Saturday, 29 October 2011
10/29/11 By The Numbers: After Ten Games
Ten games into the season the Edmonton Oilers are 6-2-2, good for first in their division and in the Western Conference. Let's have a look back at the 2009-10 season, where the Oilers started 6-3-1.
- This year the Oilers have put 255 shots on opposing nets, while in 2009-10 the Oilers managed 249. That's just 6 more this year over the first season the Oilers finished 30th.
- 298 shots have found their way to the Oilers' net, and in 2009-10 the Oilers allowed 338. That's 40 fewer shots this year than 2009-10.
- All told, the Oilers had a -89 shots for/against differential in 2009-10, and this year they are at -43.
Unless the team can start consistently outshooting their opponents, there's a very good chance that the wheels will fall off this early season success. Based on these numbers, things aren't as bad as that 30th place team from two years ago, but they aren't good enough to have sustained success.
- This year the Oilers have scored 8 powerplay goals on 44 opportunities, which is 18.2% efficiency. In 2009-10 the Oilers had scored 10 powerplay goals in the first ten games, or 23.3% of the time.
- This year the Oilers have allowed 4 powerplay goals after being shorthanded 43 times, which is a 90.7% kill rate. In 2009-10 Edmonton allowed 9 powerplay goals after being shorthanded just 39 times. That's just 76.9% efficiency.
- 20 goals have been scored by Edmonton this year, while the Oilers scored 37 in ten games back in 2009-10.
- This year the Oilers have allowed 14 goals, and the 2009-10 team allowed 30 in ten games.
- The Oilers have scored on 7.8% of their shots this year, while they scored on 14.9% of their shots in 2009-10.
Clearly these are two very different squads. The team was scoring at an inflated rate in 2009-10, which also bloated their record. They were allowing a lot of shots and goals against but their scoring was keeping their heads above water. When the goal scoring came back down to earth, the team went into the tank.
This year the Oilers are scoring a modest amount of goals, with totals that are certainly sustainable, and may even improve. The goals and shots against will tell the tale for Edmonton this year. They won't always get stellar goaltending, but they have done a better job of limiting the opposition than they did after ten games in 2009-10. The goals against have more than halved from that disastrous season.
One thing to remember is that the Oilers played 3 road games out of the first ten in both 2009-10 and this season, which means they had home ice advantage much more often than not. Last year the Oilers were an awful team even in the early going, and they played 5 road games in the first ten.
Obviously it will take a larger cross section of the season to tell how good this team really is, but it appears to be better than the Oilers who started with 6 wins in ten games and finished 30th. The team is almost certainly not as good as their record - and the standings - indicate right now, but things are improving.