ve record this season, allowing 2.64 goals per
How do you tell an impossibly patient fan base that they need to exercise more patience? Its hard not to be sympathetic with Edmonton Oilers fans right now. Josh Jackson Packers Jersey . They have endured at least three separate rebuilds, which varied in degrees of futility. An off-season of expenditures and the furthered development of a few of their young superstars at least created an avenue for the Oilers to finally emerge from hockey darkness. Then, the team ran off a 7-19-5 start to the season, and here we are again, talking about the draft lottery in December in Edmonton. The team fired head coach Dallas Eakins on Monday morning, likely for the same reasons that applied in Ottawa – the front office felt or feels as though that coaching has been a drag on the collection of talent, and that the current roster should be outperforming its 0.61 point-per-game pace. Whether its a defence of Eakins or a defence of MacTavish, though, theres one thing to consider about this years Edmonton Oilers team – theyre better than teams in the past. Its extremely important to note a couple of things here: one, the bar has been set so pitifully low, its hard not to be better; two, this isnt suggesting that the current team is any good – just simply an improvement over teams of yesteryear. First, lets look at the score-adjusted possession numbers for the Oilers since the 2008-2009 season. One would assume that this years team, who has won just one of their last sixteen games, would be one of the franchises worst in recent history. 50% is break-even here, signaling a team that basically controls possession as much as their opposition does over the course of a season. As you can see, Edmontons been abysmal for seemingly forever. But, this years team is probably the first team thats not getting absolutely smoked at 5-on-5. And remember, we care about possession because (a) its a repeatable skill; that (b) is a strong predictor of future goal-scoring (and, consequently, winning hockey games). A quick look at this graph, and its hard to ignore that the teams made definitive improvements for the first time at controlling play from a territorial aspect. Its still ugly, but less ugly than what were accustomed to. So, how exactly is an improving possession team getting absolutely slaughtered in the standings? Thats tied up in the percentages. Lets look at Edmontons PDO over the years. Remember, PDO is simply the sum of the teams shooting percentage and save percentage, expressed as a whole number like 1000. 1000 is where most teams regress to long-term, because both shooting percentages and save percentages are primarily luck-driven, or largely out of the teams control. Ive chosen to use a 25-game moving average to smooth out wild game-to-game fluctuations. Ive also provided a vertical cut-off line to signal the start of the 2014-2015 season. As you can see, theres really no pattern here. The teams probably spent a bit more time under the 1000 mark than above it, primarily because the goaltending has been so shoddy for years. But, for the most part, PDO bounces around in Edmonton like it does everywhere else. I know this because I look at the last five low points – identified for your convenience through those red-colored arrows – and watch PDO continually regress back to the league average. However, whenever a number is absurdly low – as is Edmontons 9670 PDO right now – I think it always warrants further investigation. I have heard the shot quality arguments the same as anyone else, that the goaltending simply cant be that bad, and that the team is quite possibly hanging out the goaltender to dry. Heres a third graph/table to consider: hexagonal bin plots provided by War on Ice to illustrate shot distance against and shooting percentage against Edmonton this season. Intuitively, one would think that if the team was hanging the goaltender out to dry, there would be a surplus of shots against from dangerous areas. On both graphs, you have red and blue bubbles. Red is bad – on the left graph, it means a higher than average propensity of shots are being generated from that area, and on the right graph, it means a higher than average propensity of shots are being scored from that area. Blue is good – on the left graph, it means a lower than average propensity of shots are being generated from that area, and on the right graph, it means a lower than average propensity of shots are being scored from that area. I dont think this is a cut and dry argument – its one way to look at things. But, in this one way to look at things, I think you want to point the finger at poor goaltending. Thats not to say the defense has been good – again, we know Edmontons still a negative possession team, and theres a very real possibility that some of the regular skaters are negatively influencing scoring through poor defensive play. That said, on our ‘defensive graph (left), we see an Edmonton team thats actually done OK at limiting scoring chances in the low/middle danger areas in front of the crease. On the other hand, look at the right graph – Edmonton goaltending has stopped shots at a subpar rate at every area of the ice, including those of shots taken from outside of the scoring chance area. In summation: (1) Edmontons likely improved this season; (2) The teams improvement is being masked by brutally unfavorable percentages; (3) It is possible that subpar talent in net is partially contributing to the teams ugly PDO. And, unfortunately, (41f61f Edmonton, as a proximate result of the miserable start under Dallas Eakins, will miss the post-season. Again. Custom Green Bay Packers Jerseys .com) - Roosevelt Jones had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead No. Oren Burks Jersey .com) - The disappointing Ottawa Senators hope to record consecutive wins for the first time since early November, as they visit the Boston Bruins on Friday for the opener of a home-and-home series. .Ryan Anderson had 14 points for the Pelicans, who trailed 78-63 after three periods before trimming the deficit to 86-83. Jrue Holiday had 13 points and Eric Gordon added 12 for New Orleans.Mike Scott and Jeff Teague each had 11 points for Atlanta.A few weeks back, I looked into the scoring chance tracking done at War on Ice, comparing scoring chance rates to shot attempt rates for individual players. Now, for more of a macro look at team-level results, comparing goals for and against, scoring chances for and against, and shot attempts for and against to see if its possible to get a better grasp on the ever-elusive shot quality. Ive compiled some ratios, looking at goals, scoring chances and shot attempts, using colour scales to help identify outliers. (All measures during 5-on-5 play) (G - Goals, SA - Shot Attempts, SC - Scoring Chances) When it comes to goals per shot attempts, its not a surprise to see non-playoff teams languishing near the bottom, but San Jose, Los Angeles and Boston are also at the bottom of the range. Given that L.A. and Boston are in the Top 10 of shot attempt differential, the low-percentage finishing has an impact on their offensive production. On goals per scoring chance, the Rangers, Predators, Blues, Avalanche and Panthers are getting goals at the highest rate per scoring chance, but that could reveal a little something about their respective attacks. Nashville, for example, has 22 even-strength goals from their defencemen, while Carolina has seven. Given the qualifications for scoring chances, teams that get more goals from the point could have a higher percentage of non-scoring chances that ultimately result in goals. Otherwise, San Jose, Los Angeles and Boston remain in the lower tier, not taking advantage of opportunities. As for scoring chances per shot attempt, the Tampa Bay Lightning are far and away the leaders in percentage of shot attempts that count as scoring chances. That offers some support for converting the highest percentage of 5-on-5 shot attempts into goals and backs them up as the leagues highest-scoring team. Theyre high-percentage finishers, but not outrageously so and the quality of opportunities suggest that they should score on a relatively high percentage of shot attempts. Notably, both Dallas and Toronto ranked highly in terms of goals per shot attempt and scoring chances per shot attempt. The Stars are one of the highest-scoring teams in the league and the Maple Leafs were before their pre-All-Star drought. At the bottom of scoring chances per shot attempt chart sits the Florida Panthers, which is interesting because of the juxtaposition. The Panthers are one of the leagues lowest-scoring teams but, as noted above, they actually finish on a relatively high percentage of their scoring chances, rare as they may be. Thats the offensive side. How does it look in terms of goals, scoring chances and shot attempts allowed? Defensively, Nashville, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg and the Rangers allow the lowest percentage of goals per shot atttempt. JMon Moore Packers Jersey. Certainly something to be said for quality goaltending. But if good goaltending can save teams, the opposite is true at the bottom end of the chart. Minnesota, Edmonton, Arizona, Columbus and Dallas are allowing the most goals per shot attempt during 5-on-5 play. For the most part, those teams have had poor goaltending this year. Minnesota and Edmonton stand out, in the wrong way because they are middle of the road in terms of scoring chances allowed, but goals per scoring chance and goals per shot attempts are right at the bottom. Lets not attribute all of this to goaltending, though, because part of this exercise is to look at shot quality, at least in terms of recorded scoring chances. The teams allowing the lowest goals-per-scoring chance arent especially surprising. Nashville, led by Pekka Rinne, and Montreal, led by Carey Price, are 1-2 again, with Colorado, Winnipeg and St. Louis rounding out the Top Five. The contributions of rookies Calvin Pickard, in Colorado, and Michael Hutchinson, in Winnipeg, have been positive in relatively limited playing time. Most of the teams allowing more goals per scoring chance are teams that have allowed a lot of goals overall but, again, the Florida Panthers stand out. The Panthers have a middle-of-the-road defensive record this season, allowing 2.64 goals per game (tied for 16th) and 30.3 shots per game (20th), but they are among the worst in terms of goals-per -scoring-chance-allowed ratio. What makes this fascinating is that the Panthers also happen to surrender the lowest percentage of scoring chances per shot attempt. If we combine this with the offensive findings, it appears that the Panthers are somewhat fortunate despite few scoring opportunities, while they are a legitimately strong defensive team that is, unfortunately, surrendering goals on a high percentage of the relatively few scoring chances that they do allow. Which brings us to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team that is far-and-away allowing the highest percentage of scoring chances per shot attempt. While Florida, Nashville, the New York Rangers, Anaheim and Ottawa are allowing the lowest percentage of scoring chances, relative to shot attempts, the Leafs are in a class of their own at the bottom behind Tampa Bay, Carolina and the New York Islanders. This is where trouble comes home to roost for the Leafs, though. Not only do they allow a high-percentage of scoring chances -- thats bad enough -- but they also allow more shot attempts than any non-Buffalo-Sabres entry. A poor shot attempt differential is one thing, and important in its own right, but getting further burned on shot quality is utterly crushing. 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