G27 Flames at Oilers

Ryan Jones had a night to remember last night, as he was a major player in a big third period comeback for the Edmonton Oilers. Jones has 9 goals currently, tied for 34th in the NHL. I can show these numbers aren’t sustainable, but what is?

Entering this NHL season, Jones had scored 33 NHL goals on 251 shots. That’s 13.5 per cent, which is an excellent total. Not Craig Simpson, but 13.5 would keep you in the league a long time. This year, Jones is shooting at 22.5%, which would rank him in the top 170 seasons of all-time (he is tied for 162nd this morning). Jones is a mature player (27) but we don’t have seven seasons to look back on as evidence of his shooting ability. His college numbers were very good and he’s finding the range in the NHL, pushing his totals higher. 

Is Ryan Jones on track for a 30-goal season? His 22.5% shooting percentage says no. However, his underlying numbers–the same numbers that told us a year ago he had extreme luck on his side and to be wary of his future–show him to be winning the day despite a horrific zone start (38.3% OFF) and playing with the Dixie Dregs.

Young Gagner is slowly but surely climbing out of the early season hole that had Oiler fans wondering what went wrong. Samwise is now at the outer edge of the offensive forwards in 5×5/60.

  1. Ryan Smyth 3.49
  2. Jordan Eberle 3.38
  3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2.44
  4. Ales Hemsky 2.35
  5. Ryan Jones 2.30
  6. Taylor Hall 2.10
  7. Shawn Horcoff 1.80
  8. Sam Gagner 1.29

For those wondering about RNH’s total, his 9.15/60 at 5×4 ranks him second among NHL regulars so far this season. That kid is a wonder, especially what he’s doing as a rookie with the man advantage.

*all advanced stats courtesy behind the net.ca, nhl-reference and nhl.com.

Last night’s win was important for clearance. Should the Oilers beat the Flames tonight–certainly possible but not a certainty–they would enjoy a 9-point cushion on the Pine Island Lodge for the Aged. Although the Iginla’s would have two games in hand, that’s still a nice gap.

I don’t think this team makes the playoffs, they’re bleeding too many losses that should be wins. However, I also think that my summer prediction (13th in the west) will miss the mark based on their quality of play almost 30 games into the year. 10th in the conference? Seems reasonable.

During the reasonable expectations series, I had the Oilers scoring 223 goals and allowing 247. Currently, they are 73-66 (average NHL team is 68-68). Can they sustain it? If the Oilers continue at their goal scoring rate, they’ll end up around 230 goals and their GA would be 208.

Nation Radio is on the air again this afternoon noon to 2 Edmonton time (Team 1260, click on the icon). I read questions from this blog, Oilers Nation, twitter (ItsNationRadio and Lowetide_) and you can also email nationradio@theteam1260.com if you’d like. Best questions are from you.

  1. Jason Gregor host of the Jason Gregor Show each weekday afternoon on Team 1260. Jason had some interesting takes this week–especially on Ales Hemsky–and we’ll talk about that plus the importance of tonight’s HNIC BOA.
  2. Kent Wilson will be by to tell us the name of the basement underwear blogger that caused Jay Feaster’s gaunch to get tied in such a big knot. Kent will also tell us just how good Blake Comeau is and we’ll argue over tonight’s game.
  3. Dean Belanger from Jets Nation. Dean will discuss the emerging Evander Kane, how the Jets are winning these games (close and not so close) and give us an overview on the state of Canada’s newest NHL team.
  4. Thomas Drance from Canucks Army. I want some answers on the Bobby Luongo item, it seems crazy to trade either goalie with the billion dollar man looking wobbly. I’ll ask about Burrows, Raymond, injuries and waking up from the Stanley run sleep.

I’ll have a couple of other surprises, so please tune in at noon today.

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