There was one game in the NHL yesterday. The solitary afternoon playoff game turned into an elimination game as the Tampa Bay Lightning thumped the New York Islanders 4-0, sending the Isles home to Brooklyn.
It’s incredible to think that a team playing without Steven Stamkos and Anton Stralman would navigate so easily through two playoff rounds. At the same time, the Lightning have ousted the Red Wings and Islanders – not exactly high-quality competition.
Still, adding Stamkos/Stralman back to the roster should be enough to help this team match the stiffer competition they’ll face in the Conference Final. Whether or not they’ll have enough to return to the Cup Final…
Before we dig into yesterday’s game chart, here’s the usual on how to read 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 to the game:
Kucherov is highly talented and that’s been obvious over the past two seasons. But with Stamkos missing in these playoffs, he’s shown that he may be on the verge of true, league-wide stardom. He was best in this match and posted a game-high 6 iCF. Killorn and Johnson joined Kucherov at the top.
It’s worth noting that Killorn enjoyed a highly productive series as well. More on that in a moment.
At the bottom of the game chart, Hamonic posted the worst Corsi differential. But, he was only ~-6, which isn’t horrendous. Nelson, Strome, Pulock, and Hickey joined him at the bottom of the game chart.
In the end, the Isles weren’t built for a long playoff drive. Whether or not Snow can manage his moving parts and return the team to the playoffs next year will be interesting to observe.
Onwards and upwards for the Lightning – and Stamkos and Stralman are coming…
Lightning win series 4-1
Lightning vs Islanders series-long Corsi differential
Yesterday’s game ended the series, which means it’s time to take a look at series-long Corsi differentials for all players.
*for a larger view, click here.
Killorn enjoyed an excellent series and posted the best overall shots differential of any skater. Coburn was productive, Filppula was good, Kucherov and Hedman all finished strong. In short, a good series for TB.
Quine, Prince, Nelson and Hamonic struggled most. Bailey recovered after an atrocious round one performance.
Last, Matt Martin recorded the Isles’ best Corsi differential.
Context is king.