There were 11 games in the NHL on Saturday night with a variety of storylines. But no story was bigger than the news that Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos will miss 1-3 months due to a blood clot in his arm.
Here’s hoping for Stamkos quick and full return to health.
In Corsi action, Spezza had a great night, Hedman has stepped up to cover the Stralman injury in Tampa Bay, and Gorges and Ristolainen flipped the script in Buffalo.
Before we get to the game charts, a few words on reading them:
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…
Cousins, Gagner, and Manning led in this afternoon tilt. Read posted a game-high 6 iCF (fairly standard for a game high, which puts double digit iCF totals into some perspective). Karlsson managed 4 iCF and a strong spot on the chart.
At the bottom of the chart, recent call-up Ben Harpur carved out a lonely plot for himself. He finished near -15 in Corsi differential and showed that he’s still getting the hang of the NHL game.
So it goes.
Playing at an odd hour, these two late-night times played a tight game. Spezza was the game’s best while a long list of Stars followed directly behind him. Klingberg added 7 iCF as the Stars snatched a well-earned victory from the Kings.
The bottom of the game chart featured a couple of good players in a strange place. Martinez and Muzzin were bombed, which is absolutely rare. They were followed by Stars’ forward Jamie Benn and Kings Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar.
Don’t count on seeing another game chart that looks like this one.
Nordstrom led, which is a strange occurrence for a forward who has mostly lost the Corsi differential battle of late. Faulk posted 6 iCF and continues to look like a feature NHL star. Saad, Wennberg, and Milano were positives for CBJ.
Kukan, Foligno, and Savard took their places at the bottom of the game chart. Hartnell, Atkinson, and Jenner were nearby. CBJ has been out-Corsied most of the time this season and that continued tonight.
In an absolutely jaw-dropping change of fortunes, Josh Gorges and Rasmus Ristolainen finished at the top of the game chart.
After months of posting among the heaviest negative Corsi differentials in the league, the two finally enjoyed a positive game.
It was almost fitting that Dan Girardi was a positive Corsi player in this game as well.
Hedman and Carle led all skaters in this one. Hedman is showing that he’s quite capable of leading the defense corps even without Anton Stralman beside him. Whether or not he can raise his game to a level that compensates for the loss of Stamkos…remains to be seen.
The Devils owned the bottom of the game chart. Larsson struggled (as usual). Boucher was at the bottom again. Moore, Zajac, Greene, and Palmieri took their usual spots as well.
The Leafs kept the game close and still lost in regulation to inch closer to the top draft pick in the NHL entry draft this summer.
The plan is working.
Rielly, Gardiner, and Marincin were at the top of the graph, joined by Danny DeKeyser. Gardiner/Marincin led all with 8 iCF each.
In the negatives, Kronwall and Marchenko were worst. Kronwall’s been a drag for a while…
The power of the rat trick and Spacey in space combined to lead the Panthers to a last-minute, come-from-behind victory over the hapless Habs. Montreal has remained a positive possession team in the wake of Carey Price’s injury but have struggled mightily without their all-world goaltender.
He’ll be back next year and that alone will likely be enough to vault the Canadiens back into the playoff picture.
Last night, 22-year-old defender Darren Dietz led the way and logged mid-range TOI. Gallagher and Eller were also strong. For the Panthers, Bjugstad was a difference-maker, posting 8 iCF. Barkov had a bit of a night as well.
Joe Thornton has put together another incredible season. He led the way tonight and is a regular fixture in the top half of the game charts. His Corsi differential work is excellent. He may be this generation’s Ron Francis, both for his production and his lukewarm regard in mainstream media.
Pavelski and Hertl joined Thornton at the top and Burns was strong again as well.
For the Predators, Weber returned to his negative ways and Granberg/Ekholm struggled most by far.
Dumoulin was excellent in this surprisingly tight Corsi differential battle. Leddy and Hagelin survived for NYI as well. Boychuk led all with 8 iCF. But it didn’t do much to stop the onslaught.
Trevor Daley and Brian Strait struggled most. Letang was at the bottom in this one too, which is pretty rare. Don’t bet on that becoming a trend.
Orpik got way out ahead and led the Corsi differential in this one easily. Carlson and Williams joined him at the top. Rieder led all Coyotes. Burakovsky mustered 7 iCF to lead the way in that category.
Richardson, Doan, and Tanguay posted the most negative Corsi +/- marks in this one but I imagine they don’t mind after their strong showing against the Caps.
Dougie Hamilton posted a nice Corsi differential in this game as the Flames dispatched of the helpless Oilers. Korpikoski made a very rare appearance on the positive side. Sekera led all with 8 iCF.
Sam Bennett struggled again and Jooris, Giordano, and Brodie joined him at the bottom. Still, a dominant win for the Flames as their disappointing season lurches to a halt.