Monday featured 8 games on the NHL schedule with a number of teams still jockeying for playoff positioning as the season winds down. Gudas continued his streak of excellence, Ehlers flashed his immense potential, Burns came back to earth, and Gorges and Ristolainen did what they always do.
Before sliding down to the game charts, here’s the usual blurb on how to read the graphs:
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.
Now, on with the game charts.
Niskanen led the way in this one and posted the game’s best iCF total with 6 individual shot attempts. A group of Caps followed close behind, including the always-positive Alex Ovechkin.
The Blue Jackets continue to puck chase. Bjorkstrand had his worst NHL showing so far and Calvert was next worst.
So it goes.
Jets fans have lots to be excited for next season. Blake Wheeler was the team’s best and managed 6 iCF. But the real star for Winnipeg was youngster Nikolaj Ehlers, who blasted 10 iCF. The slick rookie seems poised for a big season next year.
Despite the strong showing, Corsi differential machine Radko Gudas stole the show (again). He registered 12 iCF and posted yet another strong Corsi +/-. His play has been unreal for a couple of weeks.
Halischuk, Lowry, Thorburn struggled most and betting on these three to finish at the bottom of any game chart is a safe wager.
Despite the decisive loss, the Leafs did what they always do – led the way in shot attempts. Bozak was best, Nylander, Gardiner, and Parenteau were strong, Carrick was a strong plus again.
Settling into post-Stralman life, Hedman led all Lightning skaters in Corsi differential. Perhaps he’ll step up to an even higher level in his defense partner’s absence.
Garrison and Nesterov were worst in this one but they each posted marks better than ~-8 in Corsi +/-. Overall, this game was pretty tight, Corsi-wise.
Dekeyser led the way here and that’s the first (and probably last) time I’ll say that this season. In single-game scenarios, anything can happen. The positive side of the game chart was populated largely by Red Wings after DD, including the always-good Tatar.
Somehow, team-leading Corsi differential stalwart Brendan Smith was scratched in this game. That’s blatant roster misuse and shows that misunderstandings regarding Smith’s effectiveness aren’t limited to fans and analysts.
At the bottom of the chart, Ristolainen and Gorges carved out an area all to themselves. The duo finished beyond -15 in Corsi differential and no other skater was even close.
Captain Landeskog posted the game’s best Corsi differential, followed by Comeau and Soderberg. Forsberg was Nashville’s best, while Ryan Johansen posted a much-needed positive differential.
Neal led all with 9 iCF – he’s an underrated shot attempts producer who rarely takes a night off and drives his own offense at a high rate.
Boedker was the game’s worst and has struggled on the puck since the deadline. The Avalanche have chased the puck all season long and he’s fit right into that pattern since coming over from the Coyotes.
Sekera led all and posted a game-best 8 iCF for the Oilers. Manson and Lindholm were strong (as always) for the Ducks. Pirri enjoyed another solid showing and is the type of sneaky depth add that Stanley Cup contenders make before going on long playoff runs. He’s very useful.
Horcoff struggled and Perry was the game’s worst in this one. Reinhart didn’t finish last, which is progress.
Don’t expect that to last.
Ferland and Poirier led the way here. No skater stood out in terms of iCF, which helps to highlight just how impressive it is any time a skater enjoys a double-digit iCF performance.
Oddly, Engelland logged a ton of ice time in this one, skating as much as OEL and Connor Murphy.
Hanzal and Domi were the game’s worst. Despite Domi’s offensive talents, he’s been a very negative puck possession player. Perhaps age and experience will help him to tackle that problem next season.
Toffoli led the way (fairly standard) and Carter posted a game-high 7 iCF (standard for Carter). The LA Kings dominated the puck as they always do. In the long-run, this style of play wins out more often than not.
For the Sharks, Thornton posted a solid Corsi differential. Burns was quiet with only 3 iCF. Donskoi and Couture were the game’s worst.