Ladies and gentlemen … according to the collected wisdom of NerdAlert readers … the Oiler goal differential next year will improve by 92 goals, from -83 to +9 … in other words, we’re (probably) making the playoffs!
OK, let’s see how we get there from here. These are the survey results (average, min, and max) of the 102 respondents, broken down by category:
Yes, overall we may indeed be a pretty optimistic bunch.
But on balance, the responses to the individual sections don’t actually look that out of whack to me.
The biggest improvement is goaltending, at +23.7 goals. Yeah, makes sense. Not even sure it’s possible to get worse. It was generationally bad last year!
Second biggest improvement is Todd McLellan’s influence, at +19.8 goals.
And in third place (must have broken his hand) is Connor McDavid, presumably at 2C and responsible for his line popping in +15.5 goals more than Draisaitl/Roy managed last year.
At the very least, no-one thought any of those three would be cause for us getting worse next year. No rating worse than zero for them.
Some folks of course were very optimistic, with at least one person maxing out each category. (Note that there was one person who gave the maximum for every category; I dropped that as an outlier). The most optimistic person out there figures we’ll be 250 (!!) goals better next year. I’ll have that Kool Aid, please, I bet it tastes pretty damn good!
There were also some pretty pessimistic folks out there. Hey, I can see why you might figure the bottom pairing D will be 15 goals worse next year … but -11 for the assistant coaches?!
Not one person thought that overall the team would be worse next year, but the most pessimistic person figured that we’ll be just 5 goals better next year than this year. Another bottom 3 finish in other words. Oh well, I hear that Auston Mathews kid is pretty good!
Lastly, for your interest, the ‘catchall’ question had a number of responses, which are listed here:
- Better call-up options for injury (Drai, Slepyshev, Nurse)
- Change in attitude and renewed confidence stemming from organization changes and positive changes in coaching and players.
- Chiarelli for MacTavish. Actual direction and culture for the club.
- Effect of not playing catch up all the time.
- Fans will be happier at the rink and not jeering!
- Kids one year older, more support across the team, better attitude by winning more, confidence starting to build!!!
- Lander for a full season. Chia Pete’s trades during the season.
- Luck (PDO regression, shooting percentage improvement, etc)
- McDavid as 2C. Draisaitl as possible Winger or C. Full year of new Lander. Nurse as 5/6 D.
- McDavid’s Injury on Nov. 14, 2015: -5 Taylor Hall’s reemergence: +5 Nail Yakupov’s improvement: +3
- More experience/confidence (specifically Lander, Yak, Klef), vets being pushed/inspired (RNH, Hall, Ebs, Poo, Hendo, Purcell, Nikitin, Fayne, Scrivens, Ference).
- Player development, for eg Yakupov.
- Players playing for contracts may bump up their numbers as we have seen in the past around the league.
- Taylor Hall’s influence. Yak’s growth. Nuge supernova.
The hive mind has spoken.
Playoffs it is!
A few adjustments I made to the dataset:
– As noted above, one person pegged the maximum on everything, so I dropped that as a false response
– I had to revise the survey a few minutes after it went live, as a couple of people pointed out to me that the first version had potentially misleading verbiage on the last two questions. That version wasn’t clear that the ‘catchall’ question was an extra category, not a summation of all the previous categories. What I did to adjust is I left out any ’50’ responses to that question prior to my updating it. If you were in that group – sorry ’bout that!