Comparing Edmonton Oilers Defense Production to Philadelphia Flyers Defense Production

One interesting thing I discovered when looking at these statistics is that, in the five full seasons Tom Renney coached after the lockout, the highest point total recorded by one of his defencemen was 40 points. Michal Roszival notched 10 goals and 30 assists during the 2006-07 season for the New York Rangers. It's not a bad total by any stretch, but very surprising that with five different defence groups the highest point total recorded was just 40 points. Fantasy hockey geeks beware: Do NOT draft a defenceman who plays on a Tom Renney-coached team.

It's no secret that the Edmonton Oilers haven't had a true offensive defenceman since Chris Pronger. This season Jeff Petry carried the torch, posting a team high 25 points, including 19 at even strength. Petry saw very little powerplay time for a player with his offensive ability and situation (the Oilers being shallow on the back end). Per 60 minutes, Petry saw just 1:16 of powerplay time per game. Corey Potter, on the other hand, saw 2:25 of powerplay time per game, nearly double that of Petry.

The average Edmonton Oiler defenceman produced ~22 points this season; 4 goals and 18 assists. Petry led the way with 25 points. Potter and Whitney were right behind, posting 21 and 20 points respectively. Overall the Edmonton Oiler defence scored 10.63% of the team's 207 goals, while accounting for 22% of the team's shots on goal. At even strength, Petry led the way again with 19 points. Ladislav Smid, having a career year offensively, was second with 14 points. The average Oiler defender, at even strength, produced ~3 goals and 12 assists for 15 points. Edmonton Oiler defencemen scored 10.1% of the team's goals at even strength. This was all for the 19th ranked offense in the league last season.

In Philadelphia last season, the defence was led by Kimmo Timmonen, Matt Carle and Andrej Mezaros. The Flyers defencemen accounted for 9.47% of the team's 264 goals (3rd ranked offense in NHL). That number is slightly lower than the contributions of Oiler defencemen. The numbers across the board don't vary too much from the Edmonton Oilers totals. The major disparity lies in both the percentage of Flyers powerplay goals scored by defencemen, and average points at even strength.

On the powerplay Flyers defencemen scored 32% of the team's goals, triple that of the Edmonton Oilers 10.31%. It seems that a difference in coaching philosophies is the reason for this.

The average Flyer defenceman produced 23 points at even strength; 3 goals and 20 assists. This is 47% higher than the average Oiler defenceman. This can be explained, in part, by sheer resources. Cam Barker, Theo Pekham, Colton Teubert and Alex Plante all spent time in the Oiler lineup this season. Between the four, they accounted for 2 goals. Also, Ryan Whitney was coming off an injury-plagued year and wasn't producing at his normal rate. The biggest surprise on the Oilers was Ladislav Smid, with 14 even strength points. That was by far the biggest total he has ever produced in one season.

On the Flyers end, their blueline was far more experienced and skilled. Timmonen, Carle, Mezaros and Braydon Coburn all produced at least 20 even strength points. The Flyers had more resources, and were more skilled on the blueline than the Edmonton Oilers.

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