Sunday, April 17, 2011

Head-to-Head Corsi, Game 3

That was painful to watch. Too many penalties, too much chasing in the defensive zone, and misplaced nastiness (especially on the game-winner, Scott Hannan being too occupied with cross-checking Christensen to cover Brandon Dubinsky, and also doing nothing about Prust continuously getting intentionally tied up with Neuvirth).

My code outputs data with the home team in rows and the visiting team in columns (i.e. Ovechkin in Game 2 had his H2H line going across, in Game 3 his line was up and down). I swapped the axes and removed the zone starts, but I didn't switch the positive and negative numbers. The Corsi differentials are from a Rangers point of view, so as a Caps fan, be happy when you see negatives.

I did use colors to help, again. Green is good for the Caps, yellow neutral, and red bad. I also separated by lines, although Boudreau was juggling both lines and pairings after Prospal scored.

First, forwards:

Good to see Ovechkin and Backstrom take care of business against Boyle, Avery, and Prust, but getting beaten by Gaborik-Dubinsky-Fedotenko is unacceptable, even if the latter two are proven tough minutes players. Ovechkin I thought was pretty bad, save for carrying the puck. Several times off the rush he made passes that got blocked (to be fair, by great defensive know though had a Cap done what Fedotenko did, it's in the net), and it was frustrating to see him continually leave Backstrom and Knuble to cycle while he lurked in the slot. The Rangers always had a three-man cycle game, and so did the other Caps lines, and it worked much better.

Ovi, take part in the cycle, and then peel off. Don't abandon it completely. It makes you easy to cover.

I didn't hear Doc Emrick say "Chimera" even once during this game. He didn't do anything. Matt Hendricks was good for a few shifts in the third, but other than that I thought he was outmatched, seeing a lot of the Boyle line. Think either of those two will sit in favor of Eric Fehr next game?

Should be noted that Gordon had +8 zone starts, and still almost made it out even. Semin was a -7, so he should have that good Corsi rating. On the other side, Marian Gaborik wasn't on ice for a single defensive zone draw at 5-on-5. Brandon Dubinsky only was on for one of those, and Chris Drury took 15 defensive zone faceoffs at evens.

Notice how Tortorella protected McCabe and Gilroy.

And defensemen:

I think Alzner and Carlson didn't really have a bad game (though if you can take out Boyle with matching minors, John, don't do it), but their forwards didn't have particularly good support in the defensive zone (especially Ovechkin, I thought). Erskine and Green had a bit of a tough game. The numbers verify what I thought--Hannan was pretty good, and Schultz had a strong outing (being rewarded by getting reunited with Green in the third period).

Ultimately, the Rangers received strong performances by everyone save Anisimov, Stepan, Wolski, Christensen, and Sauer, while the Caps didn't really get a good performance outside of Semin, Backstrom, and the blue-collar forwards. At least, that's how I see it, and I think it bodes well for the next two games.

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