The second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs resumes this Thursday for the Edmonton Oilers as they’ll travel to the Pond in Anaheim to take on those nasty Ducks. I’m anticipating some old schools shenanigans from Kesler, Bieksa, and Perry and I’ll be keeping a close eye on how close those three get to Cam Talbot.
Maybe Eric Gryba gets a game in here as a deterrent.
But here’s the thing. The Ducks have no forwards to match-up with Connor McDavid so they might have their hands full trying to sort that little problem out. Check out these numbers (5×5 btw):
Over the course of the 2016/17 season, McDavid managed to score 5 goals against the Pacific Division Champs and was on the ice for 1 goal against in 85 minutes. His per 60 metrics vs. Anaheim gather from Corsica.hockey are as follows:
So if you aren’t familiar with what those numbers are telling us, and I’m not a fancy stats expert, they’re saying that When Connor McDavid is on the ice against the Anaheim Ducks at 5×5, he’ll score nearly 5X more goals for than goals will be scored against.
Ignore the PDO of 107 though as that’ll make all of this look a little bit less shiny and optimistic.
But I regress…
Now to get more specific, according to Stats.hockeyanalysis.com, Ryan Kesler spent 50:01 minutes of ice-time playing against 97, the most of any player in the league this year, but McDavid averaged over 3.59 goals for per 60 minutes and 1.2 goals against per 60 while playing against him.
What about Ryan Getzlaf? Well, Connor McDavid only lined up for a shade over 21 minutes from Anaheim’s bald-headed wonder and McDavid averaged over 5.5 goals for per 60 minutes and ZERO goals against per 60 minutes…
As for Anaheim’s other pivots:
Antoine Vermette – McDavid averaged 5.7 goals for per 60 and ZERO goals against when on the ice with the “Slasher of Refs” in just over 10 minutes of play this year.
Nate Thompson – McDavid and Thompson didn’t share the ice this year at 5×5 apparently.
But What About a Defensive Pair?
If I were Randy Carlyle, I might make sure that Cam Fowler, if he’s playing, and Hampus Lindholm are on the ice any time Connor is; as it seems they did “okay” when tasked with shutting down the 2016/17 NHL Art Ross Trophy winner.
Fowler (35:52 TOI): McDavid only had 1.76 goals for per 60 when he was playing against Fowler.
Lindholm (40:22 TOI): Connor had 2.97 goals for per 60 when on the same ice as Lindholm.
Compare that with the pair of defensemen that the San Jose Sharks just deployed to keep McDavid at bay and Anaheim might just have something. Here are Vlasic and Braun’s numbers:
Here are Vlasic and Braun’s numbers:
Vlasic (59:47 TOI): McDavid put up 5.02 GF60 on Pickles.
Braun (54:35 TOI): Connor had 5.5 GF60 while stickhandling around Justin Braun.
WOOF San Jose!
But here’s where Todd McLellan gets shifty.
Take a gander at Lindholm and Fowler’s per 60 metrics versus Leon Draisaitl…
Lindholm (39.43 TOI): Draisaitl racked up 3.02 GF60!
Fowler (26:57 TOI): 4.45 GF60 is what the big German tossed up on Fowler!
So Lindholm’s #s against Connor and Leon are quite similar whereas Fowler seemed to have had a much better time lining up across from McDavid than Draisaitl. I wonder if this simply comes down to a bad physical matchup?
I wonder if this simply comes down to a bad physical matchup? Fowler is probably the only Ducks defender that can keep up with McDavid but Draisaitl can just swat him away like a mosquito.
The Nuge, what do the Oilers do with him? Well, I’ll tell you what they shouldn’t do with him and that’s put him on the ice at the same time as Ryan Getzlaf.. Nuge has a GF60 of ZERO and a GA60 of 3.1 when sharing the ice with Getzlaf.
I’d make sure RNH is out there vs. Antoine Vermette if I were in charge. He wouldn’t win a lot of face-offs (if any) but in the 15 minutes Nugent-Hopkins played versus Vermette this past season, he had a GF60 of nearly 4 (3.8) and a GA60 of 0.00.
Scary stuff there between Nuge and Getzlaf but then again, Nugey didn’t have a great season this year stat-wise.
I just spouted off using a few metrics to attempt to tell you that the Oilers are in good shape versus the Ducks from an offensive point of view but let’s not fool ourselves, the Anaheim Ducks are still a good hockey team and any letting off of the gas by the Oilers here could severely dampen their chances at an appearance in the Stanley Cup final. The Oilers MUST attack the Ducks from the get go. Shock and Awe baby!!
Does Todd McLellan go the three-headed dragon route vs. the Ducks when they’re in Anaheim?
What would you do? Let us know in the comments below!