Flames Scoring Chances – Robyn Regehr


As part of FN’s review of the scoring chance data from last season, I’ll be taking a look at the Flames’ two top defenders this week. An examination of Robyn Regehr’s 5v5 results by that metric will be covered in this installment, with Jay Bouwmeester’s results reviewed in the next couple of days.

With that noted, on to Reggie. The Flames’ long-standing tough minutes rearguard had two primary partners during 09/10, and there was some talk about improved play by the brawny Brazilian after the Phaneuf trade. That said, I’m the sort that prefers that the numbers do the talking.

First, a review of Regehr’s circumstances. As per usual, he faced the best competition of any of the Flames’ D, and finished the season with the second toughest ZoneStart numbers, trailing only Bouwmeester. His regular lot in life, if you will. First, his overall 5v5 SC numbers:

 For: 259

Against: 301

SC % 46.3

So, not ideal, since getting outchanced by the other team’s best players usually means trouble. Next, let’s look at the splits with his two main partners. Until game 55, Dion Phaneuf was the man on Regehr’s right flank. They faced the toughest comp, although the Bouwmeester/Gio pairing had tougher ZS numbers, and Regehr compiled these results:

 For: 151

Against: 186

SC% 44.8

About what one might have expected, given the overall numbers. After the trade, Ian White moved on to the top pair, and they faced the toughest comp and ZS of any of the Flame D during this period, including Bouwmeester. That noted, the actual ZS percentages that Reggie/White faced were about the same as Regehr faced with Phaneuf, since the club had better overall ZS numbers after the trade. At any rate, SC numbers for Regehr avec White:

 For: 53

Against: 65

SC% 44.9

Hmm. Another theory shot to hell. That doesn’t invalidate Ian White, btw, since he made about 5.5 million less than Dion last year, and his presence didn’t appear to hurt Reggie. Didn’t help him either, of course. What was more interesting to me were Regehr’s results behind certain forwards. Since Regehr had pretty consistent competition levels, seeing what his numbers looked like with two specific forwards should tell the tale of who did what against the other teams’ better players. First, behind Jarome Iginla:

 For: 108

Against: 149

SC% 42.0

Eeesh. Reggie should have sued for non-support. Regehr didn’t always get his head handed to him, though. Here are his numbers when he played behind Daymond Langkow:

 For: 81

Against: 74

SC% 52.3

Fancy that. Now, to be fair, Chris Higgins did some exceptional work in his brief time with Langkow, since Langkow and Regehr were a bit below 50% without his assistance. Still, the numbers suggest that Regehr was better off when he had Daymond Langkow pushing the pile forward, and given Langkow’s ZS numbers, I think one could likely make a reasonable assumption that when he and Regehr were on the ice together, they were facing the toughs and doing so in their own end. That would act as a depressant on the SC%.  

There is one last duo that I wanted to examine. I know that the Flames’ current personnel on defence will almost certainly preclude them from going this route, and last year’s sample size is pretty small, but here are Regher’s totals with Jay Bouwmeester:

 For: 33

Against: 28

SC% 54.1 

If you consider they would have played the best the other team had to throw out in their shared icetime, and likely only played together when the Flames were ahead and ostensibly sitting back, it does give food for thought. I can’t see it happening full time unless the Flames trade Sarich for a physical, left shooting, second pairing D, though, because I can’t see the Flames using Giordano and White as a pair, and I can’t see them pushing White to the third pair in deference to Sarich.

It’s important to reiterate that Robyn Regehr will always suffer a bit by this metric, since he’ll likely face good comp and moderately difficult ZS until further notice. His numbers will also be dependent on the quality of help that plays in front of him, of course, and if the Flames can compile a decent first line out the melange of forwards on the roster, I suspect the SC numbers will improve. I can’t see a Jokinen/Iginla duo being the solution to that problem, but that’s another tale for another time.

  • Canucks Suck

    I have never watched a live game where Regehr has scored.

    I figure if I don’t want an entire season, these numbers will be radically different. His first 20 goal season could be within my power!

    • Upkeeper

      He also scored in a 1-0 game VS Detroit in 04. I think Regher is an interesting asset. He has value on the team but, does he have more value as trade bait. Our D line is solid and we have solid kids. Maybe it is time to let him go and see what kind of return it could produce.

      It will be interesting to see Bouwmeester’s numbers to see if he could handle this heavy lifting that Regher had. In that piece it would be interesting to see the difference in the numbers with between Florida/Calgary.

    • While I think you are right about the likelihood of this pairing happening, don’t you think it is a mistake not to consider it in the context of the Flames broader match ups?

      I know you are a big proponent of the notion that forwards drive possession and defence have minimal effects, but for the moment assume that defence can have some effect.

      One of the answers the Flames are going to come up with is how to deal with match-ups against Iginla, without totally vaporizing our offence. For example, if Iginla plays with Tanguay and Jokinen, there is a good chance they will get targeted by the other teams top lines and get beat up.

      But what if we rectify this problem by putting Regehr and Bouwmeester out there? It might even the tables a little. It also leaves us free to put Giordano and White out with a strong defensive unit like Langkow, Bourque and Hagman. Those two defenders could also add some more punch at the other end of the ice for a line that may otherwise lack some finish.

      While I think you are correct in analyzing the probablities of that matchup, I hope the Flames coaching staff shows some imagination about this.

      • I think it’s a reasonable idea, if Sutter would ever go for it. Gio/White make a solid 2nd pairing, and while I think either of them could probably play as a #2 dman, may as well have both the heavy hitters on the top pairing. Having the ostensibly most defensively responsible dmen cover for a first line that is likely to be somewhat less responsible defensively certainly makes sense.

  • Another thing this confirms is just what a disaster the Staios acquisition was. Not only did he get his butt handed to him while in CGY, but his $2.7M is money that could have gone towards, say, a Kim Johnsson or Willie Mitchell (or even a Paul Mara) this summer.

  • The fact is that in another year or two Reggie will be worthless. Darryl is horribly at asset management. It was good asset management that resulted in Iginla becoming a Flame. We could get rid of Reg for a great prospect.

  • Greg

    I’m constantly surprised by how much better everyone’s numbers look when Langkow is on the ice. Is anyone else becoming more concerned that he might not be ready at the start of the season?

  • I’m not necessarily trying to defend Iginla but when comparing forwards why not compare 2 centers or 2 wingers? A center plays a much more integral role in the defensive end of the ice, not only in the faceoff dot but helping support the D down low in the slot. Just my thoughts, but otherwise another insightful article.
    I love Reggie, but he is definitely turning into a diminishing asset who looked to get victimized by speedy wingers in Chicago and Vancouver in particular. That being said, I don’t see anyone else on our blue line who can fill his spot with the same effectiveness, or menace.