Scoring Chances Through 50: The Defence

For the second season in a row, Oilers blogger Dennis has taken on the mammoth task of charting scoring chances in every single Oilers game, and posting the data at mc79hockey.com. Earlier today, he posted the results for two missed games from earlier in the year, and now we have a complete set of scoring chance statistics for the Oilers.

Let’s start by looking at the defence.

Player SC +/-, Season SC +/-, Last 10 SC/Game SC/60
Taylor Chorney 4 4 0.7 3.0
Jeff Petry 12 20 0.8 2.8
Ryan Whitney -11 0 -0.3 -1.0
Tom Gilbert -26 -6 -0.5 -1.7
Ladislav Smid -33 12 -0.7 -2.6
Kurtis Foster -35 7 -0.7 -3.2
Jason Strudwick -19 -2 -0.9 -3.7
Theo Peckham -59 -11 -1.3 -4.5
Jim Vandermeer -36 -2 -1.2 -5.1
Shawn Belle -9 0 -1.8 -7.2

A few points on the data:

Shawn Belle and Taylor Chorney are the only players on this list with less than 10 games played, so I wouldn’t read too much into one being at the top of the list and the other at the bottom.

Theo Peckham’s placement needs some context. He’s playing the toughest competition on the team and starting a lot in his own end. Tom Renney’s essentially throwing him to the wolves, which is an interesting development strategy (albeit one Peckham will be familiar with from his AHL days) and not something I’d generally recommend for a rookie defenceman. I like Peckham a lot, but he’s not ready for this role.

Jeff Petry has been very, very good. He had a bit of a rough start to his AHL career, so I’m glad the team gave him some time to adapt to the professional game, but he’s easily ready for NHL service now.

The big difference between Strudwick and Vandermeer is that Renney has repeatedly sent Vandermeer out for defensive zone faceoffs, while he’s tried to get Strudwick out in the offensive zone more often than the defensive zone. I remain hopeful that the Oilers can get some kind of minimal return for Vandermeer at the deadline.

Tom Gilbert, who has generally been paired with Theo Peckham against the toughs (and with Ryan Whitney against the toughs prior to that) looks very good here, and I don’t think that should surprise anyone. Gilbert takes a lot of flak from the fans for his playing style and occasional miscues, but the reality is that he’s one of the few blue-liners on the team not drowning – despite doing one of the toughest jobs on the team.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    In a similar vien, I’ve noticed the Oil seem to be outshooting their opponent alot in the last 10 – 12 games or so (or at least not getting outshot as badly)

    So, is Petry part of the reason the shots/SC have been going down? Or is he the benifactor of the team playing alot better the last month or so?

  • Most of that +/- for Peckham is coming from a lack of scoring chances for, correct? I’m not sure if these numbers are the same from coppernblue but on that site for just chances against alone, he was second best among the regulars which I would think is pretty impressive for a rookie playing toughs. It’s his offensive/puck moving game that needs developing, the defensive side of the game he seems to be adapting very well to. By the numbers at least.

    • bigrroberto

      Completely agree. The guy is fierce. He plays physical and doesn’t put up with any garbage from anyone. With a little softer mins, 3rd paring like you said, he’d be a real gem and I think would prove even more valuable.

  • @ Jon:

    Yeah, the numbers are mostly the same (these include a few more games). I’d suggest that part of Peckham’s problem might be the forwards he’s on the ice with; it feels like he’s spent a lot of time with Cogliano’s line.

  • Horcsky

    “Tom Gilbert, who has generally been paired with Theo Peckham against the toughs (and with Ryan Whitney against the toughs prior to that) looks very good here, and I don’t think that should surprise anyone. Gilbert takes a lot of flak from the fans for his playing style and occasional miscues, but the reality is that he’s one of the few blue-liners on the team not drowning – despite doing one of the toughest jobs on the team.”

    Sounds about right. I just can’t see how he throws it wildly into the slot once every other game when he’s a very competent player for the most part.

  • DSF

    Nice job JW. I have to agree with you here and disagree with Robin. RB was busy throwing Tommy Gilbert under the bus on air today, and I disagree with that. Gilby is not a hitter or a shooter. Stop trying to make him into something he isnt. He’s a thoroughbred, and this team needs his excellent puck moving abilities.
    Its like the guys who want Penner to turn into Sean Avery.

  • Could the defenses problem be that we almost always let players stand in front of our net unopposed. Heck we dont even annoy em. Half the time we join in and help em screen who ever is in net any given night? Yeesh!

  • O.C.

    Smid Peckham at 5 and 6 is a LOT better when placed in comparison to RTL. The Oil are one defenseman (and Whitneys rehab) from being rock solid.

    Not sure the scoring chances are very good as a whole. Would like to see first 10 games, during key injury phases, Whitney, Horcoff, Eberle, Hemsky… And how the roles changed from get to know people, to build playmaking to holding the fort.

    Would also like to see Further broken out by PP, SH, ES…

  • These stats are awesome, thanks JW. I have Jeff Petry and Peckham as my biggest surprises for the year so far.

    Pecks could be a dustin byfoglien type player if they focused a bit more on his offensive abilities. I actually left my seat after 3 MONSTER hits he threw last game.

    As for Petry… wow. The kid ACTUALLY moves to the centre of the ice to shoot (like Pronger used to do) giving him WAY more options. Look for slap pass, shoot wide and hope for tip, or rocket a blast in there.

    I don’t care who we keep on defense as long as Pecks and Petry stay in the oil drop. I actually liked Chorney too and think he is better than Struds, Smid and Foster.

    The problem I see in Foster is he’s SO scared to race back for a puck (I guess I wouldn’t blame him). He ALSO cannot one time a shot if his life depended on it. He ALWAYS stops the puck before he shoots… and it is ALWAYS wide (like Hamrlik used to do)

    Anyway, GO OILERS. We might be the worst team in the NHL… but the upside to growing this team (with 4 new defense and a big center added) would be perfect.

  • 58 looks to be a real find and I’ve love to see how good he’d be on an older and better team.

    Right now he’s certainly a bottom pairing D and given his age you’d think he’ll progress rapidly.

    I’ve been annoyed with 49 for awhile but he’s playing tough comp and without a lot of GP and with a young and/or poor forwards corps and in front of at times terrible netminding.

    So, yeah, it’s still been a promising year for him.