The Oilers Are Like The Capitals, If You Remove Khabibulin

The mystery continues.  The Oilers have been a markedly better team without Nikolai Khabibulin in each of the last two seasons.  How much better?  Consider the Oilers' 2010-2011 scoring chance numbers against those of the Washington Capitals.

In the table below, I've grouped the 23 most common players from each lineup by their most common linemates (except for Gilbert Brule) or defensive partner.  In Washington's case, I've used scoring chance data from the entire season, courtesy of Russian Machine Never Breaks.  In Edmonton's case, I've used the without Khabibulin data mentioned in this article.

Player 5v5 SCF 5v5 SCA SC%
Player 5v5 SCF 5v5 SCA SC%
Mike Knuble 333 276 0.547
Dustin Penner 116 102 0.532
Nicklas Backstrom 366 279 0.567
Sam Gagner 120 128 0.484
Alex Ovechkin 431 325 0.570
Ales Hemsky 108 77 0.584









Marcus Johansson 228 231 0.497
Taylor Hall 171 121 0.586
Brooks Laich 278 222 0.556
Shawn Horcoff 107 85 0.557
Alex Semin 256 189 0.575
Jordan Eberle 145 130 0.527









Jason Chimera 218 241 0.475
Magnus Paajarvi 129 140 0.480
David Steckel 119 137 0.465
Andrew Cogliano 138 150 0.479
Eric Fehr 133 111 0.545
Linus Omark 72 85 0.459









Matt Bradley 132 140 0.485
Ryan Jones 82 105 0.439
Boyd Gordon 116 139 0.455
Colin Fraser 41 48 0.461
Matt Hendricks 174 170 0.506
Gilbert Brule 51 60 0.459


















Karl Alzner 349 326 0.517
Ryan Whitney 76 60 0.559
John Carlson 393 332 0.542
Kurtis Foster 111 119 0.483









Scott Hannan 285 224 0.560
Theo Peckham 126 146 0.463
Mike Green 257 228 0.530
Tom Gilbert 187 176 0.515









Jeff Schultz 302 282 0.517
Jim Vandermeer 133 153 0.465
John Erskine 242 214 0.531
Ladislav Smid 151 152 0.498


















Marco Sturm 57 44 0.564
J.F. Jacques 33 47 0.413
Mathieu Perreault 94 82 0.534
Liam Reddox 52 78 0.400
Jay Beagle 52 60 0.464
Zack Stortini 18 17 0.514
Tom Poti 83 86 0.491
Jeff Petry 79 65 0.549
Tyler Sloan 78 94 0.453
Jason Strudwick 70 61 0.534

 

The Oilers lack of NHL depth shines through as the comparison falls apart a bit at the bottom of the roster, but the top line Edmonton talent matches up extraordinarily well with the top line talent from Washington. The Caps' scoring chance percentage from these players was .529.  The Oilers' chance percentage from these players without Khabibulin was .501.  With Khabibulin, these players posted a chance percentage of .440.

I still have no answers, but remain curious.

In This Article

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