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Oilers/Jets Playoff Primer #2 - The Remaining Forwards

May 17, 2021, 3:48 PM ET [2 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Last time we took a look at the top players up fro; Scheifele, Connor, and Ehlers for the Jets, and McDavid, Draisaitl, and RNH for the Oilers. Today we are going to continue, this time looking at the remaining forwards, to see how we can expect them to match up.

First off let's take a look at the pure offensive numbers from these players, starting with the Edmonton Oilers. Excluding the top three players the Oilers have 15 other forwards who in total have played a cumulative 504 games. These forwards together have scored 70 goals. Compare that to the Jets who outside of their top three have 14 forwards who in total have played a total of 511 games. Those forwards together have scored 92 goals.

Right off the bat the Winnipeg Jets have the clear advantage here. The Jets have two 15 goal scorers in this group; Wheeler and Copp while the Oilers have one in Jesse Puljujarvi. In this group the Jets have five players who have scored at least 10 goals while once again the Oilers have only Jesse Puljujarvi. The Jets certainly have superiority in this category.

To compare these two teams in another way, let's look at what will likely be the third line for each team going into the post-season. The Jets have an excellent third line group in Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry, and Mason Appleton. The 26 year old Copp has had somewhat of a breakout season with 39 points in 55 games. Appleton is fourth on the Jets in 5 on 5 scoring and Lowry is a physical centre who can put up points and is strong in the dot.

There is a nice sample size of games to look at for the Jets third line as this trio have played together at 5 on 5 for 287 minutes this season. Together this trio have been on the ice for 10 goals for and 12 goals against at 5 on 5 and have produced 33 high danger chances for while allowing 55 high danger chances against. This isn't to say the trio is bad at all (they aren't) as they were given the bulk of defensive zone starts for the Jets.

Compare that to the Oilers who first off there is debate on who is actually their third line. By the minutes it is Jujhar Khaira with Devin Shore and Josh Archibald but the Ryan McLeod line with James Neal and Alex Chiasson serves a similar role.

The Khaira line meanwhile doesn't have as large of a sample size (only 79 minutes of play together at 5 on 5) and produced 2 goals at 5 on 5 while allowing 3. They created 7 high danger chances for while giving up 11. Like the Lowry line, this trio was given a bulk of defensive zone starts.

This essentially can sum up the difference between the Oilers and the Jets bottom six. The Jets bottom six has capable players who have offensive prowess and will try and produce to assist the team. For the Oilers, obviously scoring is wanted but with the roster as it is constructed, Tippett has his bottom six focused on playing low-event hockey. If the Oilers bottom six can go out and not get scored on (and not produce themselves) it can be considered a win.

In my opinion, if the Winnipeg Jets do move on to the second round, it will be because they have found a way to shut the Oilers top two lines down and their secondary scoring comes in and outproduces the Oilers secondary.
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