February 2, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall (4) skates with the puck during the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Quarter Mark – 5 Questions For The Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers played their twelfth game last night, a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.  The Oilers are currently 5-4-3 in the NHL standings, good for 13 points.  Thirteen points puts them right on the playoff bubble in the Western Conference.

It could be a lot better, right?  Well, yeah.  It could also be a lot worse.

Here are five questions for the Edmonton Oilers at the quarter mark of the 2013 abbreviated season.

  • WHAT can be done about so many shots allowed?  Average the shots allowed from the season’s beginning to right now.  The Oilers are allowing an average of 34 shots a game, and that number would be a lot higher if we focused on the last half dozen games (The Oilers were outshot by a 40-14 margin last night).  34 shots per game ranks them 28th in the league, with only Buffalo and Carolina allowing a higher average of 34.1.
  • HOW LONG will Devan Dubnyk’s play last? Devan Dubnyk is the reason that the Oilers have remained competitive in games that could easily have become blowouts.   As of this sentence, Devan Dubnyk has made the most saves in the NHL with 337.  Dubnyk’s SV% is an incredible .928, which far surpasses any expectation.  How long will it last?
  • WHERE are the goals?  You take a good look at the top two lines on this team, and you’re hard pressed to feel bad about it.  Except, the goals aren’t streaming along.  Oilers are 23rd in the league averaging 2.25 goals per game.  What’s the deal?  As a side question, will the power play ever regain its form?  The Oilers power play thrilled at the beginning of the season.  In recent memory, they were 0/4 yesterday and 1/8 at Detroit.  Remember all that talk about how the power play was scoring too many goals, and the 5v5 camp wasn’t scoring enough?  Good times.
  • CAN the Oilers do anything about their dismal faceoff percentages?  This is another sore spot.  With all that talent up front, the Oilers are just 29th in the league in faceoffs.  Shawn Horcoff, get back here soon.
  • WILL the Oilers make an upgrade to their defence?  With Ryan Whitney seeing the press box recently, are the Oilers considering making another deal for another defenceman?

What are your questions for the Oilers?

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  • http://twitter.com/oilredemption Jonathan Trudel

    My thoughts to those questions are…

    1:the shots will come down once the young talent learn to play defense and put the pressure the other way
    2:dubie play is fantastic but players and goalies tend to wear down as the season progresses they need to straighten the shots out quick. Dub cant hold the fort forever.
    3: the goals will come and the powerplay will come back (see answer 1). They need more shots plain and simple. The forecheck also needs some work.
    4:no they can’t this year with the personnal and how they are used. Maybe a year or two maybe even three once gags and nuge get real men strength and learn tricks from the vets. One thing I liked the other night was hall taking draws, he seem to have an act for it. Maybe they should try him there for nuge and then switch on the fly.
    5. I dont think Whitney will bringan upgrade in. I do however believe he will either bring a very good quality offensive dman or a big centerman, in a prospect form.

    • Jeff Chapman

      Jonathan (@jonrmcleod) made mention that the Oilers are shooting right about 5% at even strength. That’s got to get better as time goes on.

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