There were 4 playoff games last night in the NHL. The Flyers regrouped and kept their series alive, the Panthers evened up their series with the Isles, the Stars tightened their grip on the Wild, and the Sharks took a bite out of the Kings’ playoff lives.
Here’s the usual preamble about 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.
Now, onto the games…
The Panthers continued to dominate the 5v5 puck possession battle in this one. Ekblad was the game’s best overall and Huberdeau managed a very strong 8 iCF. Jagr, Kulikov, Smith, Barkov, Matheson, etc… were all at the top of the game chart.
For the Islanders, only a couple of skaters sneaked onto the positive side. Shane Prince, and a couple of Ryans (Pulock, Strome) just barely managed to come out ahead in Corsi differential.
At the bottom, Boychuk was worst. He was joined by Hickey, Bailey, Kulemin, Leddy, and the rest of the Isles. NY has chased the puck in this series and that’s not an advisable strategy for winning.
Series tied at 2-2.
Beagle was best as the Capitals finally dominated the plus side of the game chart. Carlson was a beast, racking up 11 iCF and logging heavy 5v5 minutes. Ovechkin, Backstrom, Niskanen, etc… were all in good spots.
Despite owning the puck for most of the series, the Flyers chased in this one. Schultz and Streit were worst, both in excess of -10 Corsi differential. A little more proof that Corsi isn’t everything.
Capitals lead 3-1.
Faksa was best and Klingberg created 6 iCF. Goligoski, Sharp, and Hemsky all finished in good spots and Johns was a plus again. Spezza finished as a negative but probably didn’t care as he continues to pile up points in this series.
For the Wild, this game wasn’t atrocious. Haula tied for the game-high with 6 iCF. Pominville, Niederreiter and Coyle finished in the pluses. The score was tight. It’s small consolation but the Wild hung around in this game.
Granlund and Jones were worst, both just beyond -10 Corsi differential. The Wild look to be finished but they’ve looked better as the series has gone on.
Stars lead 3-1.
This game was very tight. We can break down some individual performances here but take a look at the total range first: all skaters finished between ~-6 and +6. That’s very tight and any differences between one skater and the next are fairly small.
With that in mind, Schenn was best as he continues to live the high life after years stuck in Toronto and Philadelphia. Wingels, King, Kopitar, Spaling, and Versteeg created a mish-mash of the two clubs near the top of the charts.
Muzzin led all with 8 iCF and plays well enough each night to make you wonder how close he is to being the Kings’ best defenseman.
Marleau, Couture, Nieto, and Karlsson were worst. Martin and Burns finished as negatives. So did Doughty. Still, no one was blown out in this game.
The Sharks look to have an unbeatable hold on this series buuut if there’s one team that could come charging back, you have to believe that team is the Los Angeles Kings.
Sharks lead 3-1.