a·cu·men [ak-yuh-muhn] noun: keen insight; shrewdness

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

10/23/11 By The Numbers: The Oilers So Far

Now that we are seven games into the season, we are starting to get a picture of what this Oilers team is going to look like. Here is a brief look at some of the underlying stats from this year and how they compare to last season's 30th place squad.

- The Oilers have fired 226 shots on goal this year, which is up from 192 at this time last year. That may seem a little strange, since the Oilers are playing a more defensive style of hockey this season, but they are actually getting more pucks to the net.

- They have allowed 186 shots against this season, which is down from 233 after the first seven games in 2010-11.

- All told, the Oilers currently have a +40 differential of shots for and against, while at this time last year they had a differential of -41.

- Right now the Oilers are scoring on around 5% of their total shots on goal. Last year at this time, they were scoring on 10% of their shots. If the Oilers had scored on ten percent of their shots this season, they would already have about 23 goals, rather than the 12 that they do have.

- In 2010-11 the Oilers had allowed 25 goals after seven games, which is an abysmal 3.57 Goals Against per Game. This year, the team has allowed 10 goals in seven games, which is good for 1.43 Goals Against per Game. Expect that number to climb a little over the course of the year, but reducing the GA/G by 2.14 is an excellent sign early on.

- At this time last year, Taylor Hall had just one assist in his first seven games. This year he's got a goal and 4 assists in 6 games.

- Jordan Eberle had 5 points by the seven game mark last year, including 3 goals. He's got 5 points this year too, but their all assists.

- Ales Hemsky played in Edmonton's first 7 games last season, scoring 3 goals and 5 points. This year he's got into only 2 contests and picked up one assist so far. Oilers record without him in the lineup this season: 2-2-1.

- Magnus Paajarvi had 2-2-4 in the first seven games of last season, as well as 21 shots on goal. This year he's got no points, and has directed 16 shots on goal.

- Linus Omark didn't get into the NHL lineup until December 10th of 2010, but in his first seven appearances he managed to put up 5 points. Assigning him to OKC seemed to light a fire under him last year, but it isn't an option this season, because if he's not playing in the NHL his contract allows him to go to Europe if he chooses to. He'd still be Oilers property, but he couldn't return this season.

- Shawn Horcoff already had 3 goals and 5 points by this time last year, but he's had to settle for 4 assists so far this year. Last year he had ten shots in 7 games, while this year he has only 8. The captain has been good this year, but he'll need to shoot a lot more than that if he expects to get off the schneid.

- Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle have each got 20 shots on goal in 13 games between them, but only one goal has come out of those shots. The fact that they are putting lots of rubber on net means that both will break out eventually.

So far the the Oilers are doing a better job than last year at generating offense, and limiting that of the opposition. The fact that their scorers haven't been scoring is more a measure of luck than effort, because the big guns (Hall, Eberle, RNH) have all been doing good things offensively, and these numbers reflect that. Even Paajarvi has not been as bad as it looks at first glance. So far his shot totals are down from last season, but his 16 SOG is tied for 4th most on the team. Linus Omark's 7 shots puts him way down the list, and unless he starts to pick up his play he'll have a hard time getting back into the lineup. As yet, his totals are the only obvious disappointment.

When the Oilers start getting bounces, this team will be dangerous.

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