Edmonton Oilers

Middling results for the Oilers goalies — Visualising GSAx Week 7

The Edmonton Oilers turned back to Jack Campbell to start two of their three games in hopes of getting their starting goaltender back on the right track. In his first game, he was alright, but was out-goalied by Ilya Sorokin as the Oilers were shutout by the New York Islanders. In his second, the Oilers bailed him out as their firepower turned a near-certain loss to the New York Rangers to an unlikely comeback victory. In both games, Campbell saw negative GSAx values.

For Stuart Skinner, his single start was against one of the league’s premier offences versus the Florida Panthers but he fared well enough to still end the game with a positive GSAx.

Let’s see how they compare to the rest of the Pacific’s goalies.

Pacific Division goals saved above expected

We can look at goaltending performances using goals saved above expected (GSAx), which gives a more objective way to assess whether they are performing above or below expectations. Are goalies making saves they wouldn’t be expected to, or are they letting in goals that they should be saving.

Each week on Thursdays we’ll look at the past week of goaltending performances, and also look at the whole season-to-date. Below is are plots of GSAx for Pacific Division goaltenders over the past week from November 23 to November 29 as well as over the season-to-date. All data is from NaturalStatTrick.com.

Teams are arranged by total team GSAx. The Calgary Flames had the best team GSAx this week. Also, every goaltender who’s made at least one appearance in the past week will be plotted on their team’s x-axis.

Essentially, goaltenders to the right of the plot with positive GSAx have outperformed expectations, whereas goaltenders to the left with negative GSAx have underperformed. The additional use of colour details a goaltender’s relative workload as well: the higher the shot count, the brighter yellow a goaltender is; and the lower the shot count, the darker blue.

Oilers goals saved above expected

Check out the full set of Week 7 GSAx visualisations for the four NHL divisions here.

The three busiest goaltenders in the Pacific Division (shown in yellow) were all the best goalies in the division from last Wednesday to this Tuesday. Dan Vladar was the best with a 3.80 GSAx on 105 shots faced, followed by Logan Thompson with 2.12 GSAx on 104. Strangely enough, John Gibson was right behind in terms of shots against as the trio had consecutive shot totals, and his GSAx as a very respectable 1.61.

For the Oilers, Skinner’s single game was just about breakeven but he does end up on the positive side (in a division were most goalies have ended on the negative side week over week, this is still good). Campbell in all honesty didn’t fare too poorly in two showings, but he was still recorded a negative GSAx and it pulled the Oilers down.

However, the biggest drop this week came from Martin Jones. He’s been reliable for the month of November but this past week was miserable in terms of GSAx. However he and Seattle Kraken have ended every game on a high note, extending their win streak to six games.

The raw GSAx numbers

The table below shows the same data used in the visualisation for clarity, and is sorted in order of highest to lowest GSAx. Skinner was fifth while Campbell was 13th out of 16 goalies.

GoalieTeamGPShots AgainstGSAx
Dan VladarCGY31053.80
Logan ThompsonVGK31042.12
John GibsonANA31031.61
Spencer MartinVAN3900.93
Stuart SkinnerEDM1280.27
Philipp GrubauerSEA1220.21
Jacob MarkstromCGY125-0.35
Thatcher DemkoVAN135-0.49
Anthony StolarzANA239-0.56
Jonathan QuickLAK384-0.62
Adin HillVGK128-1.21
James ReimerSJS128-1.55
Jack CampbellEDM254-2.15
Cal PetersenLAK116-2.59
Kaapo KahkonenSJS374-3.86
Martin JonesSEA390-7.19

Season-to-date goals saved above expected

The season has reached its quarter mark, and the week over week GSAx picture continues to fluctuate quite a lot, especially in the Pacific Division.

Compared to the rest of the league, the Pacific has been one of the worst divisions in terms of GSAx, but this week saw a lot of movement within the division. The change stemmed mostly from Jones’ massive single week drop, but other teams are moving around too. The Flames went up to second while the Kraken dropped to fifth.

Unfortunately, the trio of Campbell, Thatcher Demko, and Cal Petersen have simply not been good. All three of them have identical salaries of $5M, and all three of them have GSAx values below -10.0. It’s gotten so bad that Petersen was even waived by the Los Angeles Kings.

Edmonton’s goalie issues persist

In short, the Oilers’ week in goaltending was very average. Skinner’s single game wasn’t amazing but he was still good, and Campbell’s two game weren’t awful either. Given how goaltending has gone for the Pacific so far this year, a non-news week isn’t a bad thing for the Oilers at all.

Stay tuned each week for the latest goaltending GSAx updates!

Previous weeks:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

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