Sunday, March 1, 2009

Are the Oilers Bad or Unlucky at Home?

The home and road records of the Edmonton Oilers this season are a curious thing. It certainly seems like the Oilers are either outperforming on the road or underperforming at home. Here’s a look at how the Oilers have done historically under head coach Craig MacTavish:

2000-01 is 23-9-7-2 and 16-19-5-1 for 42% more points at home
2001-02 is 23-14-4-0 and 15-14-8-4 for 19% more points at home
2002-03 is 20-12-5-4 and 16-14-6-5 for 14% more points at home
2003-04 is 22-12-4-3 and 14-17-8-2 for 34% more points at home
2005-06 is 20-15-6 and 21-13-7 for 6% fewer points at home
2006-07 is 19-19-3 and 13-24-4 for 37% more points at home
2007-08 is 23-17-1 and 18-18-5 for 15% more points at home
2008-09 is 15-12-4 and 16-14-1 for 3% more points at home

This would seem to confirm the previous supposition. The ratio of points that the Edmonton Oilers have acheived at home as compared to on the road is low relative to the historical norms established under coach Craig MacTavish. I think that most fans, being optimistically pessimistic, like to think that their team is actually good, ergo, they must be underperforming at home those useless bums. But is that the case? Let’s take a look at the Oilers Pythagorean winning percentage (SO goals excluded) in both instances:

Home Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 0.494
Home Actual Winning Percentage: 0.484
Road Pythagorean Winning Percentage: 0.425
Road Actual Winning Percentage: 0.516

At least in terms of goal differential, the Oilers are not really a “bad home team;” what they are is a bad team that has been very lucky on the road. So be thankful Oiler fans, Yahweh is on our side!

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