In 2009-2010, Dustin Penner drove the bus and the broken defense was repeatedly torched, and the team finished last. In 2010-2011, Tom Gilbert and Taylor Hall were the only Oilers driving the bus on their own and the team finished last.
In 2011-2012, things were supposed to be different, and the Oilers finished 29th. But how did they look by the scoring chances count?
For those who'd like a definition: a scoring chance is defined as a clear play directed toward the opposing net from a dangerous scoring area - loosely defined as the top of the circle in and inside the faceoff dots, though sometimes slightly more generous than that depending on the amount of immediately-preceding puck movement or screens in front of the net. Blocked shots are generally not included but missed shots are. A player is awarded a scoring chance anytime he is on the ice and someone from either team has a chance to score. He is awarded a "chance for" if someone on his team has a chance to score and a "chance against" if the opposing team has a chance to score.
Vic Ferrari's chances script makes this whole possible and Dennis King has undertaken the brutal task of counting each and every scoring chance over the last three seasons, a maddening task, considering the amount of bad hockey he's been forced to watch.So, how did the 2011-2012 season turn out?
Not so good, as the chance totals show. Scoring chances track closely to Fenwick, and by that measure, the Oilers' chance percentage left them 25th in the league.
But take heart!
Marginal improvement is very exciting!
I'll review various situational and individual chance percentages over the next month or so, so if you're interested in anything, please let me know.