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.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

01/12/12 It Takes More Than A Good Powerplay


The powerplay is likely to be the bread and butter of the Edmonton Oilers for the foreseeable future; at least until the youngsters find their way at even strength. So does that  typically translate into a playoff spot?

In order to find the answer to that question, I looked at the top ten powerplay teams during each regular season since the last lockout and how many of them made the playoffs. Here are the numbers:

2011-12: 6 of top ten powerplay teams qualified for the playoffs
2010-11: 8 of top ten powerplay teams qualified for the playoffs
2009-10: 7 of top ten powerplay teams qualified for the playoffs
2008-09: 7 of top ten powerplay teams qualified for the playoffs
2007-08: 7 of top ten powerplay teams qualified for the playoffs
2006-07: 7 of top ten powerplay teams qualified for the playoffs
2005-06: 7 of top ten powerplay teams qualified for the playoffs

So having a good powerplay certainly helps. But how many of these playoff teams were also in the bottom third of the league in 5x5 scoring (like the Oilers were in 2011-12)?

2011-12: 1 team (Florida)
2010-11: 2 teams (Anaheim, Montreal)
2009-10: 3 teams (Montreal, Philadelphia, Detroit)
2008-09: 2 teams (San Jose, St. Louis)
2007-08: 1 team (Philadelphia)
2006-07: 2 teams (Minnesota, Dallas)
2005-06: 0 teams

This shows how important it is to score at even strength. Very few of the playoff teams with top ten powerplays were able to overcome a weak scoring punch at 5x5. An average of 7 teams per year with top ten powerplays made the playoffs, but of those only 1.5 per year had bottom-third even strength scoring.

The Oilers missed the playoffs last year with the third-best powerplay in the NHL because they were 22nd in scoring at even strength. The good news is that they aren't starting from the very bottom at even strength, but they're going to have to bring their best to make the playoffs.

No comments:

Post a Comment