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The Oilers Defense Is Offensive

This group should be arrested for crimes against hockey.

How does that guy know where we're going?
How does that guy know where we're going?
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Regular readers are familiar with the chart below - I've used it often to show on-ice deployment and results. This one is so, so very ugly.

The horizontal axis shows qualcomp, the vertical axis shows percentage of percentage of faceoffs taken in the offensive zone, the bubbles are color-coded: blue means the player in the bubble has a positive zonestart-adjusted Corsi, white a negative. Finally, the size of the bubble indicates absolute value zonestart-adjusted Corsi.


*Click to enlarge or find the full-sized chart here.

  • It's Jeff Petry and a bunch of junk.

Throughout the NHL, 206 defensemen have played 20 games or more - 5 Oilers have played 20 or more games. Ranked by ZS Adjusted Corsi, Edmonton has 4 defensemen in the bottom 60: #149 - Anton Belov, #189 - Andrew Ference, #195 - Justin Schultz, #200 - Nick Schultz.

Only Jeff Petry, who has clearly faced the toughest competition on the club avoids the worst list at #132.

In case you were wondering, and I know you were, the notoriously "soft" Tom Gilbert checks in with a top 60 ranking: #46.

The Sabres and Maple Leafs are the worst teams in the league with 7 defensemen each in the bottom 60, the Flames have 5 and the Canadiens and Oilers have 4 each.

It seems that Canada has a problem with possession.