NASHVILLE TN - FEBRUARY 07: Marcel Goc #9 of the Nashville Predators skates against Jeff Petry #58 of the Edmonton Oilers on February 7 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
In completing our season review series, we walked through scoring chances by season segment and performed a scoring chance WOWY for each regular player. Thanks to the efforts of Dennis King at MC79hockey, we can compare the results from 2010-11 to those from 2009-10. After the jump we'll look at the results of another 30th-place season.
TCF = season total even strength chances for; TCA = season total even strength chances against; CH% = scoring chance percentage; CF/15 = chances for per 15 minutes of even strength time on ice; CF/15 = chances against per 15 minutes of even strength time on ice; SCDIFF = total scoring chance differential; DIFF/15 = scoring chance differential per 15 minutes of even strength time on ice;
*Tables are sortable by column, simply click on the header row in each table.
Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle had really nice rookie seasons in both the counting numbers and scoring chances. It is worth noting however that they were giving a ton of chances back to their opponents, but only when Shawn Horcoff wasn't on the ice with them. Horcoff's all-around ability and defensive prowess really helped the two young forwards find their way.
As I've noted before, Sam Gagner struggled when he didn't have Ales Hemsky or Dustin Penner with him and he really struggled with Linus Omark. Given that Gagner outlasted all of the other veteran top six players and played against top competition or second-toughs all year, it explains his high CA/15.
I've given up trying to explain Ryan Jones.
The defense tells a story that the average crash-and-bang fan won't want to hear:
Aside from Jeff Petry's outstanding rookie season, the Oilers' defensive corps was in over their collective heads except for Tom Gilbert. Gilbert played the toughest possible competition, paired mostly either Theo Peckham or Ladislav Smid and nearly pulled a breakeven season off. He had the second-best chances against (it's probably not a coincidence that he had so many blocked shots) on the backend, .5 CA/15 better than Ryan Whitney or ~8 goals over a given season. He was only .1 CF/15 worse than Whitney or 1.5 goals per season. By the even strength chances, he was worth a full pro-rated win over Whitney.
Theo Peckham's inaugural season did not go so well. Though a fan-favorite for his physical play, brutish fists and chatty demeanor, Peckham was worst among the blueliners in CA/15 and second-worst in CF/15. Most of it comes from the fact that he was asked to play first and second-line minutes for 2/3 of the season - a job he's not ready for now and may never be ready for. The Oilers need more team depth overall, but they need real help on defense so that Peckham doesn't ever take toughs for more than a game.
Chris Vande Velde
The irregulars ranged from terrible (MacIntyre) to impressive (Hartikainen) and everywhere in between. Taylor Chorney wasn't good, but compared to last season, he took a major step forward. Let's hope it's not just the limited sample size allowing him to show well. Throughout each stage of his career, Teemu Hartikainen has surpassed expectations and this season was no different. It was a limited appearance, and he didn't face tough competition, but he was in the black, or blue in the case of the above table. Given that a large number of Oilers faced similar weaker competition, and posted terrible results, the future certainly looks bright for Teemu.