There were 4 games in the NHL playoffs last night.
The Lightning ended their series and likely ended Pavel Datsyuk’s career as well. The Penguins pounded the Rangers, the Blackhawks barely escaped defeat, and the Ducks dumped the Predators to even their series at 2-2.
Before the game chart stories, here’s 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.
On to last night’s action…
Colin Wilson rose to the top (unusual) and Shea Weber posted a game-high 7 iCF. The more he pelts the net with shot attempts, the better. He’s prone to highly negative Corsi differentials when he doesn’t impose his will upon the game.
Getzlaf and Garbutt cracked the positives for an out-Corsied Ducks squad.
At the bottom of the graph, Cam Fowler stood alone. He was a -8 in Corsi +/-. As far as bad games go, this wasn’t awful. For example, Nicklas Grossmann of the Coyotes routinely finished near -20 during the regular season.
The Ducks have dug themselves out of the early hole – it’s a best-of-three now.
Series tied 2-2.
Mashinter was the game’s best, which is a small surprise. Bortuzzo was best for the Blues. Neither logged big minutes relative to their peers.
The iCF leaders were Kane, Keith, and Tarasenko, all tied at 7 iCF each. No surprise that each team’s best players would rise to the top in this sort of game.
At the bottom end of the chart, Anisimov was demolished. He finished at ~-17 and was well beyond Bouwmeester and Teravainen (the second- and third-worst).
The Blackhawks dodged elimination for another night but aren’t safe yet.
Blues lead 3-2.
Letang’s play has been otherworldly for a stretch now. He led both teams in Corsi differential (again) and posted 6 iCF to lead both teams (again). He’s singlehandedly leading the Pens’ defense group.
Sheary had another nice game and Crosby and Hornqvist looked solid, as usual. Kreider Zuccarello, and Stepan were the best for NYR and only Fast and Stalberg were worse than -5 in Corsi differential.
The Pens laid a thumping on the disheartened Rangers last night as the “mad Lundqvist” photo traveled the Twitterverse at light speed. This series looks like it may already be over.
Penguins lead 3-1.
Killorn scored the game’s only goal with less than two minutes left in the third period. Bishop was incredible, making several key saves on breakaways and open chances. And, Pavel Datsyuk likely skated off the ice for the final time in an NHL arena.
Oh, and the Lightning earned a berth (hey there, @peachbrella) into the second round.
Zetterberg was the game’s best and Larkin posted 7 iCF. The rookie’s first NHL year was nothing short of a complete success.
Carle was the game’s worst (-16…ouch) and Glendening and Dekeyser finished where they always finish.
Welcome to Round 2, Tampa Bay Lightning. Some didn’t see this coming for you.
Lightning win their series 4-1.