What In Sam’s Hell is Going On?

mcdavid

Well, the wheels are falling off of the bus and we’re veering into the ditch. Edmonton is 4-5-1 in their last ten games now but have the games really been that bad?

After every game I head over to G Money’s website and read his post-gamers because he recaps the game in a common tongue even though he’s using some mad stats to show you how the Oilers were successful or not. You can check that site out HERE.

I want to quote what he said in his latest game review because I think what he says is something as fans we lose touch with when the Oilers are winning AND most of all when they are losing. And honestly, if any fan in this generation knew a thing or two about losing, wouldn’t it be Oilers fans?

You know, one of the things I try to do here and on Twitter is provide a level, objective assessment of every game. (Sometimes I fail because I am first and foremost a fan.)

One of the things you have to try and do to make that happen is, believe it or not, ignore the score. The score in any one game is affected by all kinds of weird and wacky things. In the short term, it can and does diverge – sometimes widely – from the underlying process. All the time.

Over the long term, though, the score and the scores do tend to align strongly with the underlying process.

It’s the process that matters in the big picture. That’s what we’re trying to measure with all these stupid fancystats.

When it comes to process, the Oilers had unsustainably good sh% & chances vs shots conversion (that is to say, they were converting their poor shot rates to dangerous chances at an unsustainably high pace) early in the season. (And I went on record and said so).

Right now, as painful as this streak of losses is (and losses tend to be more painful than wins), the situation is just the opposite. The Oilers are having unsustainably bad sh% & chances vs shots conversion (that is to say, they are converting excellent shot rates to dangerous chances at an unsustainably low pace) lately. They’re missing wide open nets, multiple times a game.

Just as the good streak inevitably ended, so too will this bad streak, and probably soon. (I’m going on record in saying so).

The Oilers were nowhere near as good as the early winning streak said we were.

The Oiler are nowhere near as bad as this recent losing streak says we are.

Seriously. We’ve been through 10 years now where the underlying numbers have confirmed that this team was complete and utter sh*t.

This year, we are not sh*t! At long last! The underlying process now – even with the woeful effort in the third period in this game, and it really was abysmal – is noticeably better than it has been in the past. It is what will drive the longer term results.

If you check out G’s site and read the review of the Ducks game from yesterday, you HAVE to check out the shot charts… It’s unreal! The Oilers should’ve won that game but they couldn’t capitalize no their chances and they couldn’t stop  Anaheim from scoring on theirs… Riz-diculous I say!

IMAGINE IF WE HAD…

The Hall-ogists are coming out now in full force now that the 2ndary scoring has dried up a bit. So, I wanted to take a look at how Hall, Lucic, Demers, and Larsson are doing this year via stats.hockeyanalysis.com and compare them.

My findings (5×5, 50 minutes minimum) are thus:

Name TOI Pts/60 Shots/60 CF% CF60 RelTM  CA60  RelTM
Lucic 246 .97 5.11 53 3.19 -1.27
Hall 220 1.64 7.6 51.3 5.78 2.38
Demers 244 .74 3.19 54.5 6.88 -2.15
Larsson 301 .40 3.38 51.4 2.37 1.88

So by all accounts and no surprises, Hall is dominating Lucic on almost every level here. That is Taylor Hall’s M.O. and his job really but Milan Lucic wasn’t a 1st overall pick either. Hall absolutely should be putting up massive offensive numbers and the fact that he still isn’t has to be a helluva lot more thought provoking than how he compares to Lucic’s production so far.

Sure, they make the same amount of money but they’ve also accrued the same amount of goals this year (5). Maybe we should compare Pat Maroon’s production to Hall’s because that’s who is playing in Taylor’s spot right now.

When you think about it, who should really be in a position to make the playoffs more at this point, Edmonton or New Jersey?

As for Demers vs. Larsson, do we need to take into account that they are very different styles of dman or should we leave that out? In any event, Demers takes the cake in stats like CF%, CA60 RelTM, and Pts/60. Whereas Larrson has the edge in TOI, Shots/60, and CA60 RelTM. I really want to call that one a draw.

As G Money says above, the boys are in an unsustainable funk but are bound to beat it. I don’t subscribe to the idea that if the Oilers had Hall and Demers instead of Lucic and Larsson that they’d be winning these games. It’s possible but I’ve seen too many years of Hall dropping off of the face of the earth when the team needed him most to believe that he’d shed that skin and things would be different.

THE SKID

How can the Oilers get off this path of mediocrity?

  • Give Cam Talbot a bloody rest!!
    • The guy just had twins and he’s on pace to play 77 games. Grant Fuhr he is not!!
  • Stop with the McBlender.
    • It’s telling me that the coaching staff has no idea what to do with their roster and if the head of the ship has no discerning clue as to the direction his ship should be going, that’s a yellow flag.
    • If Toddy Mac wants to double shift McDavid, do it. But be consistent with the lines.

I was really enjoying watching Tyler Pitlick up with McDavid and we do know that Jordan Eberle has had success with Nugent-Hopkins in the past… Draisaitl-Lucic-Kassian was looking sexy too!

I feel for Anton Slepyshev. He’s been super impressive to my eye this year and he can’t catch a break. I’ve loved his intensity and ability to get that puck on the net. When does he get a chance with 97? I know he took some shifts with 93 and didn’t look completely out of place. So when the team is losing consistently like this, what’s the hurt in trying Ol’ Slepy on the 1st line? We did it with “Lance” and that worked out OK.

Now I’m not saying that Pitlick, Slepyshev, and Kassian should spend an extended amount of time in the “top 6” but they add a fresh and youthful element to it from time to time. Jesse Puljujarvi has been getting better and better but, to me, Slepyshev, Pitlick, and Kassian have given me more to think about whilst watching them.

What do you think? What should the Oilers do? Let us know in the comments below!

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Myles

    When is larsson going to be put on the PP???? He has one of the better shots on the team no??? Why did we run Hall out of town if we werent getting the PP QB that we have needed so badly for years???

    • Beer League Hero

      That’s a good question. I believe that Larsson is a very intelligent defender but I also believe that he prefers to play the role of defensive defenceman. With that being said, we’ve got a very good hockey player in Adam Larsson and we’ve got him for a long time at a good price point. All we need is Brent Burns now 🙂

  • Joe

    Does Puljujarvi have a ruptured tendon?

    I completely agree that McLellan doesn’t seem to know what his lines should be. This really bothers me because lines work, or don’t, because of their own chemistry, and the proper role of a good coach is to exercise creative vision in putting lines together. With McLellan the approach is endless trail and error where if it doesn’t work right away, change it, … and then change it, and then change it. When players work together and know one another they mentally adapt on their own to changing opposing circumstances. With McLellan’s flip-flopping of lines, he’s taking on the role of the adapter, as if the players are mix-and-match non-adaptive automatons. Ultimately, on the ice, it’s the players that have to out-adapt the opposition, and they’re not going to learn to do that without playing together for an extended period of time under varying circumstances.

    • Beer League Hero

      I am not sure what’s going on with Pulju. I think he’s just getting a rest and a chance to watch the game from above.

      I really like your thoughts on McLellan here. Very nice.

  • Tippy

    McClellan to me looks absolutely lost out there doesn’t know what’s up or down maybe he has peeked and his coaching staff wow he should have left them in San Jose

    • Beer League Hero

      Yeah, I’m not too sure either. You kinda have to give him the benefit of the doubt due to his experience but good lord, watching him mess about with the lines like that is not reassuring.

      • Tippy

        Well if he loses that room we are *ucked obviously he missing something experience don’t mean crap if that was the case he’d figure it out