• Promising

    by  • October 8, 2013 • Hockey • 7 Comments

    I’ve talked a little bit about how I’m following the 5v5 Corsi% that the Oilers put up pretty closely in the early going because I’ve got an idea that if the Oilers are going to make a big move this year, it’s going to involve a posting a much better Corsi% than last year’s abysmal 44.6%. It’s going to have to be so much better that we should see signs of this early – the Oilers consistently putting up performances that surpass or are near the best performances that they put up last year.

    I went through every three game stretch that the Oilers played last year and calculated the Corsi%. So games 1-3, 2-4 etc. That gives me 46 stretches. Then I counted how many times they had a three game stretch between 36% and 37%, 37% and 38% etc. That produces this graph.

    Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 1.51.36 AM

    You can see that the three game stretches are clustered around the mean of 44.6%. 32 of their 46 three game stretches saw them post a 5v5 Corsi% of between 42% and 47%. So about 69.5% of the time, they were within 2.5 points of where they ended up over their previous three games.

    Through the first three games of this year, the Oilers have posted a 50% Corsi%. It’s certainly possible that they caught a hot streak – they’ve played two home games – but the circumstances don’t suggest one to me. They’ve played two teams that are historically good teams in terms Corsi% and they’ve done it without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (for one game) and Sam Gagner for three. Yes, they’re 1-2-0 but the shape of things is different than last year. It’s very early but putting up a 50% Corsi% over three games is so far removed from what they did last year that it’s a pretty promising sign.

    Promising signs.

    Email Tyler Dellow at tyler@mc79hockey.com

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    7 Responses to Promising

    1. October 8, 2013 at

      The biggest concern for me in that regard is how much they’ve been playing from behind in these three games, and how poor their Corsi % is with the game tied or close. They obviously played from behind a bunch last year too, so that doesn’t exactly invalidate what you’ve said here, but I’m still more “wait and see” than I am encouraged by their play through three games.

    2. Tyler Dellow
      October 8, 2013 at

      Even with the score tied, they’re at only -5, most of which was the Vancouver game.

      • October 8, 2013 at

        I guess that’s what I’m getting at. Right now -5 is the same as 46.5%. One of those sounds reasonably good, the other not so much. I don’t think we have enough data to be really encouraged about the team’s ability to carry the play at evens. Even if it’s very likely that they’ll be better this year than last, at the gap from last year’s results just to mediocre is large.

        • Tyler Dellow
          October 8, 2013 at

          Thing is…even with all that time spent trailing last year, they pulled this off once. It involved the Colorado game where they came back too, which was basically an entire game of score effects. I hear you on score effects but to me, they were there last year too and nothing.

          I dunno. We’ll see I guess.

          • October 9, 2013 at

            I recognize that it would be unlikely for the team to do this well if they’re just as bad this season as they were last. They’re probably not, in part because it’s not likely for any team to be that bad. I just don’t find beating last year’s team all that encouraging. Their Corsi was just 44.6%. If they move up to, say, 47.5% this year, that’s a pretty big move but it’s still awful.

            • Tyler Dellow
              October 9, 2013 at

              Ah – gotcha.

              Yeah, I’m not saying that they’re a 50% team or anything yet. Too early. The first step was always establishing that last year was as much a tactical/coaching issue as anything else.

    3. Travis Bouchard
      October 8, 2013 at

      Good to know the underlying stats point to a step being taken. It’s hard to celebrate though when it’s coupled with two uninspiring losses and a historic comeback (5th time in team history they’ve come back from 3 goals in the 3rd to win).

      I guess that’s another point in the column for stats over eyes.

      Small gripe in the article: they were without RNH for 2 games.

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