One of the few bright spots this season for Oilers fans has been the apparent progression of Ladislav Smid. The young defenceman is the only piece of the Pronger trade currently playing a regular shift for the Oilers, and in his fourth season with the team looks to have made significant strides.

At least, Smid looks to have made significant strides when paired with veteran defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky. Away from Visnovsky, the picture gets a little murkier. From Vic Ferrari’s excellent site, here are Smid’s on-ice totals in goals, shots and Corsi with and without Visnovsky:

Ladislav Smid… Goals Shots Corsi
With Visnovsky +26/-18 = +8 +269/-246 = +23 +484/-488 = -4
Without Visnovsy +9/-12 = -3 +102/-166 = -64 +186/-308 = -122

Smid’s numbers with Visnovsky are exceptional, especially for the train wreck that is the 2009-10 Edmonton Oilers. Away from Visnovsky, however, Smid becomes part of the problem.

None of this means that the Oilers should part with Smid; young defensive defenceman take a long time to develop, and Smid’s talents are in short supply on the Oilers blue-line. However, they probably should be careful not to overvalue Smid based on his success with the team’s best defenceman; he’s probably not ready to be paired with a developing defenceman or to carry the load on his own at this point in time.

Comments (6)

  1. What are Visnovsky’s numbers without Smid?

  2. I’m sure if you were to take Grebeshkov’s splits from last year, they’d show a similar trend. I think a part of it also has to do with how Visnovsky is used at even strength. He’s often put out in offensive situations when the puck is already in the offensive zone. That’s going to have an affect too. When Smid was paired with Staios, he was also sharing in Steve Staios’ role which is often defensive zone situations. A guy is going to be on the ice for a lot more shots against than for in a Staios role than he will in a Visnovsky role.

  3. Erik: Visnovsky’s numbers without Smid decrease a little bit (not nearly as much), but as I see it that’s mostly due to the impact of playing with Taylor Chorney.

  4. Who was Smid paired with when he wasn’t with Visnovsky?

    And who else was on the ice at that time? Maybe with Viz, he was also out with Penner and Hemsky a lot, but without Viz he was out with Ethan Moreau, JF Jacques and Patrick O’Sullivan. I can’t recall, though I know Viz is often out with top guys and Staios and Gilbert aren’t so much.

    So maybe Smid is the constant, but the other players are the variable.

    When applying a team stat to an individual player, this is always the big issue, quality of teammate, and if Smid was paired with Gilbert (when was in a funk) or Staios, that can have a major impact, I’d argue.

    For what it’s worth, Smid started off strong this year, IMO, and has gradually played with a little less ooopmh as the season has gone along, for whatever reason.

  5. Jon, I’m just wondering how you found that data. I know of Vic’s site, but I’ve only ever used his per game numbers. I’d love to do some work like you did here.

  6. Geoff Detweiler: This article ( explains things pretty well.

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