There was one game in the NHL last night. The Penguins sped past the Lightning, winning 4-2 and taking a 2-1 series lead. The Penguins registered the highest all-situations Corsi total (78) since the Stars stormed the Blues a week ago.
Kessel was a speeding star, Murray continues to produce good results, and Crosby is an unstoppable force. For the Lightning, Vasilevskiy was very strong but finally seemed to buckle under the Pens’ pressure, throwing his stick and yelling at his bench:
For some, a little emotion from a goalie is acceptable. For others, a young goalie calling out his teammates while still on the ice could be seen as inappropriate.
Before we get to the game chart, here’s 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 to the game chart…
Ben Lovejoy snuck to the top, which is a rarity. Bonino, Kessel, Hagelin, Daley, and Dumoulin were strong. The HBK line is earning a ton of praise, and that seems to be very deserved.
Kessel launched 9 iCF and is doing much to dispel any notions that he is a lazy or disinterested hockey player.
Don’t get sucked in by the Toronto media machine. Not ever.
At the other end of the chart, Jason Garrison was atrocious. He posted ~-23 Corsi differential, far and away the worst mark for any skater. Filppula, Sustr, and Drouin struggled mightily in this game as well.
The Lightning have done amazing work continuing on without their number one centre and their starting goalie*. But the Penguins are too deep and too talented to be beaten by a team that isn’t icing its best lineup.
Vasileyskiy’s been very good.
Penguins lead 2-1.