We pay attention to Corsi% close because it’s a measure of how likely your team is to score the next goal when a hockey game is close – within a goal in the first two periods and tied in the third. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Oilers’ Corsi% close in their last ten games, 55.3%, is their best number of the calendar year of 2013.
It’s actually more than that – it’s their best number since at least the start of the 2007-08 season.
Realistically, it’s probably their best number since some point in 2005-06, which is kind of impressive. Amusingly, their worst ten game stretch since 2007-08 was the ten games that immediately preceded these ten games, at 39.1%. It’s a pretty schizophrenic group, although I continue to think that there may have been a tactical decision that produced really bad Corsi% close for about fifteen games that they changed around the time of the Columbus game. We’ll see how things hold up now that the schedule is tougher.
Other notes of interest: man, did Steve Tambellini probably screw up when he roused himself from his torpor and fired Tom Renney. I went through and graphed the five coaches that the Oilers have had.
You can see that there are certain similarities with Renney and MacTavish. Both had two seasons in this period, for one. More interesting, both had better second seasons than the first. MacT’s 07-08 team had a Corsi% close of 45.1%; the next year it was 47.3%. Things collapsed with Quinn (44.9%) but I’ve long suspected that if MacTavish had coached that team, the Grand Collapse wouldn’t have been as severe.
Thing were even worse in Renney’s first year – 43.6%. In 2011-12 though, things had improved to 47%, with the last 62 games being played at a 47.8% rate. Renney was then fired and things were awful with Krueger. You wonder how things might have been different if the Oilers had left Renney in place. They might reasonably have been expected to be more competitive in the 2012-13 season, which may well have saved Tambellini’s job.
In any event, this has been a pretty interesting ten games. The Oilers have had good stretches as far as the record goes since 2007-08 but they’ve generally been dependent on the percentages. The last ten games – legitimate complaints about horrific miscues notwithstanding – have been the best possession hockey we’ve seen from the Oilers since probably 2006.
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