2013 Edmonton Oilers
The old saying is “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
Times have begun to change in the NHL.
While the sophisticated statistics that define baseball have not transferred to hockey wholly, stats have become an important part of the game for fans, media and management.
A statistic like the Corsi Number has become increasingly cited for instance.
Basically, the Corsi Number is the shot differential when a player is on the ice—including actual shots, shots at goal, and at times, blocked shots.
The Neilson Number, the measurement of a player’s contribution to scoring chances for and against, is another metric that many everyday fans do not see.
However, there are some key statistics that have been used for many years that help to illustrate the Oilers in 2013.
Here are the five most important player and team statistics from the Edmonton Oilers’ 2013 season.
Oilers' power-play celebration
The Oilers’ power-play percentage has been very good all year and has been in the top five in the league for the better part of 2013.
It is important because it reflects the excellent top-end talent that the Oilers have assembled over the past five years.
Additionally, it is one aspect of the game that is influenced directly by coaching.
Ralph Krueger had a positive effect on it last year, and this has continued in 2013.
While the team needs a lot of work in its five-on-five game, the same does not hold true on the power play.
Colorado scoring on the Oilers
The Oilers were 18th in the league as of Sunday in this category, and this has been a significant factor in the team missing the playoffs again this season.
While the special teams have been relatively good, teams still play more time at even strength than otherwise.
This statistic exposes the lack of depth for the Oilers, and in particular, there have been too many nights when the Oilers’ bottom six forwards or their third defensive pairing have been overmatched.
This statistic must improve next year.
This statistic is important because it should put to rest any discussion that Devan Dubnyk is not ready to be an NHL starter.
While he has let in some soft goals this year, Dubnyk has kept the Oilers in several games this year when they were badly outplayed.
As of Sunday night, Dubnyk had a save percentage of .921 and has been just outside the top 10 in the league for most of the season for starting goaltenders.
On a team that has not played well defensively for the majority of the season, this demonstrates Dubnyk’s excellent play in most games.
Finding a veteran backup is the next step for the organization for 2013-14.
For those doubters who wondered if selecting Taylor Hall ahead of Tyler Seguin was a mistake, this year should reinforce that Hall was the right choice for the Oilers.
While Seguin has been an important player for the Bruins this season, Taylor Hall is now on the cusp of becoming a superstar.
As of Sunday night, Hall had 45 points and was in the top 15 in scoring in the NHL.
Hall established himself as the Oilers’ offensive leader this year, and if he continues this play in the first part of next season, he should be playing in Sochi in 2014 provided NHLers compete in the Olympics.
Rexall Place in Edmonton
Following the loss on Sunday evening to the Anaheim Ducks, the Oilers’ home record was the third-worst in the league.
This statistic is the most important in explaining why the Oilers are no longer in the playoff picture.
Despite having one of the NHL’s fastest ice surfaces, some of the most loyal fans and most exciting young players playing in Edmonton, the Oilers have been underwhelming at home.
While the Oilers’ road record has been in the middle of the pack this year, the Oilers have to make huge strides next year on home ice if they want to make it to the NHL’s second season.