So if you've been following our twitter (and I expect you have been), you learned today that I spent all night Thursday researching and analyzing stats. Interestingly enough, that's something I do pretty often. However, Noodles is the only one I share my findings with and we decided it was a shame that my "hard work" goes to waste.
This is an actual screenshot of my actual spreadsheet.
So I'll have a new post every Saturday, and I don't sleep- so if you have a request? Something that's been bugging you, a feeling, or just something you want to know more about, let me know in the comments or on the twitter and I will be that person who does the dirty work for you. I haven't really decided how to format the posts- I don't know how much explanation it needs and I'm kind of wordy.
Enough expository garbage. Here's the first post.
The Impact of Taylor Hall's Absence on Jordan Eberle and the Edmonton Oilers
As the Oilers season wound down, I started to look forward to the end with a certain resignation to the fact that it was going to be another brutal, awful finish. But that wasn't all- I started to realize how much I was beginning to hate watching the Oilers play without Taylor Hall.
Hall is my favourite player, as just about anyone would be able to tell you. This was a rough season. He missed 21 games, including the last 11 games of the season, but still managed to solidify himself as a dangerous scorer and the emotional leader of the Edmonton Oilers. The games without him were tough to watch- Jordan Eberle is by far the most talented player on our team, and while he kept scoring, even he seemed to be missing the extra jump. So while I suspected that the Oilers, and Jordan, were just better with Hall in the lineup, I couldn't trust that it wasn't just my own bias. So uh, being the person that I am, aka- a person whose brain is probably 75-80% hockey stats, I decided to investigate.
The results were more telling than I could have imagined. The deeper I got, the more my feelings were confirmed.
The Ebs and Hallsy bromance is one of the greatest of our generation but it seems they might actually be a little bit more co-dependent than I even initially thought.
Over the 78 games he played this year, Jordan finished with a .97 pts/game average. He played 20 games without Taylor in the lineup. During that time, his p/g dropped to .75. In the 58 games with Taylor in the lineup? 1.05, over a point per game. A 30% increase in points (12% more goals, 19% more assists). He was also a +6 with Taylor, and a -2 without.
They're just better together.
As far as the team? Let's look at the wins. Well, we all know the Oilers season wasn't exactly picture perfect, with a 32-40-10 (.390). Not exactly stellar. However, they went 6-11-4 without Hall. That's a .286 winning percentage. Over the course of a season, that's 23-43-16, for 62 points... which would have been even worse than Columbus this year. With Hall, their winning percentage actually jumps up to .426. Still not a winning team, and doesn't change much this year, but still a marked improvement.
One of the biggest things I noticed was that there was a substantial drop-off in the effort level, especially after the 40 minute mark, particularly if we were losing. A number of players alluded to this in their end-of-year interviews. So obviously I looked into that, too.
Without Taylor Hall, the Oilers scored 12 goals in the third period (while allowing 22). Of twenty-one games. TWELVE GOALS in TWENTY-ONE games. In one of those games they broke out against the Blue Jackets in the third period and scored 5 goals, including a Ryan Jones hattrick. So that game aside? 7 3PG in 20 games. They outscored the opponent in the third period THREE times. 3 out of 21 games. That's probably because Taylor Hall scored about 15% of the Oilers 3rd period goals this year. 41% of his goals this year came after the 2nd intermission. In the business, that's called "Clutch".
There are other Oilers who know that word, too.
Interestingly enough, since Taylor Hall came into the league as a rookie in the 2010-2011 season, the Oilers have scored 4 overtime goals. He scored three of them. The first was scored by Dustin Penner on December 1st, 2010, and since then, it's been all Taylor. Not to mention that Taylor scored 26% of the Oilers' game winners this season.
To summarize, yea. The Oilers are better with Taylor Hall. The Oilers need Taylor Hall. And I think everyone- not just Oilers fans- should be excited to see what he can do healthy, with a full season, next year.