Saturday, January 24, 2009

Scoring Chances - Games 11-20

This is a closer look at the Oilers' scoring chances for games eleven through twenty logged by Dennis here. There is a lot of interesting discussion there under almost every game with a lot of helpful contributions from Vic and Bruce in particular. I would encourage anyone interested in this discussion to head over there throughout the season and join in.

(For those unfamiliar with the metric a player is awarded a chance any time someone on the ice has a chance to score. He is awarded with a “chance for” if someone on his team has a chance and awarded with a “chance against” if someone on the opposing team has a chance to score. The results are broken down into three game states, EV (even strength), PP (Power Play) and SH (Short-Handed). The players are all organized according to their jersey numbers.)

Games Eleven Through Twenty, November 2 to November 20

This ten game segment includes the experimental 18-89-83 line which didn't work out well at all as far as scoring chances are concerned. This may also reflect Horcoff’s importance to Hemsky in his role as an outscorer, although that sentiment may need to be somewhat tempered since he was being replaced by a 19-year-old centerman and the line was also saddled with 18 on the left flank who hasn't had good results with anyone this season.

Penner was pressboxed for games 17 and 18. His EV scoring chances in the two games following were 03/09 which means in the six games prior to his benching he was 24/17. I suppose he must have looked lazy on a few plays but that’s a pretty good six game stretch to be punished for and while the conventional wisdom is that he responded to MacT’s tongue-lashing well, it looks like that had a lot more to do with an immediate increase in time on the PP than an immediate improvement in his overall play. His PP stats are 06/00 in the six games before the benching and 10/01 in the two games after which is entirely a function of his TOI.

Nilsson really struggled during this ten game stretch but his benching doesn’t come until later.

Game 20 is Smid’s first as a forward. The numbers here make it jawdropping that MacT didn’t change the 43 and 24 pairing as soon as Smid was avaliable but their performance early on in the season looks to have bought them some loyalty.

The PK is awful during this stretch and while the problems are probably systemic, Staios and Horcoff do stand out as being on for a whole lot of chances against.

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