Oilers Plus-Minus Problem

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Updated: December 30, 2019

The Edmonton Oilers have a problem despite having two players sit atop the leader board for scoring.  It is their horrible defense that has the team with one of the worse plus-minus ratings in the NHL.

Connor McDavid sits with 63 points at the top, with 22 goals and 41 assists. Leon Draisaitl has 61 points, with 22 goals and 39 assists. McDavid is -7 on the season thus far, with Draisaitl sitting at a whopping -18. This however, is good when compared to Jame Neal and Oscar Klefbom who both sit at -24 so far on the season.

When looking through the lineup, there are a total of 20 players with a minus rating this season, with six players in double digits. The Oilers as a whole have scored 116 goals but have given up 128.

McDavid & Draisaitl have been playing more than 20+ minutes a game, logging more than a minute a game more than the NHL average for a top line. Their shooting percentages are above 17%.

The Edmonton Oilers have a huge problem. Sure, they can score but it is apparent they are unable to keep their opponents off the score sheet as well. If McDavid & Draisaitl are held off the score sheet, the Edmonton Oilers have a dismal 3-39-8 record.

With just 2 wins in their last 10 games (2-7-1), the Oilers find themselves in a battle for a playoff spot with 44 points but luckily, sit just 4 points behind Pacific leading Vegas Golden Knights who sit with +6 goals for. The Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes have better plus minus ranking than the Oilers (+13 and +8 respectively). The Coyotes have one of the lowest scoring offensive lines in the league and they sit just 3 goals behind the Oilers, demonstrating once again how the Edmonton team relies on their top 2 players.

The Oilers were great to watch out of the gate as they racked up win after win but as the season stretches out, the wear and tear on players, especially McDavid and Draisaitl begins to take its toll. Draisaitl has gone on to describe his play as shit. In a recent interview he said “I can’t speak for them, I can only talk for myself, and obviously I know I’ve been pretty shit lately. It happens, those stretches, they happen. Maybe it’s a little too long for myself, but you know tomorrow’s a new day.”

The Oilers will face the New York Rangers on New Year’s Eve and hope to finish 2019 on a positive note as they head into the final half of the season in 2020.

Photo Courtesy NHL.COM

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