"Okay, fine. I'll carry you too."
Tom Gilbert still takes fire from some corners of the Oilers fan base. As I wrote in December:
Even though no forward on the team has a .500 or better scoring chance percentage without Gilbert, it's Gilbert that has taken the blame, not the other defenders. Even though Gilbert's only bad stretch of the season came when paired with Jason Strudwick, the narrative says that Gilbert's miscues have been behind the terrible penalty kill and weak team defense. Message boards, blogs, twitter and even our game threads have notes about each one of Gilbert's supposed mishaps, and each one of those supposed mishaps is more evidence of Gilbert's woeful play.
The narrative remains and the fans who believe in that narrative remain relentless. Gilbert's amazing season, however, continues. He's not above water, but considering the minutes he's played and the partners he's carried, Gilbert's scoring chance differential per fifteen minutes of -0.364 is outstanding.
For those of you new to the concept of a scoring chance, or tracking scoring chances, 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 (nicknamed the Home Plate), 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.
Seven teams are currently being tracked, the Oilers by Dennis King at MC79hockey.com, the Flames by Kent Wilson at Flames Nation, the Rangers by George Ays at Blueshirt Banter, the Panthers by Derek Zona at Litter Box Cats, the Capitals by Neil Greenberg at Russian Machine Never Breaks, the Canadiens by Olivier at En attendant les Nordiques, and the Leafs at Under the Helmet of Slava Duris.
I've sorted the chances by forwards and defenseman. TSC = total scoring chances, TSCA = total scoring chances against, CF/15 = chances for per 15 minutes of even strength time, CA/15 = chances against per 15 minutes of even strength time, SCDIFF = scoring chances difference, DIFF/15 = scoring chances difference per 15 minutes of ice time. The table is sorted by DIFF/15. The tables are sortable by column, simply click on the header row.
- Taylor Hall is outstanding by this metric. Playing with good teammates against secondary competition, he's showing he can beat those minutes soundly.
- Ryan Jones...well, let's just say he should've taken whatever contract the Oilers offered him.
- The story goes that Jeff Petry "lost his confidence". If that's the case, what did the rest of the defensive corps lose?
- In a very limited sample size, Taylor Chorney didn't look so bad.
- Ryan O`Marra, on the other hand...