[Part 2 of 4]
So far this year the Oilers have relied on their Big 4 defencemen to drive the powerplay, with no forwards called into point duty and so little time for the likes of Staios and Smid that I have omitted their tiny numbers from the following. Here are the PP results year to date:
The big-money guys are carrying the mail in ice time (~70%), and have a substantially higher rate of SC/60. They are also the best at +/- ON/60 as per Behind the Net (Souray +6.40, Visnovsky +5.16, Gilbert +4.19, Grebsehkov +3.93). Some of this would be due to the top two playing on Hemsky’s unit, no doubt. Overall Souray has posted the best numbers, however in the segment of games Dec 5-Jan 20 Visnovsky has been slightly the better of the two by the scoring chance metric:
Grebeshkov was clearly the fourth option in the first segment, but has received equal ice to Gilbert in recent weeks. It’s interesting to note that the pairings on the PP were the regular EV pairings for the first several weeks of the season; the subsequent reshuffling at EV has not carried over to the PP. Those early-season pairings are likely paying a dividend on the PP due to familiarity and on-ice communication.
Turning to the PK, here are the year-to-date results:
Staios has been the #1 D-man for SH TOI, a puzzling choice considering his terrible record of SCA. When measured on actual minus/60 at BehindtheNet, he is the second worst on the club at -8.71. By far the worst, however, is Visnovsky at -12.06, suggesting that while he has been successful in limiting the number of scoring chances, a high percentage of the ones that he has allowed have wound up in the back of the net. So the situation vis-a-vis Vis is not near as rosy as the above suggests. MacT responded to this in the second segment:
Visnovsky was used sparingly on the PK, and saved for EV and PP where he excels. Staios, who seemed to spend the first two months in full chase mode on the PK, showed great improvement in this segment, reducing his personal chances allowed rate by about 25% (from 50.5 to 37.7) and his net results by 35% (from -49.2 to -31.6). Presumably the change of partner from Strudwick to Souray had an impact here. Meanwhile, Denis Grebeshkov responded to a greater workload by posting outstanding numbers across the board, including at the good end of the ice. This is reflected in BtN results, where on the season Grebs has the best minus/60 of the six, at -6.06. Mostly generated against the opposition’s second unit, but noteworthy nonetheless. Those who may want to credit Grebeshkov’s partner for driving his EV results take note that Visnovsky has nothing to do with Grebs’ success on the PK. His rate of scoring chances generated is pretty darn decent, slightly lower than Smid which presumably is a fluke of small-number statistics.