Edmonton Oilers: Was the North Division the Weakest?

North Division Battle Between the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
North Division Battle Between the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs there was a lot of talk and articles about the Edmonton Oilers’ very own North Division being the weakest division.

Saying Edmonton OilersConnor McDavid only got that many points and Auston Matthews only got that many goals because of the quality of teams they were playing against might not make sense. Now with the Montreal Canadiens playing an American team, we have evidence that the North was not as weak as we thought. They are currently up 3 games to 2 against the Vegas Golden Knights, a pre-playoff Cup favorite.

I took a look through all the divisions and ranked each division on various statistics. I will provide the rankings and I will let you determine which division was actually the worst.

Goals for average

North Division-165

The best was the Toronto Maple Leafs with 186 (3.32/game) and in last was the Vancouver Canucks with 148(2.64/game)

East Division-164

The Pittsburg Penguins led the way with 193 (3.45/game) while the Buffalo Sabres had the least with 134 (2.39/game)

West Division-162

The Colorado Avalanche had the most with 197(3.52/game). Anaheim Ducks with the worst sitting at 124(2.21/game)

Central Division-159

The Florida Panthers scored the most with 188(3.36/game), with the Detroit Red Wings with the least with 125 goals(2.23/game)

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Power Play Percentage

East Division-20.52%

The Washington Capitals are tops here with a 24.84% rate while New Jersey was at the bottom with 14.19%.

North Division-20.14%

The 27.59% rate of the Oilers was the best in the NHL. The Ottawa Senators were the worst with 15.52%.

Central Division-19.76%

The team with the best power play was the Carolina Hurricanes with a 25.61% power play and the worst in the division was Detroit with 11.41%.

West Division-18.01%

The top power-play success rate belongs to the St. Louis Blues with 23.23% whereas the Anaheim Duck operated with league worse rate of 8.94%.

Save Percentage

Central Division-90.7%

The Carolina Hurricanes had the best goaltending with a 91.5% save percentage. The Columbus Blue Jackets goalies had 89.9% to make them to lowest.

West Division-90.3%

Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild tied with the best with 90.7%. In last in the West was the San Jose Sharks with 89.1%.

East Division-90.2%

With 92.1% of shots stopped the New York Islanders were top, with 88.0% the Philadelphia Flyers were at the bottom.

North Division-90.2%

Winnipeg Jets had the best here with a save percentage of 91.1% with the Ottawa Senators being in the bottom with 89.5%

With the way there is no consistency going through the rankings in these categories, I don’t know how you could say one division is better or worse than the other. Just because the North division has players with the most points and most goals, doesn’t mean the divisions are bad.

On the contrary, I think it means these players may make this division one of the toughest/best to play in. Having to play against those players on a game-by-game basis may be the reason that the Montreal Canadians are succeeding now.

(Stats per Hockey Reference)