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Weekly Stats Update

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Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

I’ve tried to come up with with an idea for a recurring column here at Copper and Blue a couple of times, and never followed through. But, I think this weekly stats update idea is just open-ended enough to last. So, without further ado, welcome to the Oilers’ weekly stats update.

Projected end-of-year standings:

These are based on teams’ expected points % for remaining games, according to my NHL forecasting model. The model estimates team strength going forward based on a combination of expected goals for and against, as well as actual goals for and against, to date. It also assumes an average strength of schedule going forward. More more info on the model, read this.

Pacific

Calgary - 109.7 points

San Jose - 101.9 points

Vegas - 96.9 points

Edmonton - 91.5 points

Anaheim - 85.3 points

Arizona - 82.7 points

Vancouver - 80.7 points

Los Angeles - 68.9 points

Central

Winnipeg - 108.5 points

Nashville - 107.6 points

Colorado - 99.4 points

Minnesota- 97.8 points

Dallas - 87.7 points

St. Louis - 78.3 points

Chicago - 69.6 points

Atlantic

Tampa Bay - 116.8 points

Toronto - 106.5 points

Buffalo - 98.5 points

Boston - 95.6 points

Montreal - 93.7 points

Florida - 86.5 points

Ottawa - 79.3 points

Detroit - 78.3 points

Metropolitan

Washington - 100.7 points

Columbus - 96.5 points

Carolina - 96.3 points

Pittsburgh - 93.4 points

Islanders - 91.3 points

New Jersey - 83.8 points

Rangers - 81.8 points

Philadelphia - 80.7 points

These standing would mean a first round match up between the Pacific division winning Flames, and the #2 wild card spot Oilers. I can’t imagine the Oilers going deep in the playoffs this year, but upsetting the best Flames squad in recent memory would make it a hell of a season.

Oilers’ upcoming games’ win probabilities

Tuesday 12/18: Oilers (61%) vs. Blues (39%) ; Projected total goals - 5.9

Saturday 12/22: Oilers (43%) vs. Lightning (57%) ; Projected total goals - 6.3

Not to beat a dead horse, but...

I see that Spector tweet about how Chiasson had as many goals as Hall and Eberle combined has inspired some fans to question whether or not the Eberle trade was really so bad. (because obviously no one could defend the Hall trade at this point).

Eberle is struggling this year. He’s on a career low 38-point pace, and he’s averaging fewer than 2 shots per game for the first time in his career.

Still, let’s not forget that he had 49 even-strength points last season, as many as Mikko Rantanen.

This year his struggles are legitimate, but let’s put his production in perspective. Only McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins, and Draisaitl had more than 38 points for the Oilers’ last season. And, if Eberle maintains his pace of 1.94 shots per game this season, while shooting at his career shooting percentage for the remainder of the year, he’ll end up with 20 goals. There were 118 forwards who scored 20 goals in the NHL last season, an average of 3.8 per team. So, even in the worst season of his career, he’s scoring at a second line rate.

Obviously Ryan Spooner is all the Oilers have to show for the Eberle trade at this point, so the salary dump angle is the only reasonable argument that the pro-Chia crowd has. But Eberle would still be a top-6 forward on the Oilers if he hadn’t been traded, and he’s only failing to live up to his contract (which expires after this year) for the first time in his career. Sorry, but that trade was still horrible.