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

Welcome to Oil Acumen. What follows is a blog dedicated to ending the tyranny of Oilers management, and making hockey fun to watch again, dammit.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

08/23/12 Oilers Players and 80-90 Points


Nail Yakupov is one of a quartet of players who could score 80, 90 or even more points as an Oiler. It's not an easy thing to do, but do the kids have the right stuff? Where exactly should we expect their production to peak?



Previously we looked at how hard it is to score 100 points in the NHL, and it turns out that it's pretty darn hard. There have only been 96 instances in the last 22 years where a player has scored at least 100 points in a single season, and much of that was in a different era for the NHL.

But what about the 80 and 90 point plateaus?

There have been 125 80+ point seasons by NHL players since the lockout (often the same players season after season). That's just shy of 18 players per year on average, which means that scoring even a point per game puts a player among the very top point producers of the league. This past season of 2011-12 there were only nine players who scored 80 or more points.

Also since the lockout there have been 58 performances of 90 or more points by a player in a season, or roughly eight per year on average. In 2011-12 there were just three players who scored at least 90 points.

In 2011-12, the Pittsburgh Penguins were the only team to have two players reach 80 points (Malkin and Neal). Let's go back through the years and see how many teams had more than one player hit 80 points.

2010-11

Anaheim Ducks: Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne
Vancouver Canucks: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin
Tampa Bay Lightning: Martin St. Louis, Steve Stamkos

2009-10

Vancouver Canucks: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin
Washington Capitals: Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin
Tampa Bay Lightning: Martin St. Louis, Steve Stamkos
San Jose Sharks: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley
New Jersey Devils: Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk*
* Kovalchuk split time between the Thrashers and Devils

2008-09

Pittsburgh Penguins: Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby
Washington Capitals: Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom
Calgary Flames: Jarome Iginla, Mike Cammaleri
Philadelphia Flyers: Jeff Carter, Mike Richards
Vancouver Canucks: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin

2007-08

Detroit Red Wings: Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg
Tampa Bay Lightning: Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis
Ottawa Senators: Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley
Buffalo Sabres: Derek Roy, Jason Pominville

2006-07

Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin
Tampa Bay Lightning: Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis
Ottawa Senators: Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson
Atlanta Thrashers: Marian Hossa, Slava Kozlov
Colorado Avalanche: Joe Sakic, Andrew Brunette
Buffalo Sabres: Daniel Briere, Thomas Vanek
Calgary Flames: Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay
New York Rangers: Jaromir Jagr, Michael Nylander
Vancouver Canucks: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin
Carolina Hurricanes: Ray Whitney, Rod Brind'Amour

2005-06

San Jose Sharks: Joe Thornton*, Jonathan Cheechoo, Patrick Marleau
Ottawa Senators: Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza
Atlanta Thrashers: Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, Marc Savard
Tampa Bay Lightning: Brad Richards, Vinny Prospal
Anaheim Ducks: Teemu Selanne, Andy McDonald
New Jersey Devils: Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez
Detroit Red Wings: Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Brendan Shanahan, Nicklas Lidstrom
* Thornton split time between Boston and San Jose

Notice anything about these teams? Detroit and Pittsburgh are the only ones out of the lot who actually won the Stanley Cup in a particular year (2008 and 2009 respectively). The rest of these high-scoring squads fell short, even though they sometimes had three and four players with 80+ points. It's a note of caution for Oilers fans, who will no doubt see a lot of scoring in the regular season in years to come.

Sometimes a team had the building blocks for a championship but didn't get it done with two players having 80+ points, as in the case of the Anaheim Ducks from 2005-06 and 2006-07. Sometimes these teams got close but didn't win, like Ottawa or Vancouver.

Another thing of note is how much harder it has been getting to build a team with two or more 80 point players. The Oilers could be very uniquely positioned to do so, assuming that their kids all develop as planned. It doesn't guarantee success, as the Ottawa Senators can attest to, but it's a start. It'll be up to management to put it all together.

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