There was one game in the NHL playoffs last night. The St. Louis Blues pummeled the Dallas Stars, prematurely ending Dallas’ pursuit of the Stanley Cup.
It wasn’t for a lack of effort on the part of the Stars. In the final game of the series, the Stars launched 87 all-situations Corsi. The Blues countered with only 38. Elliott vs Lehtonen was the series’ biggest disparity, though that’s beyond our scope here.
Before we get into last night’s game chart, here’s the usual blurb on 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 with the game chart…
Oduya, Janmark, Sceviour, and Klingberg led the Corsi differential in this game. The Stars occupied every positive slot on the game chart, relegating all Blues to negative Corsi +/- scores. Somehow, Sharp joined the Blues in the negatives, which prevented a perfect split on the graph.
Hemsky led the with with 8 iCF, which is out of character for the pass-first forward. Goligoski was a solid plus with heavy minutes logged.
For the Blues, Gunnarsson, Brodziak, and Upshall were worst. Each finished around -10 in shots differential. Though they were the worst of the bunch, none were exceptionally bad particularly given the early lopsided score.
And so it ends. Free-agent-coach-to-be Ken Hitchcock continues to ride his hot goaltending, explosive offense, and capable all-around defense into the Western Conference Final.
You’d think this playoff run would have already earned Hitchcock a contract in St. Louis next year. But don’t be surprised if it’s Cup or bust for Hitch.
Blues win series 4-3.
Blues vs Stars Series Corsi Differential
As this was an elimination game, we can now look back at how this series played out in total.
*for a larger view, click here.
Klingberg and Goligoski enjoyed a very productive series despite the final result. The two were the series’ best in terms of shot differential and no other skater was close. Brouwer and Stastny were the best for the Blues. Janmark, Steen, Spezza, and Edmundson were big pluses too.
At the other end of the chart, Jason Demers was the series’ worst. He was joined by Russell, who finished in a spot familiar from his time in Calgary. Eakin and Benn were near the bottom of the series chart as well. For the Blues, Berglund was worst.
It’s interesting to note that one Stars’ defense pair led this series and another was the series worst. This uneven play from the defense group may have contributed to the early end to the Stars’ playoff run.
Lehtonen sure didn’t do anything to help either – but again, that’s beyond our scope here.