Stanley Cup Drive Goal Chart - Round Three

The Niemi we know and love. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Continuing our look at where and how the playoff goals were scored we have our friends from the WCF San Jose Sharks. Heading into the third round the best guess was the series would be a coin flip between SJ's forwards and Vancouver's defense (which was a similar vibe we'd hear in the SCF). This was by and large true, however Vancouver also received far more production from the backend which helped them tremendously over the course of five games.

Thanks to a strong third period to take game one, a pure thrashing two nights later in game two, some special teams success in game four and a hard-fought game five with a fortuitous bounce that will haunt Sharks fans for awhile, the Canucks outlasted their Pacific coast opponent.

After the jump, the dirty details.

Using ESPN, NHL.com and CBS Sportsline, here is the (approximate) goal chart for second round; Canucks' goals are plotted on the left, Sharks' on the right. 

Round-three_medium

[Click to view larger image]

How Vancouver scored, including the type of shot and the distance (as tabulated by ESPN; NHL and CBS had slightly different records). You can sort the columns by clicking on the header.

 

Type
Distance (ft)
Bieksa
Wrist 24.4
H. Sedin
Backhand 10.2
Lapierre
Wrist 8.1
Rome Wrist 9.2
D. Sedin
Wrist 14
Torres
Deflection 12.2
Bieksa
Wrist 24.8
Higgins
Wrist 23.3
Raymond
Wrist 26
D. Sedin
Deflection 25
Hamhuis
Slap 16.9
Burrows Wrist 15.7
Bieksa Slap 34.2
Burrows Backhand 7
Kesler
Slap 25.5
Salo
Slap 34
Salo
Slap 35.4
Bieksa
Slap 59
Kesler
Deflection 9.1
Burrows
Wrist 11.8

 

The San Jose view of the world is below, including the location they beat Luongo. Once again no Schneider was required.

Type
Distance (ft)
Location
Thornton
Wrist 19.1
five hole
Marleau
Deflection 19.1 upper right
Couture Wrist 13 lower left
Eager Deflection 8
lower left
Marleau Wrist 8 five hole
Boyle Slap 24.3 five hole
Marleau Snap 7.2 five hole
Clowe Backhand 7.1 upper right
Marleau Wrist 16.9 upper right
Clowe Wrist 25.7 upper right
Desjardins Deflection 16.7 upper left
Setoguchi Wrist 19.9 lower right
Boyle Wrist 62.4 lower right

 

The takeaways:

  • Vancouver leaned on 12 scorers in the WCF, three more than they had against both Chicago and Nashville. The Sharks had eight.
  • 45% of Vancouver's goals came from wrist shots at an average of 17.4 ft. Wristers also lead the way in the first two rounds but at a longer distance, suggesting Vancouver had an easier time dealing with the San Jose defense, Niemi or was just plain luckier.
  • 54% of San Jose's goals were also wristers at an average of 23.6 ft. This is another trend that continued from the earlier rounds but also at a longer distance. So everything I suggested above is also applicable; SJ owned the low left side in front of Luongo.
  • 40% of Vancouver's goals were from defensemen, including some vintage Salo and Rome inexplicably appearing behind the opposition net. The Sharks had one blueline goal from Boyle (7.7%) who, like Salo, cashed in on a two man advantage.
  • The Sharks beat Luongo primarily through the five hole (30.7%) and high stickside (30.7%). If you're keeping count at home, going high stickside on Luongo has proved to be the smart idea: Chicago and Nashville both scored 27% of their goals there as well.
  • The VAN highlight reel: Bieksa's game one two breakaway, Kesler's game five clutchness and the haunting stanchion assist
  • The SJ highlight reel: Clowe getting his Holmstrom onSetoguchi's game five backbreaker and Marleau's slick breakaway (Edler, Edler, Edler...).
  • Vancouver took a step back from their strong play 30 feet in front of Luongo in the second round. San Jose managed to get down low thanks to the Thornton line and special teams. However the defensive mistakes could be ignored in what was Vancouver's best offensive round of the playoffs. The ran the score up in game two, but used special teams and their defensive guns effectively throughout the series, especially Bieksa who finished the series with four goals. Marleau had four goals to lead the Sharks.
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