Continue after the jump. I will probably be bringing down the vibe in here. I apologize in advance, and I also apologize for mailing in my analysis and, also, for using the "Noon Number" spot doubled up as scoring chance data. It happens.
|VAN||2||17:33||VAN G 1-0 H. Sedin||2||6||17||22||33||35||4||5||18||23||35||5v4|
|OTT||3||16:58||OTT G 1-1 Greening||7||29||32||35||40||41||2||4||9||11||35||71||5v5|
|VAN||4||2:42||VAN G 2-1 Higgins||2||6||9||20||35||11||17||24||35||65||4v4|
|#||Player||EV TOI||EV CF||EV CA||PP TOI||PP CF||PP CA||SH TOI||SH CF||SH CA|
|Period||Total CF||Total CA||EV CF||EV CA||PP CF||PP CA||5v3 CF||5v3 CA||SH CF||SH CA||3v5 CF||3v5 CA|
I wrote a bit in my previous post containing chance data from the Blackhawks game about regression, and sometimes the score of a game doesn't really paint a picture of the whole game. Well, from a scoring chance perspective, this was about as dominant of a game as I've ever seen by a team that ended up losing.
Let's get it to it—Ottawa shouldn't be good. If this game makes the Senators look any better than I think they should be, well, that's just a drop in the 82-game bucket. But how the hell did they out-chance Vancouver 20-10 and 15-7 at even strength? That just shouldn't happen.
Vancouver was only out-shot 29-27 on this night, which makes it look somewhat respectable, but, now, if there's ever a game where I'm trumpeting shot differential and you're all talking about "shot quality" this is the one game that I will let you link to. The Canucks were kept to the outside (or rather, just decided to shoot from the perimeter) and their defense were a revolving door all night. The shots do not accurately reflect the quality of this. I'm looking for reasons. Maybe Alain Vigneault is doing a practical math experiment of his own against a throwaway opponent. Maybe Henrik Sedin started reading a few blog posts by some geeks who figured that every shot was equal. Maybe, and more probable, this is just an outlier game that shouldn't repeat itself. I've never seen a discrepancy like this before.
Now, before anybody turns on me because the Canucks won, which means they out-hustled and out-clutched the Senators on the way to a thrilling victory and say something like "well, maybe this isn't considering the quality of a scoring chance" or "obviously you didn't watch the game" I would say to the first: 'I think every shot from around the slot is a pretty quality opportunity' because that is essentially what I am counting. Every un-blocked shot from the area on the ice where the most goals are scored from. To the second statement above, I'd simply reply "where do you think I got this data?" (Note: somebody actually accused me of not watching the game against Chicago)
Anyway, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Cody Hodgson were plus-players among forwards, thanks to that good shift at the start of the third period. Alex Edler also rode that success and was the only defenseman in the black. After that it got kind of bleak. Andrew Alberts was awful, while the fourth line had their worst game in a while. David Booth, despite not seeing much ice-time, at least was okay defensively (the best Canuck forward as far as giving up chances goes) while not creating much for the second-straight game.
Not much else to point out. For a brief look at Cory Schneider's performance, however, I tagged every save he made off a scoring chance in the data itself. Schneider stopped 13 of 14 scoring chances put at net. Alex Auld stopped 2 of 8. This is a game that really could have been a blowout, because Auld is a terrible goaltender and, despite notching the quality start, was lucky to not outright lose this one for his team, who put up a great performance in front of him.
Meanwhile, 2000 miles away, some Ottawa fan blogger is discussing regression to the mean, and how the team won't run into a hot goalie every night. A few commenters will discuss the team's heart and drive at the end of a long road trip.