For the course of this offseason, I’m going to be looking back on different aspects of the Oilers 2011-2012 season: highlights, lowlights and everything in between. I won’t actually say that this will take the entire offseason to finish, but you never know. First things first: goals.
OH AND ALSO, Happy 19th Birthday, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins! Congrats on being old enough to drink in all of Canada.
19th place – that’s where the Oilers stood at the end of the season in overall goal scoring. Ahead of St. Louis, who came second in the Western Conference, and Florida, who won their division this year, the Edmonton Oilers combined for a total of 207 goals this season. 105 of those were scored at home and 102 came on the road. For two-hundred and seven goals for, the Oilers had 232 goals against by the end of the season, putting them between Chicago (231) and Ottawa (236).
Their 2.5 goals for per game average was the same for four other teams by the end of the season (St. Louis, Anaheim, Dallas and Montréal), while their 2.8 goals against per game average is in a three-way tie with Chicago and Washington.
Against all teams in the Northwest Division (who the Oilers played six times each this season), their best was against Minnesota; allowing 14 goals for the sixteen they scored made for their best scoring record against a team in their own division. Even though their record against Minnesota (2-1-3) wasn’t as good as it was against Colorado (3-2-1), they let in 15 goals for 15 scored against the Avs. As for the Central Division, they scored the most goals against the Blackhawks (24) and let in the most goals to them, as well (15). The Oilers didn’t seem to have as easy a time scoring on teams in the Pacific Division – 9 goals were scored on San Jose for the 9 they let in. As for teams in the Eastern Conference (who they played once or twice this season) they tallied six on Ottawa, Toronto and Montréal (they each played the Oilers twice) and managed 1-5 on everyone else.
Individually, Jordan Eberle led the team for most of the season in the goals department – he ended the season with a career-high 34 goals – with Taylor Hall close behind with 27. Hall and Eberle were the only two Oilers to reach the 20-goal mark this season, though, so maybe there’s a problem. Everyone’s quick to help out, don’t get me wrong; six Oilers passed twenty assists, while Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had 42 and 34, respectively.
Also, I should probably give honourable mention to Sam Gagner’s eight point (4-4-8) game back in February against the Chicago Blackhawks. Everyone knows that he tied Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey’s record for most points in a night, but since he was a part of every goal that night and kept the streak going, he ended up breaking Gretzky’s record for having points in 11 straight Oilers goals (Gretzky had 10). Yes, you read that right; he actually broke Wayne Gretzky’s record. Sweet. He also tied Jari Kurri’s record for most points in a period (5) since he tallied 2 goals and 3 assists in one period on goaltenders Corey Crawford and Ray Emery.
Next up: I’ll ramble on about the forwards.