The Oilers' Power Play Problems

Dustin Bradford

The Oilers power play is being carried by the second group's percentages. Unless they want to rely on luck, they need to fix some core issues with a man advantage.

Tyler Dellow got to to the root of the Oilers' problems on the power play and came to the conclusion that it was all about the zone entries:

I made notes as I was doing this as to who attempted to enter the defensive zone on the PP for the Oilers and, while my notes aren’t perfect, it looks like this is more of an issue with the putative first PP unit, with a core of RNH-Hall-Eberle-Schultz than it is for the Hemsky-Gagner-Yakupov grouping. Nothing precise but the second unit looks to be about 10% more likely to gain the zone than the first unit which roughly fits with what my eyes have been telling me. The first unit looks to me to be a bit more out of sync and a bit less likely to bring some trickery to play – they’re big fans of letting Hall wind up around the Oilers blue line and roar into the teeth of the defence. The second unit’s a bit more likely to use varied pace and puck movement to try and create an opening.

By his eye, the Hemsky / Gagner unit is not struggling as much as the Hall / Hopkins / Eberle unit and the numbers back his eye up. Below are two tables containing the shot and shot attempt rates of the top two power play combinations while on the ice:


SF/60 MF/60 SAT/60
Taylor Hall 32.8 9.5 42.3
Jordan Eberle 29.5 7.7 37.2
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 30 6.9 36.9


Note how much better the second unit measures up by this metric:


SF/60 MF/60 SAT/60
Ales Hemsky 40.5 9 49.5
Nail Yakupov 35.6 8.2 43.8
Sam Gagner 34 7.4 41.4


But with missed shots added in, there isn't any separation at all.

98 forwards have played five games and an average of three minutes or more of 5v4 time. Jordan Eberle ranks 86th in shots for /60, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ranks 85th. Taylor Hall has an ever-so-slight edge on those two at 78th. The worst of the second line by this metric, Sam Gagner, ranks 73rd. Nail Yakupov ranks 67th, while Ales Hemsky has distinguished himself from the entire group at 53rd.

Add in the missed shots, and Taylor Hall is the highest-ranked Oiler at 74th and Gagner is lowest at 92nd. But for now, the Yakupov / Gagner / Hemsky unit is carrying the Oilers - they are scoring twice as often as the first unit. No one should expect that conversion rate to continue.

With the knowledge that shots per 60 predict 40% of power play success, and the continued struggle the Oilers have with shots on goal on the power play (they rank 27th this year), the need to fix the zone entry problem and get more pucks to the net is paramount, probably equal to the need to fix the defensive depth problem. Ralph Krueger can't fix the roster deficiencies, but he can certainly solve the structural deficiencies with a man advantage.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Copper & Blue

You must be a member of The Copper & Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Copper & Blue. You should read them.

Join The Copper & Blue

You must be a member of The Copper & Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Copper & Blue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker