|This is an analogy for being an Oilers fan: we're in the chair, Eakins is the guy at the switch, |
and the Oilers play is the lethal electricity coursing through our body.
Eakins has been absolutely hammering on the fact that the young Oilers squad has been losing games recently due to offensive execution. There might be some weight to that, as you can see in the table below which features forwards that were on last year and this year's team:
|Player||Shooting %||Shooting % Diff from 2014||Shooting % Diff from Career|
Some key players are way below career #'s: Yakupov, Eberle, and Perron - all have played plenty of 5v5 minutes, and the only regular guys up are Arcobello and Gordon - neither of which are in the top 6 usually. I'd suggest that shooting percentages like we are seeing are contributing to Eakin's feeling like the Oilers are missing in executing the scoring play after generating it. While shooting percentage is no direct representation of "execution", it certainly is a proxy for the impression of whether a player is executing.
Applying the analysis to tonight's game, I'm not sure the Oilers really blew a ton of grade A chances, and I'm quite certain Anaheim did. Rene Bourque had a couple of Getzlaf-gifted tap-ins that he shanked worse than a pedophile in jail. In terms of territorial play, surprisingly the game was even enough by corsi (click on the Corsi EV in the Game Flow section). There were clear sections in the game where the Oilers carried play - first half of second and third periods - after being roundly stick-paddled in the first.
It speaks to a couple of things:
- The Oilers refuse to play consistently in the opening portions of the game. It's feast or famine: we've seen them absolutely shut out opponents in the opening frame, and too often we've seen the enemy pump pucks up the backsides of our stay-puff net defenders. This game featured famine.
- The Oilers continue to be resilient regardless of lousy first periods. As a testament to coaching or familiarity, the Oilers do tend to settle into a consistent brand of hockey that seems to give them the competitive chops to hang with most teams in the league.
- We still have no idea what kind of goaltending will show up for a game. It doesn't matter if it's Fasth and Furious or the Professor, we are getting a huge range of performances from both of the goalers. In this one Fasth was rock solid, and what does that mean for the future? Who the fuck knows!
- The Oilers continue to lose, and the offence is a big reason. They can still throw up the odd 5-6 goals against if a defenceman has an off night or career (wink, Nikitin). Thing is, we've seen them play strong defensively, but we've yet to really see them be strong offensively. They have to scratch and claw for every goal. For a team with a buttload, a bevy, a bountiful blessing of beastly first round forwards, it's just not making any sense. The Oilers have only won TWO GAMES BY MORE THAN 1 NON-EN GOAL!
Couple of players after the hop.