A common criticism of the Oilers last year (maybe this year too): they won’t go to the tough areas in front of the net.
I happen to be doing some grunt work on shot types and shot distances, and as part of that, I pulled the even strength shot types by shot distance for every goal for every team last year. [data source: war-on-ice.com data files run through my own scripts]
Here’s what it looks like for tip-in and deflected goals, which are the kind of goals you often create when you park your buns in front of the net. Frankly, you can ignore the entire damn thing, except for the highlighted line and cells.
|Goals||% of Goals||Goals||% of Goals||Total||% of Goals|
Fewer goals, and a lower percentage of goals scored by tip-in and deflection than any other team. By far. Surprised? Me neither. (Well, maybe by how much worse the Oilers are).
Goal scorers via tip-in: Gazdic, Hall, Hendricks, Pouliot, Perron. No surprises. Nuge and Roy had the deflections.
No surprise either that the big tough teams in ANA, LA, and STL score a larger percentage of their goals by e.g. tip-in than others.
The Oilers cannot and should not pattern their game after those big heavy teams. It’s the CHI and DET teams, speed, skill, and tenacity, that are the archetypes for the Oilers.
But go look at those guys. Even they scored 3X to 4X as many goals (on a relative and absolute basis) from the tough areas as the Oilers did.
You know that Chia Pete and TMc know this already – they’ve pretty much talked about nothing but. And they’re right.
The way goals are scored, and the size of that “tough goals” scorers list, both need to improve – A LOT – for this team to get meaningfully better.