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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Goaltending, Getting Outshot, and "Scoring at Will"



Since last season (even before the shoulder injury), Shawn Horcoff has found a new home on the right side faceoff circle where he one-times everything Ales Hemsky throws at him. And apparently, he's pretty good at it.

It's mid-November and by now we're familiar with the fact that the Oilers get outshot in most games. Our goaltending has not been a problem this season thus far but the goaltending rotation has been - with 3 guys raring to prove their worth to the organization and each having played well and played poorly in separate stretches.

Will Garon start against Detroit in the rematch? Roloson has been playing well as of late and he will undoubtedly want a chance at redemption but traditionally when you play a team twice in a short time span you alternate goaltenders.

But now I must pose the question of whether getting outshot all the time is a "good thing" for the Edmonton Oilers, or whether its a "bad thing."

Good goaltending and timely goals
VS
Good goaltending and scoring at will

Edmonton @ Columbus - 11/18/08 w/ 7-2 WIN
The Oilers handed the Blue Jackets their own livers on a plate yesterday night when they beat them 7-2. Regardless, we were outshot 39-19 in this game - a total of 20 shots difference. This is an example where we simply outscored the opponent and featured superior goaltending. Penner was unleashed and the rest of the team including Pouliot and Gilbert came around and played great hockey.


Colorado @ Edmonton
- 10/12/08 w/ 3-2 WIN
This game was considerably closer and the Oilers beat the season opener against the AVs with a heckuva performance from Penner. Garon played great in this game and simply kept the Oilers in it, being outshot 33-19. The secondary scoring was not around in this game, as Penner and Garon singlehandedly won this game.

Edmonton @ Detroit - 11/17/08 w/ 4-0 LOSS
The Oilers were outshot 41-21 - a total of 20 shots difference, in this game against the Red Wings, the night before the Columbus game. Except in this version, they don't score 7 goals - in fact, they don't manage one. Perhaps getting shut out by Conklin was enough, or whether the ass-whooping itself was enough to let set the team free. Who knows. The fact is that Roloson was hung out to dry against the defending champs in this game.

Two other links:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=256461

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=256416

Conclusions:

  • The Edmonton Oilers are outshot in most games

  • The Edmonton Oilers play better when Dustin Penner has a good game

  • The Edmonton Oilers have good goaltending (given consistency as a prerequisite to personal success)

  • The Edmonton Oilers cannot afford to allow the Detroit Red Wings the space to outshoot them by 20 or more

  • Good goaltending doesn't always win games


  • That being said, there is still no answer as to whether the Oilers have been scoring timely goals or whether they are starting to finally "score at will." The next game against the Detroit Red Wings and subsequent games, whether or not we outshoot or get outshot by our opponents, will determine the answer.

    Let's hope that this Columbus game is a sign of things to come.

    GOILERS!

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    3 Comments:

    Blogger Addicted-to-oil said...

    Remember the '06 run? We were getting outshot all the time in those games. I think we need to look at the chances and where the shots are coming from. Personally I do think the opposition is getting more shots, and more opportunities than before. I also don't care if we get outshot 50-1, as long as we win 1-0.

    November 19, 2008 at 10:44 PM

     
    Blogger raventalon40 said...

    Shots on goal is a good indication because it means your team, if winning, is doing one of a few things:

    1) Converting on lower amounts of scoring chances
    2) Getting outplayed and outchanced
    3) Getting better quality scoring opportunities on lower chances (so better offensive players)
    4) Gained an early lead
    5) Playing better defensive hockey (great goaltending included)
    6) Some combination of the above

    All I'm saying is, we'll need to see if the Oilers can keep it up in the next game against a guy not named Leclaire who just came back from an ankle injury.

    The '06 run we were getting outshot but our scoring opportunities were golden when we converted on them. But Roloson also stood on his head and if I recall MacT employed his "it's not a trap but it looks like one" strategy to derail the Red Wings and Sharks.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:06 AM

     
    Blogger raventalon40 said...

    Also, how many shots usually (but not always) is a good indication of where the puck spent its time during the game.

    November 20, 2008 at 1:44 AM

     

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