[Wild About Numbers]: Defensive Production at 5v5 in the Mike Yeo Era for the Wild vs the Rest of the NHL

Remember when Marek Zidlicky was relied upon to score from the blueline? - Dylan Lynch

A lack of production from defencemen was often highlighted as a major issue for the Wild during Mike Yeo's first couple of seasons as head coach; are those issues now a thing of the past?

Firstly, here's a table showing, for each season of Mike Yeo's tenure, the number of defencemen who dressed in the regular season, the total points they scored, the number of them that were primary points (goals and 1st assists), the total 5v5 time on ice of the group, the 5v5 Points per 60 minutes and the 5v5 Primary Points per 60 minutes for all the defencemen combined:

SEASON

PLAYERS

POINTS

PRIMARY POINTS

5v5 TOI

5v5 P/60

5v5 P1/60

2011/12

15

56

27

7763.6

0.4328

0.2087

2012/13

9

47

17

4620.3

0.6103

0.2208

2013/14

9

66

32

5593.1

0.7080

0.3432

  • What is notable about the 2011/12 season is the amount of defenceman who dressed for the Wild due to injuries and trades.
  • The Wild have dressed 9 defencemen in each of the last two seasons but this year's group is out-producing last year's by a fair margin.


..and just to outline the key numbers from that table:

Defencemen_scoring_trends_medium

  • As you can quite clearly see, the Wild's production from the blueline at 5v5 has improved greatly in three years.


*

-The following tables show where the Wild's defencemen ranked in 5v5 P/60 and 5v5 P1/60 in each of the last 3 seasons:

2011/12

#

Team

P/60

#

Team

P1/60

1

Senators

0.947

1

Senators

0.527

2

Flyers

0.898

2

Flyers

0.493

3

Jets

0.849

3

Jets

0.474

4

Red Wings

0.819

4

Red Wings

0.464

5

Canucks

0.789

5

Rangers

0.461

6

Blue Jackets

0.777

6

Blue Jackets

0.455

7

Bruins

0.756

7

Devils

0.436

8

Leafs

0.753

8

Bruins

0.431

9

Lightning

0.750

9

Lightning

0.428

10

Blues

0.747

10

Predators

0.425

11

Devils

0.742

11

Leafs

0.414

12

Rangers

0.730

12

Avalanche

0.412

13

Predators

0.724

13

Penguins

0.403

14

Ducks

0.712

14

Blackhawks

0.400

15

Penguins

0.705

15

Canucks

0.398

16

Blackhawks

0.685

16

Blues

0.397

17

Capitals

0.673

17

Hurricanes

0.390

18

Avalanche

0.671

18

Capitals

0.386

19

Hurricanes

0.661

19

Ducks

0.364

20

Sharks

0.661

20

Sabres

0.363

21

Sabres

0.643

21

Coyotes

0.362

22

Flames

0.625

22

Flames

0.343

23

Islanders

0.597

23

Canadiens

0.342

24

Canadiens

0.597

24

Stars

0.308

25

Coyotes

0.595

25

Sharks

0.294

26

Stars

0.548

26

Panthers

0.287

27

Panthers

0.522

27

Islanders

0.284

28

Oilers

0.513

28

Oilers

0.272

29

Kings

0.451

29

Kings

0.245

30

Wild

0.370

30

Wild

0.208

  • This probably won't surprise many of you, but the Wild finished dead last in both categories during the 2012 season. What a fun year that was.
  • Also, it's no surprise that the Senators, in Erik Karlsson's Norris season, finished 1st in both.


2012/13

#

Team

P/60

#

Team

P1/60

1

Penguins

0.926

1

Penguins

0.569

2

Lightning

0.839

2

Capitals

0.536

3

Capitals

0.838

3

Bruins

0.516

4

Canadiens

0.835

4

Senators

0.503

5

Leafs

0.829

5

Lightning

0.485

6

Senators

0.821

6

Jets

0.481

7

Jets

0.811

7

Coyotes

0.475

8

Coyotes

0.805

8

Leafs

0.474

9

Blackhawks

0.788

9

Rangers

0.471

10

Rangers

0.763

10

Canadiens

0.452

11

Bruins

0.735

11

Predators

0.434

12

Hurricanes

0.721

12

Sabres

0.415

13

Canucks

0.721

13

Hurricanes

0.406

14

Blues

0.716

14

Blues

0.403

15

Stars

0.710

15

Blackhawks

0.387

16

Sabres

0.709

16

Blue Jackets

0.386

17

Kings

0.695

17

Flyers

0.383

18

Predators

0.651

18

Canucks

0.380

19

Blue Jackets

0.644

19

Stars

0.375

20

Ducks

0.641

20

Kings

0.367

21

Red Wings

0.637

21

Oilers

0.360

22

Flyers

0.630

22

Red Wings

0.358

23

Islanders

0.611

23

Flames

0.348

24

Wild

0.610

24

Ducks

0.282

25

Oilers

0.601

25

Islanders

0.267

26

Flames

0.567

26

Panthers

0.243

27

Avalanche

0.498

27

Devils

0.226

28

Panthers

0.487

28

Sharks

0.226

29

Sharks

0.479

29

Wild

0.220

30

Devils

0.465

30

Avalanche

0.209

  • Last season saw the Wild moved off the bottom of the pile in P/60 and up to 24th.
  • If you exclude secondary assists, the Wild fall back to 29th. While secondary assists are important, goals and primary assists from defencemen suggest that they are more directly involved in producing offence.


2013/14

#

Team

P/60

#

Team

P1/60

1

Blackhawks

1.070

1

Blues

0.559

2

Blues

1.040

2

Blackhawks

0.555

3

Senators

0.886

3

Bruins

0.554

4

Bruins

0.847

4

Senators

0.514

5

Canucks

0.825

5

Coyotes

0.513

6

Lightning

0.809

6

Jets

0.489

7

Coyotes

0.808

7

Canucks

0.480

8

Blue Jackets

0.800

8

Sharks

0.455

9

Penguins

0.780

9

Capitals

0.444

10

Jets

0.765

10

Panthers

0.431

11

Sharks

0.762

11

Kings

0.430

12

Avalanche

0.753

12

Ducks

0.429

13

Capitals

0.737

13

Flyers

0.425

14

Panthers

0.712

14

Lightning

0.415

15

Ducks

0.709

15

Avalanche

0.398

16

Wild

0.708

16

Blue Jackets

0.395

17

Flyers

0.704

17

Penguins

0.379

18

Red Wings

0.685

18

Devils

0.359

19

Predators

0.674

19

Predators

0.358

20

Flames

0.665

20

Islanders

0.354

21

Islanders

0.636

21

Stars

0.349

22

Hurricanes

0.621

22

Hurricanes

0.348

23

Stars

0.611

23

Wild

0.343

24

Kings

0.595

24

Red Wings

0.342

25

Canadiens

0.592

25

Canadiens

0.333

26

Devils

0.580

26

Flames

0.332

27

Rangers

0.572

27

Oilers

0.310

28

Oilers

0.524

28

Leafs

0.262

29

Leafs

0.472

29

Rangers

0.254

30

Sabres

0.410

30

Sabres

0.244

  • So far this season the Wild have shot up to the middle of the P/60 rankings, showing a gigantic improvement in 2 years.
  • There is still a large disparity between their P/60 and P1/60 with Wild defencemen just not scoring enough goals and primary assists at 5v5.

*

-Next, let's look at the 5v5 production for the Wild's individual defencemen (at least 50% of games played) from each of the last 3 seasons:

2011/2012

#

PLAYER

GP

G/60

A1/60

P/60

1

Marek Zidlicky

41

0

0.56

0.93

2

Jared Spurgeon

70

0.05

0.32

0.54

3

Nate Prosser

51

0.08

0.23

0.54

4

Justin Falk

47

0

0.16

0.57

5

Clayton Stoner

51

0.08

0.08

0.23

6

Marco Scandella

63

0.06

0.06

0.23

7

Nick Schultz

62

0

0

0.12

  • Zidlicky was the only Wild blueliner who could score at 5v5 in 2011/12, and after he was traded the scoring dried up completely.


2012/13

#

PLAYER

GP

G/60

A1/60

P/60

1

Ryan Suter

48

0

0.25

0.82

2

Tom Gilbert

43

0.18

0.18

0.73

3

Clayton Stoner

48

0

0.16

0.71

4

Jonas Brodin

45

0

0.14

0.5

5

Jared Spurgeon

39

0.1

0.1

0.48

6

Justin Falk

36

0

0.14

0.43

  • Thankfully the Wild then entered the Suter/Gilbert era and they brought some good 5v5 scoring to the defensive corps.


2013/14

#

PLAYER

GP

G/60

A1/60

P/60

1

Marco Scandella

55

0.22

0.29

1.15

2

Keith Ballard

38

0.27

0.27

0.93

3

Ryan Suter

59

0.14

0.14

0.76

4

Jared Spurgeon

45

0

0.58

0.75

5

Nate Prosser

33

0.14

0

0.69

6

Jonas Brodin

56

0.27

0

0.49

7

Clayton Stoner

52

0

0.2

0.39

  • Things are much better this season, with Scandella, Ballard, Suter and Spurgeon providing some good offence at 5v5.
  • I'm skeptical as to how much 5v5 offence Keith Ballard will produce over the rest of the season, but I think Spurgeon is going to score a lot of points. He has been somewhat snake-bitten this year and is due a slew of goals.
  • Clayton Stoner has gone back to being Clayton Stoner. Oh well.


-Here are each of the individual seasons from the tables above ranked by P/60:

2011-2014

#

PLAYER

GP

G/60

A1/60

P/60

1

Marco Scandella (2014)

55

0.22

0.29

1.15

2

Marek Zidlicky (2012)

41

0

0.56

0.93

3

Keith Ballard (2014)

38

0.27

0.27

0.93

4

Ryan Suter (2013)

48

0

0.25

0.82

5

Ryan Suter (2014)

59

0.14

0.14

0.76

6

Jared Spurgeon (2014)

45

0

0.58

0.75

7

Tom Gilbert (2013)

43

0.18

0.18

0.73

8

Clayton Stoner (2013)

48

0

0.16

0.71

9

Nate Prosser (2014)

33

0.14

0

0.69

10

Justin Falk (2012)

47

0

0.16

0.57

11

Jared Spurgeon (2012)

70

0.05

0.32

0.54

12

Nate Prosser (2012)

51

0.08

0.23

0.54

13

Jonas Brodin (2013)

45

0

0.14

0.5

14

Jonas Brodin (2014)

56

0.27

0

0.49

15

Jared Spurgeon (2013)

39

0.1

0.1

0.48

16

Justin Falk (2013)

36

0

0.14

0.43

17

Clayton Stoner (2014)

52

0

0.2

0.39

18

Clayton Stoner (2012)

51

0.08

0.08

0.23

19

Marco Scandella (2012)

63

0.06

0.06

0.23

20

Nick Schultz (2012)

62

0

0

0.12

  • Marco Scandella is currently on pace to be the most efficient defenceman of the Mike Yeo era so far in terms of generating offence at 5v5. He's not a guy who gets talked about a lot as being an offensive contributor, but he has been very reliable this season, and he has done so while getting used in fairly tough situations. At times he has shown that he has a really hard shot with a quick release, so would it be a terrible idea to use him on the powerplay?
  • 4 of the top 6 from the above rankings are from this season, while the bottom 3 are all from 2012. That tells you all you need to know.


Follow me on Twitter for more opinion and analysis.


P.s. I had to manually calculate a lot of the numbers in this which took a long time and was tedious, to say the least so, for future reference, does anyone know a site that keeps track of points-scoring by position at team level? If so, send me a link.
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