2009-2010 Edmonton Oilers' Scoring Chances -- The Defense

We've learned that in terms of scoring chances for forwards in 2009-2010, Dustin Penner drove the bus, Sam Gagner was sitting right behind him almost ready to drive, and Ethan Moreau hit the snooze button on the first day of school.  The defensive chances tell their own story.  Like the forwards' chances, these totals do not include the thirteen games noted in the previous post on scoring chances.

For those who'd like a definition: a scoring chance is defined as a clear play directed toward the opposing net from a dangerous scoring area - loosely defined as the top of the circle in and inside the faceoff dots, though sometimes slightly more generous than that depending on the amount of immediately-preceding puck movement or screens in front of the net.  Blocked shots are generally not included but missed shots are.  A player is awarded a scoring chance anytime he is on the ice and someone from either team has a chance to score.  He is awarded a "chance for" if someone on his team has a chance to score and a "chance against" if the opposing team has a chance to score.  And, of course, a big thanks to Vic Ferrari for making the whole damn thing possible with his awesome scripts and Dennis King for counting chances over most of the 2009-10 season, an extra-tedious task considering the state of the Oilers over that time.


The table below contains a number of new abbreviations, even for our more stat-oriented readers.  Here's a guide to navigating the numbers.  The first five stats all deal with raw scoring chance numbers.  TSC = Total Scoring Chances; TSCA = Total Scoring Chances Against.  Desjardins tends to use rates / 60 when displaying any stat over minutes played, but I've decided to display scoring chances in chances / 15 minutes of on ice even strength time because I feel it allows the reader to see what a player would average per game if given first line even strength minutes. That means that CF/15 = Chances For per 15 minutes of on ice even strength time; CA/15 = Chances Against per 15 minutes of on ice even strength time.  The fifth stat is DIFF/15, or Scoring Chance Differential per 15 minutes of on ice even strength time.

The next three columns are traditional even strength goals for and even strength goals against stats, totaling the goals scored for and against during the 69 games measured in 2009-2010.

The last four columns are more for a meta-analysis of the relationship between chances and goals scored.  CF/GF is simply Chances For / Goals For, and CA/GA is Chances Against / Goals Against.  The relationship shows how many chances per goal were recorded while on ice.  The final two columns show that relationship by percentage.  %CONF is the percentage of chances converted for; %CONA is the percentage of chances converted against.

All of the above stats were made up by me throughout the year as I compiled Dennis' game-by-game reports, so if you have suggestions for improving them, or ideas for additional stats you think would be meaningful, let me know.


This table is sortable by column -- simply click on the desired column header cell.

71 L. VISNOVSKY  296 288 4.847 4.716 0.131 39 33 6 7.590 8.727 13.2% 11.5%
6 R. WHITNEY 77 78 4.864 4.927 -0.063 16 13 3 4.813 6.000 20.8% 16.7%
77 T. GILBERT  345 371 4.491 4.830 -0.338 49 49 0 7.041 7.571 14.2% 13.2%
5 L. SMID  238 258 4.599 4.985 -0.386 33 27 6 7.212 9.556 13.9% 10.5%
44 S. SOURAY  173 187 4.819 5.209 -0.390 20 31 -11 8.650 6.032 11.6% 16.6%
37 D. GREBESHKOV  205 244 4.326 5.149 -0.823 19 34 -15 10.789 7.176 9.3% 13.9%
00 DEFENSE AVG 1929 2356 4.245 5.185 -0.940 253 311 - 7.625 7.576 13.1% 13.2%
24 S. STAIOS  161 203 4.478 5.646 -1.168 18 28 -10 8.944 7.250 11.2% 13.8%
43 J. STRUDWICK 207 312 3.578 5.393 -1.815 30 40 -10 6.900 7.800 14.5% 12.8%
2 A. JOHNSON 53 82 3.787 5.859 -2.072 7 14 -7 7.571 5.857 13.2% 17.1%
41 T. CHORNEY 112 196 3.227 5.646 -2.420 13 25 -12 8.615 7.840 11.6% 12.8%
49 T. PECKHAM 40 80 2.856 5.713 -2.856 5 12 -7 8.000 6.667 12.5% 15.0%
48 A. PLANTE 6 14 2.259 5.272 -3.013 2 1 1 3.000 14.000 33.3% 7.1%
8 D. ARSENE 15 34 2.697 6.113 -3.416 2 4 -2 7.500 8.500 13.3% 11.8%
58 J. MOTIN 1 9 1.148 10.332 -9.184 0 0 0 - - 0.0% 0.0%


  • Ladislav Smid actually led the defense in chances differential for a significant portion of the season thanks to playing third-pairing minutes with the outstanding Lubomir Visnovsky.  However, the new year was very unkind to Smid.  His last twelve games of the season prior to being injured were absolutely brutal.
  • There was an upwelling of support for signing Aaron Johnson as an unrestricted free agent in the off-season.  The chances numbers show that he's probably better suited to play forward.  To put his performance into perspective, his arrival helped make Taylor Chorney's CA/15 look better.  His opponents' %CONA of 17% was probably on Jeff Deslauriers or Devan Dubnyk, but his total numbers were rough.
  • Who had "Tom Gilbert" as the Oiler defenseman with the second-lowest CA/15 for the season?  Signify by saying "aye".  What makes that more impressive is that Gilbert faced significantly more difficult competition than Visnovsky.
  • Sheldon Souray was again able to generate chances against tough competition, but he was also giving up chances at a terrible rate.  Steve Staios could have been responsible for a portion of that though.
  • Steve Staios is the Flames' problem now.  Thanks Sutter family!
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