It was almost as busy as a Saturday in the NHL can be with 14 games on the schedule. Kane was strong for the Sabres, Burns was absolutely incredible for the Sharks, and Roman Josi and Shea Weber were leaders as CBJ vs NSH produced the rare “perfect split.”
I’ll keep my remarks brief and get you through the charts in a timely fashion.
Before we start, a few words on reading the game 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.
On with the charts:
Sam Reinhart led the way. He’s been doing that for the Sabres all year long. Eichel had a rare plus night. Ristolainen finally finished on the right side of the graph – extremely uncommon for the battered defenseman.
Byfuglien struggled mightily in this one, posting a Corsi differential of ~-15. Chiarot wasn’t far behind.
Kane posted 10 iCF and continues to be an individual force for the Sabres.
Bonino and Hagelin led the way and Crosby posted a game-high 8 iCF. Crosby continued his post-Malkin dominance, registering 8 iCF. Schultz continued to enjoy not playing for the Oilers.
For the Red Wings, this one couldn’t end fast enough. Quincey finished at the bottom (as usual) joined by Helm and Mantha. Even Smith and Datsyuk were negatives in this one – that’s very rare.
Skille led and Rantanen was strong in what might be his last NHL game this season. Barrie posted a solid positive Corsi differential. Parise led all with 6 iCF.
At the other end of the chart, Dumba and Reilly were battered most, finshing near ~-10 in Corsi +/-.
Other things happened but Brent Burns managed 15 iCF in this one.
The incredible, versatile, and dominant defender never gets a sniff in Norris discussions…but maybe he should.
For the Stars, Oduya and Johns were pummeled and Eakin, Benn, and Sharp were not far behind. The Stars chased the puck in this one.
Another game, another lead for Colton Parayko, who posted 5 iCF as well. Williams, Backstrom, and Ovechkin posted nice Corsi +/- marks as well and Ovechkin led all with 7 iCF.
Edmundson was the game’s worst (~-15) and that’s extremely rare. He’s been a plus for weeks. Pietrangelo and Chimera round out the bottom three.
As usual, Jokinen and Trocheck were at the top of the possession chart. J.T. Brown was the best for the Lightning. Huberdeau led with 7 iCF, which is a fairly typical game-high in that category.
Greg McKegg was the game’s worst but was only ~-6. Puck possession was pretty even in this game. Hedman didn’t enjoy his first game without Stralman in the lineup.
Staal, Faulk, and Slavin led the way in Corsi differential as Carolina continues to play the game the right way – dominating the puck, much as they have all season long. Shane Prince was best for NYI.
Boychuk and Leddy found themselves at the bottom of the possession game chart. This happens with some troubling regularity for the normally reliable defensemen.
Moore led the game and Yandle was close behind.
Then, a series of very odd things occurred. Girardi, quite possibly the NHL’s worst Corsi differential player, finished third in this game. And Tanner Glass finished fifth.
It’s enough to make someone triple check the chart.
Emelin finished with the game’s worst Corsi +/-. He’ll do this, by times.
Holzer was the game’s best, Getzlaf and Lindholm were close behind and Stoner managed a positive Corsi differential.
Ottawa squandered a big lead and dominated the bottom of the possession chart. Chiasson was worst but Methot, Lazar, and Zibanejad were close behind.
Stempniak, Bergeron, and Marchand led, which is fairly typical.
The Leafs, generally a puck-dominant team, chased the puck in this one. Marincin, Kadri, and Michalek posted the bottom-three differentials. Carrick managed a nice game though, finishing with a positive Corsi +/- and 8 iCF.
Weber and Josi led all. Weber’s been on a mini-tear, finishing strong and blasting away with high iCF totals. Arvidsson and Ekholm each posted 8 iCF as every Predators skater finished in the plus.
On the flip side, every CBJ skater finished in the negatives – this perfect split is a rare event. Calvert was absolutely bombed, finishing around -25 in Corsi differential in this one. Atkinson, Prout, and Savard weren’t much better.
Kruger was the game’s best and Monahan led the way for the Flames. Dougie Hamilton posted an excellent 11 iCF in the game. The other Hamilton was a plus.
On the negative side, Matt Stajan was the game’s worst. Engelland and Ferland joined Stajan at the bottom, each posting ~-10 in Corsi differential.
So it goes for Calgary.
In case you’ve missed it, Gudas is on fire. He led the game with the best Corsi differential (again) and posted 5 iCF. He’s on a tear. Raffl and Simmonds were next best but weren’t close to Gudas.
The Coyotes continued their puck-chasing ways. Murphy and Martinook were the game’s worst but there were plenty negative Corsi differentials to go around for Arizona.
Jeff Carter was the game’s best and Tyler Toffoli posted a game-best 8 iCF. Doughty/Scuderi were pluses for the LA Kings as both teams piled up goals in this crazy game.
Surprise, surprise, Nurse and Korpikoski were the game’s worst. They chase the puck every night and one has to wonder if Nurse was at all ready for full-time NHL minutes this year.