There was one game in the NHL playoffs last night. The San Jose Sharks seized a 4-0 lead, eventually beating the St. Louis Blues 5-2 and securing the team’s first even berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Sharks looked to be in command for the majority of this series. We can verify this with the series-long Corsi chart after the game chart for last night’s match.
For the first time in 25 years, the San Jose Sharks will have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Few times have been as good in recent years without getting their opportunity. The Sharks will be tough for either the Penguins or Lightning to handle.
Before we get to the game chart, the quote of the night came from Joe Thornton. Asked what the biggest difference was between this year’s team and last year’s, he said:
Shots fired, as they say.
The usual on reading 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…
As has become his custom, Vlasic was the game’s best. He and Braun paced all skaters and did this routinely throughout the series. Couture, Pavelski, and Marleau were at the top as well. For the Blues, Parayko, Upshall, and Jaskin finished in notably positive spots.
Pavelski led all with 6 iCF, which isn’t a particularly high total. The all-situations Corsi battle was a 54-54 tie in this game, so there wasn’t an overwhelming load of shots to spread around. Bouwmeester and Tarasenko each managed 5 iCF, making their final Corsi differentials somewhat surprising.
Speaking of those two, Bouwmeester and Tarasenko finished at the bottom of the game chart, posting Corsi differentials near -10. Fabbri was next worse. Martin was worst for the Sharks in this one and his -5 Corsi +/- is about as bad as you’ll see from him.
Sharks win series 4-2.
Sharks vs Blues Series Corsi Differential
*for a larger view, click here.
The Sharks dominated the 5v5 Corsi battle in this series. Hertl, Burns, Pavelski, Thornton, Vlasic, Martin, and Braun formed the top group. For the Sharks, the team’s stars dominated the puck throughout the series.
Jaskin was the best in the series for the Blues but played very limited TOI. Paajarvi was similar. Parayko, Schwartz, Berglund, and Gunnarsson were the only positives for the Blues with regular minutes.
It was a long, tough series for Bouwmeester, who finished with the series’ worst total Corsi differential. Tarasenko, Fabbri, Pietrangelo, and Steen were at the bottom too. For the Sharks, Dillon was a major negative. Polak sunk to a notably negative series Corsi +/- as well.