There was one playoff game in the NHL last night. The Pittsburgh Penguins continued to roll, dismissing the President Trophy winning Washington Capitals.
We’ll get to the game chart below. The Capitals were eliminated, so we’ll have a series-long Corsi differential chart to check on as well.
Before the chart, here’s the usual 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 chart…
Letang was the strongest in this one. Dumoulin, Hagelin, and Kessel were big pluses too. Letang tied with Hagelin with a game-high 9 iCF. Kuznetsov was strong for the Caps and Ovechkin managed a positive differential and 7 iCF.
At the other end of the game chart, Matt Niskanen stands alone. He was almost -25 in shots differential despite 4 iCF. He was absolutely bombed in this one. This showing wrecked his series-long total. We’ll get to that in a moment.
On the whole, the Capitals were a strong team. Unfortunately, they ran into a hot Penguins squad. This series would’ve made for a great Conference final – heck, maybe even a Cup Final in an alternate universe.
Penguins win series 4-2.
Penguins vs Capitals Series Corsi Differential
*for a larger view, click here.
Burakovsky was the series’ best. Keep this in mind in the event that narratives develop over the summer. Kunitz and Dumoulin shone as well. Letang, Ovechkin, and Carlson all make appearances at the top of the series chart.
At the opposite end, Beagle, Williams, and Niskanen suffered badly in this series (though, Niskanen did the majority of the differential damage last night). Daley was the worst for the Pens.
Of note – Sheary is enjoying a great ride in the playoffs. He’s in an excellent spot on the series chart. Also, Mike Richards finished as a solid plus (in limited TOI). Whether or not this buys him another chance next year is an interesting story for the summer.