There were three games in the NHL yesterday. The Penguins mercifully muzzled the Rangers, the Ducks dumped the Predators, and the Blackhawks bounced past the Blues to force a game seven.
Before a look at the game charts, here’s some bullets on reading 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 the game charts…
The Penguins were the popular pre-series pick and they didn’t disappoint, ousting the Rangers in 5 games. The Pens were up big in this one and went into their defensive shell, allowing New York to blast away with shot attempts.
Zuccarello led all. Skjei, Brassard, and Nash were next best and the Rangers tried everything to get back into this game. The match became so skewed that even Dan Girardi was a clear plus.
On the negative side of the Corsi differential battle, Lovejoy, Maatta, Letang, and Crosby all make appearances, each around -7. This isn’t astronomical. The fact that Letang/Crosby are near the bottom is a sign that Pittsburgh played very passively while sitting on their lead.
On to round 2 for the East’s scariest team.
Penguins win series 4-1.
PIT vs NYR – series Corsi differential
*for a larger view, click here.
Over the course of the series, Klein, Kreider, and Zuccarello were best. It’s a surprise that any Rangers posted positive Corsi differential totals given their highly negative puck work over the course of the regular season.
For the Penguins, their stars led the way. Crosby and Letang led the group, Hornqvist was near the top, and Sheary had a very positive showing over the 5-game stretch.
At the bottom, Lovejoy/Cole struggled most. Eric Staal finished as a negative in this series – a far cry from his highly positive Corsi +/- totals with the Hurricanes over the past couple of seasons.
Back to last night’s games.
So much for their series lead.
Once up 2-1, the Predators have succumbed to the Ducks and now trail in the series.
In this game, Neal was best and Ellis, Johansen, Bass, and Josi were among the top skaters. Josi led with 7 iCF.
On the negative side, Bieksa and Fowler were awful. Cogliano, Getzlaf, and Perry were the next worst. The Ducks will need a better puck effort to close out the series and continue marching towards a series victory against the pesky Predators…and possibly beyond.
Ducks lead 3-2.
The Blackhawks won’t go away.
Panarin, Seabrook, and Toews led the Corsi differential battle in helping Chicago to force a game seven. Lehtera, Steen, and Brouwer were best for the Blues.
On the negative side, Ladd, Brodziak, and Hjalmarsson posted the game’s worst puck possession totals. However, every skater was between ~-6 and +6 in this game, indicating a very even puck battle at 5v5.
This will be a tense, and potentially goal-filled, game seven.
Series tied 3-3.