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.
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Monday, May 23
There was one game in the NHL playoffs last night. The Tampa Bay Lightning inched a step closer to a Stanley Cup Final return, sinking the Penguins in overtime by a final score of 4-3.
Despite the frequent punishment he’s absorbed, the OT winner was off of Tyler Johnson’s back as he battled in front of the net:
The Pens returned to Marc-Andre Fleury as starter in this one. Fleury looked sharp early but finished with only 21 saves on the night. Expect the goalie carousel in Pittsburgh to spin full speed until game six.
The Penguins are now one win away from elimination and the Lightning are poised to compete for the Cup without their biggest star and their number one goaltender.
Before the game chart, the usual preamble on how to read the graph:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Sunday, May 22
There was one NHL playoff game last night. The St. Louis Blues bounced back, pounding the Sharks 6-3 and evening their series.
Interestingly, Ken Hitchcock found a way to credit the offensive outburst to his goalie switch:
For some, the idea that a goaltending switch might lead to a change in a team’s offense is a bit of a stretch:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Saturday, May 21
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:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Friday, May 20
There was one NHL playoff game last night. The Sharks crushed the Blues in a low-Corsi affair. Martin Jones secured the shutout as the Sharks won 3-0. The Blues looked slower and the Sharks have a certain confidence to their countenances.
Hertl was excellent in this one, more than carrying his weight as part of the Sharks’ very dangerous top line.
Though this series is starting to look like it’s already wrapped up, the Sharks aren’t there yet.
Before the game chart, the usual on how to read it:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Thursday, May 19
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:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Wednesday, May 18
There was one game in the NHL last night. The Sharks suffocated the Blues, winning 4-0 and evening their series at 1-1. As noted smart hockey people Gus Katsaros and Micah Blake McCurdy noted, a switch in tactics was key for San Jose:
The Sharks have now outplayed the Blues twice, won once, and head back to home ice. The momentum in this series may continue its current shift. As long as Burns keeps sniping, the Sharks are going to be fine.
Before getting into the game chart, here’s the usual on how to read the graphs:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Tuesday, May 17
There was one game in the NHL last night. Sidney Crosby netted an early OT winner, evening the Penguins vs. Lightning playoff series at 1-1 with the 3-2 victory.
Despite the obvious speed on both sides, the teams seemed to thwart each others’ shot attempts. The final all-situations Corsi differential was 69-44 in Pittsburgh’s failure – a middling total given the offensive skill of both teams.
In the end, the Penguins didn’t mind. Down 1-0 in the series prior to tonight’s game, and facing the return of Anton Stralman to the Lightning lineup, this was an important win to ensure that the Conference Final didn’t get away from them.
Before we get to the game chart, the usual words on how to read the graphs:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Monday, May 16
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:
Continue reading NHL Playoffs Game Charts – Sunday, May 15
After more than a month of playoff action, we’ve finally moved into the Conference Finals. As before, I’ll make my predictions using a couple of my favourite measures – expected goals for percentage (xGF%) and Corsi differential per 60 (CD60).
But before the round 3 predictions, a quick look back at how the round 2 projections turned out.
Penguins – correct
Lightning – correct
Blues – correct
Sharks – correct
Including the first round picks, I’m up to 10/12. Before my head swells, let’s get on to the new predictions.
Continue reading NHL Playoffs – Pens and Sharks Look Good in Conference Finals