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Last Year's Top Defensive Pairings

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Previously, we looked at various forward combinations from last year and compared their statistics.  Now it's time for the defensive pairings.  Not surprisingly, Tim Gleason and Joe Corvo spent the most time together as the number one pairing, even though Joni Pitkanen actually spent more total time on the ice.   The following results are tabulated while at even-strength:

 

Line Shifts Points Point per Goals GA
Combo Together Together Shift Ratio Allowed per shift
1 Corvo-Gleason 3659 11 0.3% 38 1.0%
2 Babchuk-Pitkanen 2178 19 0.9% 15 0.7%
3 Pitkanen-Seidenberg 1864 15 0.8% 17 0.9%
4 Wallin-Seidenberg 1588 9 0.6% 15 0.9%
5 Corvo-Pitkanen 687 5 0.7% 13 1.9%
6 Babchuk-Wallin 626 3 0.5% 7 1.1%
7 Corvo-Seidenberg 579 10 1.7% 6 1.0%
8 Corvo-Wallin 549 2 0.4% 3 0.5%
9 Gleason-Pitkanen 501 7 1.4% 4 0.8%
10 Corvo-Kaberle 404 4 1.0% 3 0.7%

 

I incorporated information from the two stat sites on one chart for this comparison and included the goals against on the right.  Sometimes Babchuk and Pitkanen got a bad rap for their defense, but their plus/minus and the stats from above indicate that teams did not score very often against them as a pair.  The only pair with a lower GA ratio was Corvo/Wallin and they played one quarter as often together.  

Keep in mind though that Gleason and Corvo usually played against the opposition's best.

Arguably the team's overall best defensemen, Corvo and Pitkanen, did not perform very well as a pairing during even-strength play.  But for powerplay opportunities, the story is a little different. 

 

Line Shifts Points Point per
Combo Together Together Shift Ratio
1 Corvo-Pitkanen 533 20 3.8%
2 Corvo-Seidenberg 309 12 3.9%
3 Babchuk-Pitkanen 289 15 5.2%
4 Corvo (and 4 forwards) 248 7 2.8%
5 Babchuk-Seidenberg 172 4 2.3%
6 Pitkanen-Seidenberg 87 4 4.6%
7 Corvo-Gleason 82 0 0.0%
8 Kaberle-Seidenberg 57 4 7.0%
9 Corvo-Kaberle 57 0 0.0%
10 Corvo-Rodney 40 5 12.5%

 

As you can see, the two offensive minded defensemen, (Corvo and Pitkanen), led in combined shifts and in total points while playing together with the man advantage.  While Corvo and Seidenberg took more shifts together, more points were actually scored when Babchuk and Pitkanen were on the ice together.

Look at the high point percentage the brief time that Rodney and Corvo were on the ice together.  The Canes are going to have to take a long, hard look at Bryan Rodney at training camp. 

Once again, all stats taken from Dobber Hockey and Hockey Analysis.com.