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Problems at home doomed Oilers last season

by John Kreiser / Edmonton Oilers
Part of the Oilers' problems last season was poor play at home. Not only did they have the fewest home points in the League, their penalty killing at home was among the worst


Advantage Margin:  -4
The Oilers had exactly as many power plays for and against (145) in their 41 home games, and though they were the League's weakest road team, they allowed only four more power plays away from home than they received (156-160)

Special Teams Goal Margin: -14
Most of the Oilers' problems on special teams related to an inability to kill penalties -- especially at home, where they allowed a League-high 34 power-play goals and ranked 29th by killing off just 76.6 percent of opponents' power plays.     

Goals by defensemen: 32
This number could go down in 2010-11 -- 10 of the 32 goals by Oilers defensemen last season were scored by Lubomir Visnovsky before he was dealt to Anaheim at the trade deadline. Edmonton hopes Kurtis Foster (8 goals with Tampa Bay) can take up the slack.

Overtime Record
Total: 9-2-6
OT: 1-2 SO: 8-6
Shawn Horcoff had a disappointing season with just 13 goals and 36 points, but he did come up big in shootouts, scoring four times in seven tries and getting 3 game-deciding goals.

Times Scored First: 34 Record: 20-11-3
The Oilers actually scored first in 23 of their 41 home games -- but got the opening goal a League-low 11 times away from Rexall Place and were just 6-4-1 in those games

Best 2009-10 Number: 1,305
Number of shots blocked by Edmonton last season, the fourth-highest total in the NHL. If nothing else, the Oilers were willing to put their bodies in front of pucks.

Worst 2009-10 Number: 46.4
Percentage of faceoffs won by the Oilers, by far the lowest in the NHL (Colorado was 29th at 47.7). It's hard to play winning hockey without the puck, and the Oilers had it less often than just about anyone.
    
Scheduling
A lot of the Oilers' games at Rexall Place come in bunches. They have a six-game homestand in December, a five-gamer right after Christmas and play six in a row at home in February. The schedule gets tough at the end, though, with 11 of the last 17 on the road.

Author: John Kreiser | NHL.com Columnist

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