Defining the performance of NHL lines: Flyers defensemen (part 6)

In Part 1, I looked to define the average 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line forward based on performance.

In part 2 and part 3, I used the data from part 1 to look at the performance of our Flyers forwards.

In part 4, I looked to define the average 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pair defensemen based on performance.

In part 5, I looked at the Flyers defensemen and how they compared to average 1st pair, 2nd pair, and 3rd pair D-men.

In pat 6, I will again look at Flyers defensemen.

Let's take a quick look at some even strength Fenwick stats on all Flyers defensemen who played 100 minutes this season.

# Player Name TOI FF20 FA20 FF% TMFF20 TMFA20 TMFF% OppFF20 OppFA20 OppFF% OZFO% DZFO% NZFO%
1 TIMONEN, KIMMO 629:54:00 14.193 12.51 0.531 12.65 14.431 0.467 13.73 13.288 0.508 29.4 29.3 41.3
2 SCHENN, LUKE 825:14:00 13.499 12.821 0.513 12.651 14.938 0.459 13.718 13.32 0.507 28.9 32.2 38.9
3 GROSSMANN, NICKLAS 435:51:00 12.206 12.894 0.486 12.755 14.592 0.466 13.476 13.31 0.503 26.2 34.3 39.6
4 LAURIDSEN, OLIVER 206:53:00 12.568 13.727 0.478 13.152 13.896 0.486 13.837 13.205 0.512 27.8 36.1 36.1
5 COBURN, BRAYDON 586:17:00 12.724 14.293 0.471 12.731 13.67 0.482 13.54 13.3 0.504 25.1 36.5 38.4
6 GERVAIS, BRUNO 569:32:00 12.677 14.468 0.467 12.837 13.874 0.481 13.405 13.295 0.502 26.9 32.6 40.5
7 GUSTAFSSON, ERIK 441:35:00 12.818 14.992 0.461 12.943 13.967 0.481 13.776 13.313 0.508 23.3 33.3 43.4
8 HUSKINS, KENT 253:30:00 10.256 13.018 0.441 13.513 12.951 0.511 12.678 13.361 0.487 34.4 32.6 33
9 FOSTER, KURTIS 261:09:00 12.483 17.538 0.416 12.597 13.587 0.481 13.313 13.097 0.504 26.4 33.9 39.7
10 MESZAROS, ANDREJ 156:30:00 9.201 15.463 0.373 13.096 13.997 0.483 13.18 12.73 0.509 28.1 39.1 32.8

As you can see, only Luke Schenn and Kimmo Timmonen were able to drive possession forward more than their opponent (both over 50% Fenwick for).

This should not come as a surprise that Schenn and Kimmo were our two best defensemen. However, Schenn and Kimmo were able to accomplish this by playing with perhaps with poorest teammates. Schenn has the lowest Teammate Fenwick For%, and Kimmo has the 3rd lowest TMFF% (note: unlike behindthenet's Rel Corsi QoT, this stat, courtesy of stats.hockeyanalysis, looks at a player's teammates performance only when the teammate is away from the player. This means that when the line mates of Luke Schenn were on the ice and Schenn was on the bench, they collectively had a weighted Fenwick for % of 45.9%).

So we know that Luke Schenn and Timmonen are pretty good. Let's look at what these stats tell us about our other Flyers defensemen.

As I mentioned in the previous role, Laviolette's usage of Oliver Lauridsen is very surprising. Most rookies, especially call-ups midseason, tend to get sheltered a bit. But instead, Laviolette kinda threw Lauridson's feet into the fire. His opponents Fenwick For per 20 (13.837) was the highest among all Flyers D-men, while his Opponents Fenwick For% was also the highest among flyers defensemen.

This basically is telling us that Lauridson played against perhaps the toughest competition amongst all Flyers D-men. Also, 36.1% of all faceoffs Lauridson was on the ice for were in the defensive zone, 3rd highest amongst Flyers D-men. Now it's important to note that Lauridson played almost exclusively with Schenn, so much of the burden of these tough minutes fell on Luke Schenn. It is however very puzzling why Laviolette would use Lauridson in this way.

One look at Kurtis Foster's FA20 of 17.538 tells us all we need to know about him. That's over 2 shots/missed shots worse than any other Flyer's defensemen. To make this number less abstract, say that Timmonen and Foster both played 1000 minutes this season. If this happened, and everything else stayed the same, Foster would have given up 251 more shots/missed shots in those 1000 minutes. Multiply 251 by Foster's Fenwick shooting percentage against (5.24%) and you get slightly over 13 goals. This means that over 1000 minutes, Foster would have, just on the defensive side of the puck, cost the Flyers slightly over 2 wins compared to Timmonen.

And he accomplished this with the third lowest OppFF20 and the second highest TMFA20 amongst Flyers D-men. Translation, Foster sucked while playing against offensively challenged opponents and defensively gifted teammates. This is proof enough that the Flyers have no business resigning Foster this offseason.

Nothing else really stands out to me, so let's take a look at Powerplay and penalty kill.

Player Team Pos GP SH TOI/G PP TOI/G PP goals PP assists PP points
Kimmo Timonen PHI D 45 2:55 3:48 3 14 17
Andrej Meszaros PHI D 11 1:18 2:02 0 1 1
Erik Gustafsson PHI D 27 1:18 1:35 0 1 1
Kurtis Foster PHI D 23 0:06 1:20 1 0 1
Braydon Coburn PHI D 33 3:28 0:23 0 0 0
Luke Schenn PHI D 47 2:49 0:21 0 0 0
Bruno Gervais PHI D 37 0:54 0:15 0 0 0
Kent Huskins PHI D 8 1:42 0:10 0 0 0
Nicklas Grossmann PHI D 30 3:07 0:03 0 0 0
Oliver Lauridsen PHI D 15 0:50 0:01 0 0 0
Andreas Lilja PHI D 4 1:41 0:01 0 0 0
Brandon Manning PHI D 6 0:04 0:00 0 0 0
Matthew Konan PHI D 2 0:28 0:00 0 0 0

The powerplay is a pretty pathetic list. Besides for Kimmo, no one did anything on the powrplay. Kimmo had 75% of goals and 85% of all points from Flyers defensemen on the power play. Mezaros played a decent amount on the power play when healthy, but then he got hurt. Gusty and Foster each played over a minutes each per game in 20 plus games each, and yet they both managed a grand total of one point. This is honestly pathetic, and makes me realize that although I still hate the Streit signing, the Flyers really do need a second defensemen who is semi-competent on the power play.

With the forward depth the Flyers have, they can get away with not having a ton of great powerplay D-men, but having only 1 like this past year is pretty pathetic.

The heavy lifters on the Penalty kill for the Flyers were Grossman, Couburn, Schenn, and Timonen (again). In the few games I have tracked zone exits, Grossman seems to be pretty effective at clearing the zone on the penalty kill, but I'll leave that for another post and another day.

Well this concludes this 6 part series. Posts 1 and 4 are definitely something that can be applied to every team/player in the NHL to compare performance, while posts 2,3,5,and 6 served more to check out how our Flyers did this past season.


This item was written by a member of this community and is not necessarily endorsed by <em>Broad Street Hockey</em>.

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