Frustration rises in Edmonton.
We go in Conor Mac and DavidThe fourth season of the professional season, and to be honest, the Airlers have very little success in showing it. David has established himself as the most talented player in the National Hockey League and already has a cup room full of hardware to prove it.
But you will not find any team awards in this room – not yet, anyway. The MacDavid Eulers era are marked by two common themes – ridiculous, highlighting-reel performance in the Mac and David's top line, and useless results from anywhere else in the composition.
Let's remember that McDowell won the Ross Art trophies back, and was a serious claim to the most important player in the league in 2018-18. One could argue that the only reason he did not hit New Jersey Taylor Hall – He was 15 points clear of Hall in the scoring race – was because Edmonton missed the playoffs by a mile.
The pressure has been mounting on the Oilers against the coaching team to deliver results this season. These results simply did not come. The only thing we saw from Edmonton's team this year is another heavy team that gets nothing from the depths of their lineup. Even in what appears to be the weakest in the Pacific in a decade, the Oilers are still struggling to get something going.
If you look at productivity across the league, you can only see how Oilers have relied on McDoways (and David's Lindemates) to produce a foul. See this chart, which shows the percentage of overall goals accrued by aggregated skaters. I've plotted Edmonton against the league average for quick reference:
How does it read? Well, Edmonton's top scorer – this McDavid, of course – is responsible for 20 percent of the goals of the Oilers this year. Add Leon Dreizel, And you now have more than 40 percent of Oilers targets this year. Add Alex and Jason, And you now explained 55 percent of targets for Oilers this year. Three players accounted for 55 percent of Edmonton's entire goal scoring on the season. Draisaitl is one of the McDowell group of the most frequent team members this season; Chiasson saw mainly in the middle of the six-time ice has been the only success story of Edmonton from the depths of their composition.
Top forward are expected to bear the bulk of the scoring load, but not of this magnitude. The leading lines usually account for about 40 percent of the team score and when you extend it to the top six ahead, you need to have about 66 percent of the team score scored. The Oilers are a massive exception in both cases.
The table below shows the total goal aggregation (until Sunday) in sections. No matter which way you look at it, the Oilers may be the league's most heavy team:
The only two teams that are heavy and relatively heavy like the Uilers are the Boston Bullins and the Chicago Blackhawks, which have similar leaning on their top units for scoring.
So we know the Oilers are ultra-relying on their first line for scoring. This does not necessarily mean that they have an underperforming team. After all, if the top line of Oilers handles the lion's share of the score and depth of their players playing high-quality game on the defensive side of the disc, this is a recipe for winning games – a strange recipe, but a recipe nonetheless.
But that was not the case with Oilers, as you suspected. Let's go again to 5-on-5 for a moment to make a real comparison between apples and apples and see the goal percentage (goals vs. goals against) for Edmonton skaters, arranged by individual goal scoring totals:
It's horrible. It is certainly further evidence that the oilers remain in one team line and nothing else behind it. Some of the guys Peter and Charlie and the rest of the front office were bankers to get back years back – it would be Kyle Brodz & Co, Milan Luce, Or Zac Xian – simply not delivered. This created another scenario in which Oilers, in the weakest league division, only fought to stay alive.
It will certainly be interesting to see what other moves oilers have in their sleeves to jump start the rest of the offense. Last week, Oilers traded Ryan Strum – a great disappointment in his short time – about the Rangers Ryan Spooner, A player they feel can fit better into the ensemble. But Spooner has only one goal and one assist this season, and even if he returns to form, it is hard to imagine that he will be the first and only move the Oilers to make this year.
The reality is that every person Edmonton is on the hot seat now, and another missed message will most likely end up with a wholesale regime change.
So keep an eye on the trading market in the coming months. If the oilers do not believe they can find an internal solution, they will have to go out for further help.
This is not a situation they thought of themselves to be early in the season, but there is still enough time to save the season.