From Lowetide’s HFesque 6-2-1 revelry thread:
The team must have a great locker-room right now given a) the wins and b) how well they’re compensating for each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Some stats might be unsustainable, but honestly, those can be compensated for as well.
Me? I look at the last 9 games and rather than seeing unsustainable numbers or a weak schedule I see proof that it’s at least possible for the team to play and/or win at this level. They might fail miserably, or they might take the div/cup, but at this point they’ve at least shown that they *can* hit that top end, and frankly, that’s all I care about.
The Oilers have been outshot 300-226 to date. I’ve had my head buried in other matters, but about all you can take from the results to date is that any team can get results in a short period. You can get a quick and dirty feel for this by just adding up a team’s save percentage and shooting percentage for a given span of games. The Bruins led the league in shooting percentage and save percentage last year; they added up to 103.4%. The Oilers are currently at 107.3%. I haven’t seen enough games to really have any opinions about what’s going on but you don’t make the playoffs like this. The shooting rates will presumably get closer over time; 300-226 is horrific, but it’ll take a lot to make up for the percentages falling back to earth. Gabe Desjardins has a fine post along the same lines here.
The record’s all fine and well and the Oilers are close enough that the bounces are probably going to be the difference between making and missing the playoffs, so this may well prove to be an important stretch, but anyone advancing an argument that this has anything to do with the coaching change is effectively arguing that the coaching change is driving the shooting percentage to a ridiculous level. It just does not work this way. At this stage of the year, the points matter but as far as telling us something about the team, the shots ratio is probably the most relevant indicator and it’s not good.