Possession is everything, or so says Mike Babcock. Vic Ferrari demonstrated how scoring chances and puck possession come together over time:
The idea is that the more games you're looking at, the more luck washes out. And you can see that over a small batch of games the player's scoring chance rates mesh reasonably well with results
The Oilers hit the half-way point fighting Columbus for the title of the worst in the NHL. Time and additional games have flushed luck and the true talent level of the team drives the numbers. That's not necessarily a good thing for the Oilers this season.
The raw even strength scoring chance numbers are after the jump. All data compiled and published by Dennis King and mc79hockey.com.
It's disconcerting to see just two forwards with a positive chance differential. Even the really terrible Oilers from the past two seasons have had more than that. Hall, Hopkins and Eberle have obviously benefited from the zonestart and qualcomp protection, but I'm beginning to think they aren't doing nearly enough with those butter soft minutes.
- Taylor Hall is the engine that drives this bus, at least at the forward position. I'll have more on this soon when I discuss adjusted scoring chances. His .527 follows his .521 from last season and he's knocked almost a full chance against per 15 off of his totals. Somewhat concerning is that he's also down about 3/4 of a chance for per 15, but it's only half of a season's worth of data.
- Jordan Eberle's chances against are also a concern. His numbers haven't improved at all over last year's numbers and he's the worst on the team by this metric, and given the protection he's received, it's worth discussion.
- Lennart Petrell is probably not NHL material at this point. His .378 is the stuff of an AHL regular. For reference, that's six percentage points lower than Zack Stortini and J.F. Jacques in 2010-11.
- Eric Belanger's numbers should also concern the Oilers. He was a good signing, a much-needed signing, but his game seems to be in the gutter. Of particular note are the WOWY numbers I'll get into this week - he's had a major impact on Sam Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi and Ryan Jones.
If two forwards in the black seemed disappointing, how does one defenseman in the black strike you?
- Gilbert's performance this year has been remarkable. He's been outstanding over the last four years, but hasn't had a good partner to take the toughs since Sheldon Souray. Smid, who still has his warts, is at least a stable partner with some idea in the defensive zone.
- No forward fell off more than Ryan Jones, no defenseman has fallen farther than Corey Potter. If he stays on the top pair expect that to continue.
- Jeff Petry looks terrible here, but the WOWY data explains nearly everything.
- Cam Barker, he of the third-pairing minutes and competition has red all over his numbers. But remember, according to the Edmonton media, he's the 3rd-best defenseman on Edmonton's roster.
And the irregulars.