There was one game in the NHL last night. The St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks kicked off their Western Conference Final showdown. The Blues managed just enough to sneak past a hungry Sharks group. St. Louis won 2-1.
Burns got back to being Burns-like and the top players from both teams populated the top of the game charts.
There’s lots to see.
First, the explainer for reading the game charts:
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.
Now, on to the game…
Burns was the game’s best. He led all in Corsi differential, posted a game-high 11 iCF, and logged a ton of 5v5 TOI. He was beastly. Thornton, Pavelski, and Hertl all joined Burns at the top. Tarasenko, Schwartz, Lehtera, and Parayko were best for the Blues.
The top players did top player things.
At the bottom, two generally reliable names sunk to the worst Corsi differentials in this match. Steen was the game’s worst, joined by Braun at approximately -15. Both skaters are usually much better and neither is likely to be seen in this spot again. Usage is key.
Marleau finished in a negative spot (again) and Vlasic suffered a rare poor night. Marleau’s trend is well-established but Vlasic’s been great throughout the playoffs. He’s a good bet to pop back up near the top of chart next time out.
These two teams played a tight game to open their Western Conference Final. Expect a tight series with a razor thin margin separating these two highly worthy Conference finalists.