There was one game in the NHL Playoffs last night. The Lightning gathered themselves and once more showed their resiliency, storming to a 4-0 lead and then hanging on to beat the Penguins 4-3.
Though the game charts focus on skaters to the exclusion of goaltenders, goalies have stolen the spotlight in the series. Vasilevskiy has stepped and capably handled the starting duties for Tampa Bay. He’s looked nothing short of very good:
And, after last night’s two-period barrage by the Bolts, Matt Murray was replaced by Marc-Andre Fleury. MAF looked totally fine:
So now, let the Murray-Fleury controversy begin. For a Penguins team that was rolling, this is a distraction that could rob momentum, if you believe in that kind of thing.
A quick word on reading the game charts before we get back to our usual business:
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…
Some things don’t change, regardless of the final score. For example, Kunitz, Sheary, Hornqvist, Crosby, and Letang were all pluses, which is the standard refrain. Kunitz led all (again) and was followed closely by Rust, Malkin, and Killorn.
Malkin led all with 9 iCF, which is more the kind of shot generation effort the Penguins rely on from their dormant superstar. Hornqvist and Kessel each managed six individual shots, including this one from Phil:
Phil can really sling.
At the negative end of the chart, Johnson and Drouin posted the game’s worst Corsi differentials. The pair finished at -10, which is right on the cusp of the (totally arbitrary) cutoff between “not so bad” and “pretty bad.” Sustr, Fehr, and Brown finished near the bottom as well.
Despite generally strong shot differential efforts throughout the post-season, Hedman, Hagelin, and Kessel landed on the negative side of the ledger last night. That’s not standard for any of these three.
It looked like this series might get away from Tampa Bay. Now the series resets to a best-of-three.
Series tied 2-2.