I wrote previously about how many raw scoring chances each team gave up over the last five years. After I published that piece, I read an article from our own TK-Noodle that mentioned those raw totals could be skewed by ice time. If Team A had more even strength ice time over that five-year period than Team B, they might have given up more even strength scoring chances in total, but not necessarily at a higher rate. The ideal way to compare teams would be to look at their even strength scoring chances against per sixty minutes of even strength play
TK has a point. If you look at the 5v5 ice time for each team over the last five years, there's a big gap between the team with the most and the team with the least. In fact, it's more than 1000 minutes. So I took the raw scoring chances numbers that I had and converted them into per-60 rates based on each team's total even strength ice time over this five-year period (2009-2014). The updated chart is below.
|Even Strength Scoring Chances Against/60|
This isn't too different from the chart with the raw scoring chance data in my last article. But the Penguins did fall a bit from 7th in raw scoring chances against to 11th in scoring chances against/60. Overall, it turns out that their defensive play did not border the top-5 teams in the league. Nevertheless, their numbers are still right in the top third of teams, which is comfortably above average.
This can be a helpful benchmark by which to judge this team's defensive performance. I also continue to think that this serves as a reminder that the Penguins were more competent on defense than some gave them credit for over the last five years.