So far in the Edmonton Oilers Round 1 series against the Los Angeles Kings, a big difference maker has been the power play. After setting NHL history with the best power play percentage since power plays were tracked, the Oilers picked off right where they left off and continued their dominance with the man-advantage.
What the power play has done for Edmonton
With eight power play goals scored, these were the in-game impacts of each marker:
- Game 1: Evan Bouchard put the Oilers up 2–0
- Game 2: Leon Draisaitl put the team up 2–0
- Game 3: Connor McDavid tied the game at 1–1, and put them up 2–1.
- Game 4: Bouchard scored to make it a 3–1, then Draisaitl scored to tie the game 3–3.
- Game 5: Evander Kane opened the scoring 1–0, and Zach Hyman padded lead to 5–2.
Power play around the NHL
It was noted by Prashanth Iyer that the power play conversion rate for all teams in the playoffs is at an all-time high right now.
Spoiler alert: The Oilers are contributing to that in large.
In the playoffs, 10 out of 16 teams have power play percentages of at least 20% per NHL.com. Just two teams have conversion rates lower than 10%: the Colorado Avalanche at 8.3% and the New York Islanders at 6.7%.
Where do the Oilers find themselves? At the very top with a whopping 57.1%. On 14 power play opportunities, they scored on eight of them.
The Oilers’ preposterous power play
Let me present their stats in a rapid fire fashion first. For each stat, I’ll put the Oilers’ rank in the 2023 NHL Playoffs so far as well. By the time you’re done reading the table, I’ll give you a reminder to close your jaw.
|Power play percentage||57.1%||1st|
|Power play opportunities per game||2.80||14th|
|Power play time on ice per game||4:11||15th|
|Power play goals for per game||1.60||2nd|
Okay, close your jaw now.
The Oilers’ 57.1% conversion on the man-advantage puts them a large margin ahead of the team in second place. The Winnipeg Jets have a 41.7% clip.
The 1.60 power play goals per game trails only the Dallas Stars, who have 1.80. The Stars have one more power play goal than the Oilers with nine, but have had eight more power plays.
The Oilers’ power play opportunities per game is where things get dicey with questionable refereeing and missed calls. For reference, the Kings have gotten 3.60 opportunities per game to be in a three-way tie for eighth in that category. If the Oilers had an average amount of power plays, their lethal conversion could easily power them deep into the playoffs.
Lastly, the power play time on ice per game. Of course, when you’re not given many opportunities, time on the man-advantage is going to follow suit. That said, given that the Oilers scored on eight power plays, that also means eight power plays were shorter than the full two minutes.
There is little doubt that the Oilers’ power play is one of, if not the best in the league. They proved it in the regular season and so far it has translated into the playoffs. With most teams seeing elevated conversion rates, the Oilers find themselves at the top of the list.
The power play is powering the Oilers. Enough said.
Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire