Benn, who plays lower down in their lineup but has still popped home 30 goals this season, also is the type of guy who would be a massive pain in the ass during a seven-game playoff series.
I do like the Oilers’ high-end skill a little bit more especially considering that they can split up Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The Stars don’t have a player as good as either of those two, so the Oilers could make a top-six that’s much more dangerous as a whole compared to whatever the Stars can put together.
I actually like the Oilers’ forward group as a whole more. They have more depth throughout and the Stars are going to be hoping that a pair of rookies in Wyatt Jonhston and Ty Dellandrea will be able to keep up in their first playoff appearances.
It would be a very tight matchup though and I’d much rather have the Oilers play any one of the teams in the Pacific Division.
These two teams are pretty evenly matched looking at the 5×5 numbers. Dallas takes an edge in the standings with their ability to extend games in overtime, but the Oilers have taken more wins in regulation.
The Oilers generate a little less in terms of shot attempts, but take a bit of an edge offensively elsewhere. They have a higher goalscoring rate, a higher expected goal rate. Edmonton takes a more significant edge in terms of their ability to generate scoring chances from high-danger areas. That could be key in a potential playoff matchup.
What’s noticeable is the Stars have a much stronger team save percentage, and that’s in thanks to Jake Oettinger being one of the best goaltenders in the league. Last year we saw Oettinger come in and steal the show in the playoffs with a tremendous performance in just his second season. It came after he posted a .914 save percentage and 2.4 GAA in the regular season.
Stuart Skinner, meanwhile, has posted a .911 save percentage and a 2.92 GAA this season. It wouldn’t surprise me to see if he has a breakout performance in the playoffs this year.
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@example.com.
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