Trailing teams outshoot their opponents, while leading teams get outshot. The effect becomes more extreme the closer we get to the end of the game and as the lead gets larger. The most extreme situation is the empty-net end game, which significantly distorts overall results.
Approximately 70% of the game is spent at even strength, and of that, approximately 75% of that time is spent tied, up by a goal or down by a goal. In raw minutes, even strength close minutes account for over 1000 more minutes than special teams combined.
In the end, half of the game is spent at even strength within a goal or tied with an opponent - it's the most significant part of hockey.
TCF = season total even strength chances for; TCA = season total even strength chances against; C% = scoring chance percentage
|Up 2 or more||130||145||0.473|
|Down 2 or more||139||163||0.460|
And the Oilers aren't good at the most significant part of hockey.
The Oilers weren't close to being a competitive team unless they're down by 1 goal, and .517 isn't particularly strong when down by 1. Worse, however, was their terrible chance percentage when down by 2 or more. Columbus, the last place team in the league, finished with a .524 chance percentage down by 2 or more.