Oilers Scoring Chances By Defense Pairings

Put 77 and 5 together and good things happen.

Defensive pairings are the only scoring chances left to grind through.  The segments and WOWYs, isolated the players who were driving the play, the power play and penalty kill chances showed that the Oilers' special teams have miles to go, while the even strength totals showed just how poor the depth is on the roster. After working through the scoring chances by line combination, it only makes sense to draw out the chances by defensive pairing.

As always, thanks to Dennis King at MC79hockey for recording all of this information.

TCF = season total even strength chances for; TCA = season total even strength chances against; CH% = scoring chance percentage

*Table is sortable by column, simply click on the column header.  Initial sort is on CH%
Pairing TCF TCA CH%
Vandermeer Gilbert 25 11 0.694
Whitney Strudwick 32 28 0.533
Smid Petry 92 84 0.523
Smid Gilbert 117 110 0.515
Smid Strudwick 16 16 0.500
Whitney Vandermeer 41 42 0.494
Vandermeer Petry 39 40 0.494
Whitney Foster 29 30 0.492
Strudwick Vandermeer 15 17 0.469
Strudwick Foster 29 33 0.468
Peckham Gilbert 152 177 0.462
Peckham Strudwick 17 21 0.447
Whitney Gilbert 42 54 0.438
Whitney Smid 15 20 0.429
Peckham Foster 23 31 0.426
Smid Foster 66 94 0.413
Peckham Vandermeer 52 76 0.406
Vandermeer Foster 44 67 0.396
Smid Vandermeer 18 31 0.367
Strudwick Gilbert 15 33 0.313
Peckham Smid 10 25 0.286
Whitney Peckham 7 21 0.250

 

  • Tom Gilbert and Ladislav Smid were a very good pairing this season, playing against fist and second-level minutes.  A first-pairing defenseman remains their biggest need, and though Jonathan Willis believes they need two defenseman, I'm comfortable with Smid - Gilbert against second minutes, though I'm not comfortable with the depth of the rest of the roster.
  • Smid and Jeff Petry also had a nice showing, mostly against second and third minutes, but it reinforces the thought that Smid needs a right-side partner capable of moving the puck on his own.  Gilbert and Petry both fit the bill for Smid long-term.
  • I've talked about Theo Peckham's struggles against top-flight competition before, and it shows here through both Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney.  One of the big reasons for bringing in a first-pairing defenseman is to limit Peckham's minutes to third-tough minutes, a la Matt Greene in 2005-06.
  • Limiting Kurtis Foster to third minutes and seventh defenseman duties would make the defense more effective and limit Foster's exposure.
  • Jim Vandermeer varied from great (with Gilbert) to terrible (with Peckham), but wouldn't be a bad addition at $750,000 or thereabouts.

Here are the chance percentages in matrix form:

 


2 5 6 26 43 49 58 77
2
0.367 0.494 0.396 0.469 0.406 0.494 0.694
5 0.367

0.413 0.500 0.286 0.523 0.515
6 0.494 0.429
0.492 0.533 0.250 1.000 0.438
26 0.396 0.413 0.492
0.468 0.426 0.700 0.667
43 0.469 0.500 0.533 0.468
0.447 0.600 0.313
49 0.406 0.286 0.250 0.426 0.447
0.833 0.462
58 0.494 0.523 1.000 0.700 0.600 0.833
0.533
77 0.694 0.515 0.438 0.667 0.313 0.462 0.533
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