It was a big night of NHL play as the season wraps up. There were 11 games with a variety of interesting results. Doughty and Karlsson each led the Corsi battle in their games, New Jersey and Buffalo played a game in which no player managed more than 4 iCF, Kuznetsov managed an excellent 10 iCF, and beleaguered skaters Mike Hoffman and Dylan McIlrath were at the top of the game chart in their respective games.
A few words on the charts before we get started.
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 games…
The NJ Devils love to play low-event hockey and the Sabres were willing to oblige in this one. Schlemko and Severson were the game’s best and led the way with a measly 4 iCF each.
Reinhart struggled most (very rare) but only registered a ~-6. Nothing to get too worried about.
Bergeron led the way (a common refrain), with Chara, Marchand, and Jaccob Slavin not far behind. Slavin’s slowed over the past couple of weeks after big changes in Carolina. Long-term, he looks like a keeper on an up-and-coming defense corps in Carolina.
Carlson led in this one but Ovechkin and Kuznetsov were the stars. Ovie put up his usual impressive total (9 iCF) and Kuznetsov outdid him, blasting 10 iCF. The Caps have cruised as the regular season winds down but they remain a terrifying playoff matchup.
Nelson, Bailey, and Kulemin lagged well back in this one, all in the neighborhood of -15 in Corsi differential.
Dietz had another strong game and Gallagher led all with 7 iCF. The Habs remain a strong possession team with obvious flaws. Next season will be very interesting to see how the team regroups with Price back in goal.
Kindl struggled most in this one but he’s been a big Corsi plus since joining the Panthers. Expect better next time out from the Detroit retread.
Kreider was strong, leading all on this game chart. McIlrath followed close behind and almost certainly deserves consistent TOI in NY.
Girardi was a negative but hey, he wasn’t worst.
Hoffman was the game’s best. He’s beginning to gain league-wide notoriety for his goal-scoring prowess. Don’t mention that to Dave Cameron or Bryan Murray – both seem perfectly happy to squander his talent or send him to another team.
So it goes.
Karlsson posted 7 iCF and is in a dogfight to claim the Norris this season. You know where I stand.
Cullen, Kuhnackl, and Kunitz struggled most but were all better than -10 so that’s something.
Polak led the game, which is a little out of the blue. Dillon and Granlund each posted 5 iCF but Burns led with his usual strong effort – 7 iCF and a plus Corsi differential.
Wingels, Marleau, and Karlsson were the game’s worst, finishing around -9 in Corsi +/-.
Ellis was the game’s best and Craig Smith posted a game-high 6 iCF. Granberg and Ekholm rebounded after a poor effort last time out – each posted a positive Corsi +/-.
Mitchell and Beauchemin were the game’s worst. Beauchemin has endured a long, negative possession season. Hard to imagine many NHL years are left for him.
Nate Thompson led the way (?) and Corey Perry posted a game-leading 6 iCF. Wheeler posted 5 iCF for the Jets. Ehlers was a plus again and could take a big step forward next season.
Postma and Melchiori struggled most. Kesler wasn’t much better. Silfverberg had his worst possession night in some time as well.
Hjalmarsson was the game’s best and Kruger accumulated 7 iCF. OEL and Murphy were pluses for the Coyotes and Fleischmann continues to be a positive puck player for the Blackhawks.
At the other end, Seabrook settled into his usual spot. He was a negative 10 in Corsi differential and the game’s worst. He is almost always in this general vicinity.
Doughty led this one as he and Karlsson duel for mainstream support for the Norris. Shore was close behind, as was Muzzin.
Hamilton was blown out in this one. He compiled a Corsi deficit of ~-17. He’s been good in general this season, so this is a strange finish for him. Jokipakka struggled too (which makes sense). His long-term prospects are pretty positive nonetheless. Though he’ll never be the shot-blocker that Russell was.