Edmonton’s Player Usage Charts

Jonathan Willis
March 09 2013 09:38PM

The chart above comes courtesy of Rob Vollman, who has done some work here at the Nation and writes all over the place. It shows where the Oilers have started their shifts this year, what kind of opposition they have faced, and how well they have fared in terms of generating more shot attempts than the other team (big blue bubble = good, big red bubble = bad).

It’s an interesting way of looking at players.

The first, obvious thing is how well the kids fare by this metric. Eberle, Hall and Nugent-Hopkins have done a pretty good job of out-shooting the opposition, though they’ve all suffered from an inability to finish off the chances they’ve gotten (Nugent-Hopkins in particular seems to be shooting wildly this season). The problem is that they’re pretty much alone.

The depth lines have been a sinkhole – in particular the trio of Petrell, Belanger and Eager. They’ve all seen a bunch of time in the defensive zone, but they haven’t had to play top-flight competition, either.

Not much to choose from between the defence; Ryan Whitney fares poorly on here and that makes sense given how he’s looked by eye and how the coaching staff has used him.

Guys like Hordichuk, Arcobello, Brown, and Lander should probably be looked at cautiously, given limited playing time this season. Horcoff, too, for that matter.

That’s what I saw; does anything else jump out?

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including the Edmonton Journal, Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.