[Part 1 of 4]
Dennis has been doing a terrific job counting up scoring chances (SC) throughout the season, and figuring out which Oilers were on the ice when they occurred. He has scored 42 of the 46 games to this point, missing just Nov 29 @STL, Dec 17 @VAN, Dec 26 @VAN, and Jan 9 vs. S.J.
Scott has been keeping running totals of SC throughout the season. My contribution to the project is to parse those totals by ice time to try to establish a rate that SC occur, for and against, for each player and by each situation. The grunt work is deducting the TOI for the missed games from the season-to-date totals compiled at NHL.com. The fun part is working with the results.
Since this post is something of a test drive for me (and thanks for the access, Tyler) let’s start by reviewing something already covered in the comments section of Dennis’s CBJ post, namely the results for defencemen at even strength. Here are the totals year-to-date, listed in order of EV TOI:
I have bolded the team leaders in various categories, and italicized the laggards (significant ice time guys only). Overall, Lubo Visnovsky has been doing the job, leading the club EV TOI, gross SC, and least SCA/60. His partner since Nov 18, Denis Grebeshkov, slightly outstrips him in SCF/60, but Lubo has the best differential. The “second pairing” of Tom Gilbert and Sheldon Souray have a slightly negative net differential, in keeping with their record of having faced the toughest competition. There is a big drop-off to the 5-6-7 grouping of Steve Staios, Ladi Smid, and Jason Strudwick, who have played with and against the weakest players and have been significantly outchanced in the process.
The second list breaks down the group’s performance since our first summary back in early December. (See the comments section of the Dec 6 @S.J post). Since then the same 6 defenders have played every game in the same three pairings:
The ice time has been pretty evenly divided at evens at 13-15 minutes per player over this 19-game segment. Visnovsky still leads the way, and his partner Grebs has moved up to second minutes. That pairing has continued to set the standard in chances generated and net positive differential. In the 19 games under review Grebeshkov posted a +8 GF/GA rating, Visnovsky +6.
The Gilbert-Souray pair is well back, generating 3-4 fewer chances per 60 and allowing 2-3 more (against tougher comp). In this period Gilbert posted an even rating, Souray -4.
The pairing of Staios and Smid has been more stable than anything involving Strudwick, and have actually allowed the fewest SCA overall and per 60, however have generated much less than they have allowed. Nonetheless, in the games under review Smid posted a +3 ranking, Staios +1, so they have kept their heads above water where it matters most.