There was one game in the NHL playoffs last night. The San Jose Sharks sped past the St. Louis Blues, winning easily by a score of 6-3. Pavelski had a night and the Sharks have already enjoyed their best playoffs showing in team history by securing their 11th post-season win.
Once more, the Sharks appeared to be unstoppable, dominating the play in waves and leaving the Blues battered. McCurdy’s shot pressure viz depicts this nicely:
The Sharks and Lightning are now the favourites to get to the Cup Final. I’m more comfortable imagining the Sharks in the Final as the Penguins seem to have the legs for one more push in the PIT-TB series.
For now, a look at last night’s game chart. This is a predictable one.
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.
To the game chart…
This graph could depict the Corsi differential for almost any Sharks game in these playoffs. Hertl, Thornton, Vlasic, Donskoi, Couture, Braun, Burns, Pavelski, and Martin have been dominant in terms of puck possession. Last night was no exception.
Hertl was tops in this one and Burns managed a game-high 8 iCF – nothing new there either. The Sharks’ core hasn’t disappointed as their best players have managed the puck with aplomb from game to game.
For the Blues, Parayko, Steen, and Berglund snuck into the positives.
At the negative end of the game chart, Lehtera posted the game’s worst Corsi differential. Fabbri, Paajarvi, Bouwmeester, and Edmundson weren’t far behind. Only Lehtera finished worse than -10.
The Blues are on the verge of heading home for the summer.
Sharks lead series 3-2.