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TimeApr 20, 2017

Oilers v Sharks - Contribution Leaders after four games

Photo: Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire

Oilers v Sharks - Contribution Leaders after four games

Forwards – Oilers

1. Connor McDavid has contributed 81% more than the next Oiler forward. After three playoff games, his contribution average was only slightly below his regular season average, but game four brought his average down, which after four games, sits 13.2% below his 16/17 regular season.

2. Zack Kassian’s presence in the number two spot is good and bad news for the Oilers. His playoff contributions exceed his regular season by 94.7%, and without his two timely goals the Oiler’s could be on the brink of elimination. The potential bad news is whether the Oiler’s can rely on his elevated level of play into the best-of-three portion of the series, especially to score big goals.

3. Milan Lucic, Mark Letestu, and Leon Draisaitl are all very close in third spot but are roughly 35% behind Kassian’s contributions, which means the drop off is quick and swift for the Oiler forwards. Of the three, only Letestu is performing above his regular season average (20% above).

Patrick Maroon, Benoit Pouliot, and Draisaitl are all contributing more than 50% below their 16/17 regular season averages.

Forwards – Sharks

1. Joe Pavelski was very close to his regular season average after three playoff games, but with his big game four performance, he now sits 23.3% above his regular season average. His play-by-play defense is up slightly with the rest of the increase in offense.

2. Joe Thornton only played the last two games in San Jose, and currently sits 15.3% above his regular season average. His defense is identical with a slight jump in offense. Thornton's addition is a significant swing as he is a cagey veteran passer that can exploit young defensemen with his vision and timing. He may not be beat defensemen one v one but his teammates might be as he is getting them the puck.

3. Tomas Hertl is up 19.3% with almost all of the improvement due to offense.

Defensemen – Oilers

1. Oscar Klefbom continues his breakout season with a playoff contribution increase of 62.4% over his regular season average. He has contributed 53.3% more than Russel in the two spot, and has improved his defensive play considerably, but only to climb into the four spot among Oiler defensemen.

2. Kris Russel is in the second spot and is contributing just below his regular season average (9%). His offense is down a bit and his defense is almost identical.

3. Adam Larsson is performing 27% above his regular season average, with the bulk being an increase in offense and a slight increase defensively.

Defensemen – Sharks

1. Brent Burns led all NHL defensemen in play-by-play contributions during the regular season, and his playoff contribution is down slightly by 14.9%. His defense is down a small amount with the rest being a drop in offense.

2. David Schlemko was almost identical to his regular season average before game four, and after game four he is 56.7% above it. Schlemko’s defense is up threefold in the playoffs and his offense jumped significantly after game four.

3. Paul Martin and Justin Braun were very close in the three spot, with Braun’s playoff contributions up 28.5%, and Martin’s up a massive 108%, over what was after a mediocre 16/17 season.

Summary

Individual contributions suggest San Jose has been the substantially stronger team, even if we remove the game four blow out that pumped up San Jose’s numbers.

For the Oilers to tip the odds back in their favor, they will need a focused and producing McDavid with help from that second tier of Edmonton forwards. As good as McDavid is, he is playing against a well coached, veteran team, with a few all world defensive defensemen. He can not do it all by himself, but with a little help from his friends, including Talbot, they can expose some cracks in the Sharks that are not obvious so far in the series.
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