Thursday, October 16, 2014

Edmonton Oilers Postgame 4: Touchdown!

You take the blue pill - the story ends,
you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland
and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

After the Arizona Coyotes generously contributed to our goals against column with a touchdown, the communal Oilers spirit is wondering: how deep does the rabbit hole go? In case you wondered if the Oilers would get off to a good start, here are the numbers:

Stat Value League Rank
Points 1 30/30
Goals/Game 2.75 20/30
Goals Against/Game 5.5 30/30
Goal Differential -12 30/30
5v5 Goals For/Against 0.4 30/30
PP% 27.3 10/30
PK% 68.8 26/30
5v5 CorsiFor% 55.2 4/30
5v5 Shooting% 5.88 24/30
5v5 Save% 83.2 29/30

The Oilers even strength defending has been like a Gasoline & Matches Party in a fireworks factory. The team has been incredibly unlucky as well, their 5v5 PDO is dead last in the league at 89.03. In retrospect, at the end of last season the lowest value was Florida's 98.02. The Oilers tenders will not continue to stop pucks at 83.2, now will the team continue to shoot at 5.9% at evens. So if you wanted a willy wonka golden ticket in your chocolatey bar of Oilers shit, there it is: they've been massively unlucky.

That said, the game last night was a reflection of all the above statistics. Goaltending stanky like the corpse of Dubnyk's NHL career, awful even strength defence, and percentages more appropriate for a C peewee team. We started from the bottom and now my whole team fucking here: the bottom, again, amazingly, unfeasibly.

We are in the abyss of infinite awful. The chasm of the continuous rebuild. The 7th level of boys on the bus hell.

And the game the game, surely there was a game. Justin Schultz and Petry took turns looking lost like little girls, and Scrivens shoved it up the backside of his supporters. Scrivens especially was rotten, and while he probably didn't have much of a chance on 50% of the goals, 50% less goals would have possibly given the Oilers a win. I will say absolutely that I haven't given up on either Oilers goaltender yet, evidenced by numbers like:
Scrivens was .900 or better in 27 of 36 starts last year. His WORST (full) game all year was .838.
In retrospect to his start:

Ben Scrivens comes by his .800 save percentage honestly. By game: .808, .800, .793. An unnerving start for fans
Conclusions after the hop.

Aside from Scrivens' terriawful play (22/28 saves, .727 Sv%), Hall was awesome all night (20+ mins, 2-1-3 & 4 shots), and Purcell looked sticky and strong on the puck (eye test only, you #statletes), and @Sporkabella still looks like an NHL center - maybe not top line, but where is the center controversy?

Simply put, the Oilers terrible luck won't continue, Hopkins will draw in, and home ice should bring some energy and favourable match ups for the team. If you mixed in a D pairing that looked like...

D Pair #1: Petry, Marincin
D Pair #2: Schultz, Fayne
D Pair #3: Ference, Nikitin

...maybe the Oilers would finally see some strong team defence (yes, I know Petry haters, he played awful last game, but he still played better than J.Schultz IMO). Mix and match the top 4 based on current performance, and lock Ference and Nikky in the third pairing dungeon. Voila, instant improvement.

If not, well, there is still hope for a lucky season1.

1How's that treating you in the luck+1 year, Calder, Jack Adams winning Colorado Avalanche? Like a facially ugly red-headed step child from a failed third marriage.


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