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Giveaways, faceoffs were major problems for Oilers

Monday, 09.26.2011 / 12:01 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 15

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Giveaways, faceoffs were major problems for Oilers
The Boston Bruins won the Cup last season, but did their numbers reflect their championship?
Advantage Margin: -17
The Oilers were among the NHL's best at earning power plays, drawing 304 (seventh in the League), but their penalty-killers were among the League's busiest, as the 321 power plays surrendered by the Oilers was the most in the West and the third-highest total in the NHL.

Special Teams Goal Margin: -24
There wasn't much good news when it came to special teams. The power play scored just 44 goals, while the 74 surrendered by the penalty-killers was one short of Colorado's League-high total. Both units were in the bottom five in percentage.

Goals by defensemen: 23
Kurtis Foster, who had a team-high eight goals, including five power-play goals, was dealt to Anaheim for Andy Sutton on July 1 after his points total dropped from 42 to 22.

EDMONTON OILERS
2010-11 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2010-11 Points 62 (15th West/30th NHL)
Change from 2009-10 0
Home Points 32 (15th West/30th NHL)
Road Points 30 (15th West/30th NHL)
Overtime Record
Total: 4-3-9 OT: 2-3 SO: 2-9
The Oilers' woes last season extended to the shootout, where their nine losses were a League high. They were 2-6 at home and were one of only two teams to go winless in the tiebreaker on the road.

Times Scored First: 32
Record: 18-6-8

The Oilers weren't great when they took an early lead, but they were awful when they didn't -- Edmonton's seven wins when allowing the game's first goal tied Florida for the fewest in the NHL, and the Oilers' .140 winning percentage (7-37-6) was last in the League.

Best 2010-11 Number: 40-45-85
Combined scoring totals of rookies Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, who finished 1-2 on the Oilers in scoring. Eberle, who had one of the most spectacular goals of the season on opening night, led the team with 43 points, while Hall, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, had 22 goals and 42 points in 65 games before his season ended due to an ankle injury.

Worst 2010-11 Number: 972
Giveaways by the Oilers, 70 more than any other team (Toronto was next at 902). Combined with a League-worst 44.2 faceoff percentage, the Oilers spent most of the season chasing the puck rather than possessing it.

Scheduling
The Oilers have the chance to get off to a good start, with eight of their 11 October games at Rexall Place. November is another story, however, with a six-game trip to start the month and 10 of 14 away from home. There's also a seven-game trip after Christmas as the world junior championship comes to town.
Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals