A look at 10 numbers, that help to summarise the Edmonton Oilers’ terrible 2-7-1 record to begin the 2023-24 regular season.
Saturday’s game versus the Nashville Predators was seen as what the Edmonton Oilers needed to start getting on track. Instead, they were beaten 5-2 by a team which they had defeated convincingly 6-1 just a couple of weeks ago.
Now, with a record of 2-7-1, panic is beginning to set in for the fans, and rightly so. Here are 10 numbers, which tell the story of why the Oilers are off to such a poor start in 2023-24:
This is the plus/minus rating for Evan Bouchard and Darnell Nurse, which is the lowest on the team. Both defencemen have performed below expectations so far in 2023-24, highlighted by several costly errors, particularly from Bouchard.
The shocking save percentage for the Oilers’ goalies as a collective, which is worst in the entire NHL. Individually, Jack Campbell has a .873 save percentage, while Stuart Skinner’s .861 is fourth-lowest among all goaltenders.
Given the previous statistics, it is no surprise the Oilers have the third-worst Goal Against Average in the NHL. For some context they were 3.12 last season, which makes you wonder about the new defensive zone system being deployed.
Even more shocking is the fall from grace when it comes to scoring goals, after leading the NHL last season. The 2.70 average goals per game is ranked a lowly tied-23rd.
The Oilers have had their issues on the penalty kill, with their 71.8 percent success rate tied fifth-worst in the league. In reality they weren’t great last season either, but ranking 20th (or 13th-worst) made all the difference in the overall results.
Want your voice heard? Join the Oil On Whyte team!
This is how many goals Connor McDavid has scored in eight games. (He missed a couple of games through injury.) This would be the same player who scored a league-leading 64 goals during last season.
This represents how many games Leon Draisaitl has gone without scoring a goal. The goal drought is extremely concerning, although it’s worth noting he did have a similar seven-game goalless streak last season too and still finished with 52.
At 50.5 percent, the Oilers’ face-off win percentage ranks a middling 17th in the NHL. In fairness though, they weren’t much better last season at 50.8 percent, which ranked 15th.
This is Connor Brown’s points contribution through nine games, which is simply unacceptable for the Oilers’ main offensive signing during the offseason. He sat out Saturday’s game due to a minor injury issue, but his next appearance will see him pick up a $3.225 million bonus.
The sorry state of affairs is summed up by just having five points through the first 10 games of the season. This is the second-lowest points total in the entire league, with the Oilers already 18 points behind the Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.
Overall, it’s tough not to be concerned about the Oilers’ start to the season, which is the worst of the McDavid era through 10 games. Yes, this team is capable of so much more, but at some point you have to accept your record just represents who you are; the next 10 games will give us a clearer picture in this respect.