It was an extremely quiet night in the NHL, with just two games on the schedule. This offers the chance to dig in a little deeper with both games. Boychuk was strong, Karlsson was quiet, and the NYR and Bruins perfectly split their game chart in half.
Before looking deeper, a few words on reading the charts:
A couple of notes on reading the charts:
- the Corsi differential is based on 5v5 play and is score-adjusted, as per war-on-ice.
- players at the top (with bars extending to the right) posted positive differentials (good)
- players at the bottom (and to the left) posted negative differentials (bad)
- the colour of each bar represents the player’s time on ice (see legend at the bottom)
- each players individual Corsi For attempts are included in parentheses
- a player with a strong C +/- but a (0) for iCF didn’t directly contribute to his strong showing.
- a player with a weak C +/- but a strong iCF score (i.e. greater than 5) may have been hindered by linemates. Maybe.
- like any reasonable person, I don’t believe that Corsi is everything. But it’s a very important part of the everything.
Boychuk and De Haan were paired together and the duo led the way. Boychuk is usually paired with Leddy but that duo doesn’t generally produce strong Corsi results. Perhaps this lesser-used partnership makes sense.
Boychuk also led all with 7 iCF, showing his direct contribution to his leading spot on the chart. Overall, strong night for him.
At the other end, the Senators had little going for them. Methot posted a +5 Corsi differential and Ceci, Chiasson, Dzingel, Hoffman, and Gomez (?!) joined him on the positive side.
Most Sens compiled negative Corsi differentials, including Mike “Thor” Kostka and Erik Karlsson. Most odd of all is Karlsson’s 0 iCF. He regularly posts strong iCF (no surprise) but also posts double digits marks at times.
Even stars have off-games here and there.
A perfectly split game chart is rare. Every Boston skater was in the plus and every NYR skater was a negative. No exceptions.
Behind throughout the game, the Bruins poured shot attempts in on Henrik Lundqvist, who was his usual spectacular self. Though I don’t normally touch on any goalie analysis here, I’ll just note that King Henrik made 39 saves on 41 shots, including 4 saves on 4 shots during Boston PP time and 3 saves on 3 shots while the Bruins were on the penalty kill.
My feelings on Lundqvist are best summed like this:
Ways to win in the #NHL:
1. team-based style/strategy.
2. lots of lineup depth
3. good mix of stars/youth/vets
4. Have Price or Lundqvist
— Sean Tierney (@SeanTierneyTss) March 24, 2016
The timeless Zdeno Chara led all in Corsi differential and posted 3 iCF. Nice to see Chara still showing up at the top by times, even as his excellent career winds down.
Bergeron, Beleskey, and Seidenberg (?) led the way in iCF, posting 6 individual shot attempts each.
For the Rangers, Dan Girardi didn’t finish at the bottom of the game chart and that’s always worth noting. Instead, Boyle, McDonagh, and Miller owned the bottom of the Corsi +/- graph, with marks worse than -10. Not a good showing.
Perhaps most disappointing is Eric Staal’s appearance on the negative side of the Corsi differential again. He’s been a consistently strong in puck possession over the past couple of seasons in Carolina, routinely finishing well in the plus. Since joining the Rangers, Staal’s puck possession numbers have taken a negative turn.
Usage? NYR’s faulty systems? Carolina’s excellent systems? It’s not perfectly clear but NYR has been a negative puck possession team all season and Carolina has been very positive – team effects appear to be at play here. Obviously, the Staal case warrants much more study.
Observed vs expected goal differentials…here
Ottawa Senators Twitter-Sourced Expansion Protection List…here.
NHL Game Charts – Tuesday, March 22