It’s been a pretty quiet off season for us Oilers’ fans save for the ill-fated Heatley trade proposal leak. We’ve seen a change at the helm in terms of Craig MacTavish out and Tom Renney and Pat Quinn in. Other than to completely state the obvious, we’ve replaced Roli with Nikolai Khabibulin. To address the goalie change, it seems like it will be of dubious value since any potential incremental improvement resulting from the Bulin wall factor will be mitigated by him playing far less games than Dwayne Roloson.
As for the coaching, the Oilers fans wanted a head to roll after three consecutive seasons of missing the playoffs. From the fans’ perspective, I’ve read everything from Macblender (reflecting his constant line mixing) to the fact that he was simply ‘out coached’ be nearly every coach in the league. Though MacT will never likely get an honorary Phd in Psychology nor go on a motivational world tour with Anthony Robbins, it seems that he did do some things right. After pouring over statzis like Derek Zona, MC79 hockey, and Vic Ferrari, it appears that MacT did a pretty decent job in my opinion at least in terms of line matching and choosing who was on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs. Perhaps, some of his bizarre decisions such as Smid on the wing or Reddox on 1Lw were meant to send a message to management that roster changes were needed or desired. MacT spent much of the year putting various players in the dog house, ultimately, he became the sole proprietor of the dog house that he himself had created.
On the bright side, the one thing that we have to look forward to most is the Lubo Factor. Yes, a healthy Lubomir Visnovsky as it is currently rumored is the brightest hope that Oilers’ fans currently have. On one hockey forum, some poster who I cannot recall suggested that the loss of Lubo to injury adversely affected Ales Hemsky’s production. Though it’s not hard to see that Hemsky’s point production declined after Lubo was injured, it certainly could have resulted from other factors.
- Boxcars: 50gp, 8-23-31 30pims
- Plus Minus: +6
- Corsi: +5.8
- GF/GA ON: 37-27
What do these numbers tell us?
First, they are only even strength numbers as I was unable to find similar number for power play time. In terms of defense, both Luvo and Hemmer leak less goals when playing together at even strength rather than apart. As well, Hemmer leaked more goals/20 when playing without Lubo than Lubo did without Hemmer.
In terms of offense, Hemmer’s even strength goals/20 declined from 0.976 to 0.867 when playing without lubo. However, from my rough calculations (not presented here), this difference would have resulted in perhaps 1 more GF over the course of the season had Lubo not been injured (assuming they played a similar amount of time together).
When looking at these stats together, something obvious does jump out. Together Hemmer and Lubo went 13-7 GF/GA, yet when Hemsky played without Lubo, he went 33-36 GF/GA at even strength.
At even strength in terms of goals scored while he was on the ice, Hemmer did miss Lubo but not really to a very significant degree. However, in terms of GF/GA ratios, Hemmer was overall much more effective at even strength when playing with Lubo. Surprisingly perhaps, this ratio was more affected by the increase in goals against without Lubo more so than the decline in offensive production in his absence.