clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Why Aren't The Oilers Scoring Goals?

New, comments

I'm irritable today.

Patrick Maroon scored Edmonton's only goal against the Blackhawks on Saturday night.
Patrick Maroon scored Edmonton's only goal against the Blackhawks on Saturday night.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

One.

That's how many goals were scored by the Oilers in their 5-1 loss to Chicago on Saturday night.

It's also how many goals were scored by the Oilers in their 1-0 shootout victory against Montréal last Sunday. Shootout goals don't even count as goals in a player's statline.  It's also how many goals were scored by the Oilers in their 2-1 loss to the Hurricanes on February 3rd, and they put up zero goals against the Predators on the day prior.

If you don't count the shootout goal in Montréal last Sunday, you're looking at two goals total over the last 245 minutes of Oiler hockey, a number that's not going to win you much of anything.  And, while the Oilers still have six points on the Kings, the Oilers will watch that number evaporate quickly if they're averaging less than half a goal a game.

BUT IT'S ONLY FOUR GAMES, THINGS WILL WORK THEMSELVES OUT, RIGHT?

In short, yes.  I mean, they have to.  The club isn't going to average half a goal over the remainder of the season.  But even if you go back a fifth game to January 31st against Minnesota, Edmonton scored just twice in a 5-2 loss to the Wild.  Right now, the well's gone dry.  What's different right now?

THE POWER PLAY

All four lines aren't scoring.  Neither is the power play.  It's not working right now.  Specifically, the entire unit hasn't scored a goal in the last twelve attempts dating back to that Wild game I mentioned a few sentences ago.  Recent special teams failures have caused the power play to fall to 15th in the league (19.8%).

ALL LINED UP

A few constants have remained throughout the season, not just over the past four or five games.

Can the club just stop it with the 27-97 combo for the rest of time?  It's not working.  I've seen more of it since Pat Maroon hadn't scored in ten games before the Blackhawks game, but  I've got all the time right now for Maroon with Connor McDavid on the top line for the rest of the season, if not the rest of time.  Lucic's 5v5 pts/60 is .99.  That's nearly the same as Benoit Pouliot.   Compare that with Jordan Eberle (who everyone else is angry at this season), who is hanging out at 1.39.  That's not a grand improvement, but it's a couple of picnic tables away from Lucic right now.  Lucic at even strength isn't good this year, and he's looking at a 45 point season if things don't start taking off.

Jordan Eberle's performed slightly better in the points department (okay,he's got two more than Milan Lucic) but here's another player who could be headed to his lowest point total in a full season.  With 32 points in 56 games, Eberle is headed towards a full season projection of about 47 total points.

Benoit Pouliot has two more points (10) than Jesse Puljujarvi (8) despite Puljujarvi getting demoted to Bakersfield fifteen games ago.  At this point I'd be well more interested at giving Pouliot some time with McDavid just to see if Pouliot can get something going.  They've spent less than 35 total minutes together this season.  In case you're wondering, Lucic and McDavid have played 423 minutes together this season.  Remember, 27 and 67 are practically identical when 5v5 this year.  Honestly, what does the club have to lose in trying Pouliot with McDavid for a period or two?  (Spoiler alert: if you paid attention last year,  it's probably good.)

THE LINE BLENDER

So this happens yesterday.

I mean, he's trying?  19-97 have done good things this year, but I got a whole lot of questions.  Pouliot on line four? 36-93-44?  Anton Lander gets sent down after a decent performance on Saturday?  Hendricks finds his way back?

Fix this.  Somebody.