Penner leaves BoC—will his offense go with him?

So in the wake of Dustin Penner’s recent departure to more Oilish pastures, I thought I’d take a brief look today a bit closer at how his on-ice performance last year broke down by opponent.

Similar to what I noted last February about the Sharks’ Jonathan Cheechoo, it appears that Penner greatly increased his scoring rates against BoC opponents compared to his scoring rates against the rest of the league. Penner scored 8 points in 8 games against the Sharks, 7 points in 8 games against the Kings, and 38 points in 87 games against non-BoC opponents. The table below is a simplified version of the findings (regular season + playoffs, broken down by even-strength and power play results):

Opponent

GP ES Min. ES G-A-Pts. ES Pts./hr ES +/- /hr

BoC

16

180

6-3-9

3.00

+2.33

non-BoC

87

945

17-10-27

1.72

-0.19

Opponent GP PP Min. PP G-A-Pts. PP Pts./hr PP +/- /hr

BoC

16

44

3-3-6

8.12

+14.89

non-BoC

87

270

6-5-11

2.44

+5.11

It’s really an interesting split—BoC opponents represent 16% of Penner’s games played, 28% of his goals-scored, and 28% of his points-scored. And it is worth noting that nearly all his numbers were better against the formidable Sharks than against the pushover Kings (in fact, in 8 games against the Sharks, Penner was not on the ice for a single goal-against).

I don’t think there’s enough here to draw any hard conclusions, but either Penner really got motivated for in-state divisional rivals, or else these two teams specifically had trouble controlling the big body. In either case, it’s probably a good thing for the Sharks and Kings that they figure to see half as much Penner in the coming season as they did last year.

Of course, the real question might be for Penner himself: is it a bad thing for him and the Oilers that he'll see half as much Kings and Sharks as he did last year? Theories are welcome in the comments.

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