The Oilers have lost 3 of their last 4 games now, following a whirlwind 6-game winning streak. Let's have a peek at some of the data from those two streaks and see which result is likely to continue. The numbers may surprise you, but they probably won't.
The Win Streak - Oct 22 to Nov 3
17 Goals For (2.8 GF Per Game)
6 Goals Against (1 GA Per Game)
144 Shots For (24 SF Per Game)
181 Shots Against (30 SA Per Game)
6 Powerplay Goals For on 27 Opportunities (22.2% PP)
2 Powerplay Goals Against on 21 Opportunities (90% PK)
Oilers goaltenders had a combined Save Percentage of 0.972
The numbers show the extent to which the Oilers got absolutely ridiculous goaltending. 97% of the shots that came to the Edmonton net were stopped over the win streak, and the Oilers were allowing a lot of them. The Oilers were scoring on 11.8% of the shots they took, which isn't an outlandish number. The problem is that they weren't shooting enough to win games if their netminders were only average. Here is a breakdown of who was scoring when the Oilers were winning:
RNH: 6 points, Hall: 5 points, Eberle: 7 points, Smyth: 7 points, Potter: 6 points. Those five players combined for 31 points in 6 games.
Horcoff, Barker, Gagner, Sutton, Petrell, Jones, Plante, Gilbert, Petry, Eager and Lander combined for 18 points.
The Last Four Games - Nov 5 to Nov 11
8 Goals For (2 GF Per Game)
14 Goals Against (3.5 GA Per Game)
94 Shots For (23.5 SF Per Game)
117 Shots Against (29.25 SA Per Game)
1 Powerplay Goal on 12 Opportunities (8.3% PP)
3 Powerplay Goals Against on 19 Opportunities (84% PK)
Oilers goaltenders had a combined Save Percentage of 0.880
In the last four games the Oilers have scored on just 8.5% of their shots. They are still averaging the same number of Shots For and Against as they were when they were winning, but now they aren't scoring as much and their opponents have scored more. The reality of the goaltending situation is probably somewhere between the highs we saw during the win streak and what we are seeing now, but the amount of rubber finding each net has been a constant.
Ryan Smyth has had 5 points in the last four games, but the rest of the team has been mostly silent. RNH, Eberle, Hall, Peckham, Belanger, Teubert, Horcoff, Paajarvi, Gilbert, and Hemsky have combined for just 14 points in these last four games.
It goes without saying that the Oilers' best offensive players have to be scoring if the team is going to have any hope of winning, and over the last four games they haven't been doing that. However, the shot totals and save percentage numbers continue to paint a picture of a team that is outmatched most nights. Over an 82 game schedule, it's likely that these numbers will catch up with the Oilers unless they can learn to turn them around on the fly. There is plenty more to like about this team than any other incarnation since the '06 Stanley Cup Run, but the road ahead could be a bumpy one.