BOSTON, MA - MAY 06: The Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers line up to shake hands after Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-1 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
We all know the Flyers played like absolute shit against the Bruins. They had a good Game 2, but... even then, they played like crap. Travis started with a look at the terrible coaching decisions regarding the goalies, and I've looked at how every single aspect of the team is to blame, but... let's put some numbers to that.
As a refresher, all data is at even-strength. Here are what the columns are: Games Played, Goals For, Goals Against, on-ice shooting percentage, on-ice save percentage, Fenwick percentage, Corsi percentage, percentage of offensive zone faceoffs, and percentage of offensive zone faceoffs not including Flyers icings.
Included at the bottom of each table is the team totals, so there is a baseline to compare to.
All tables are sortable by column.
First, the forwards:
Good luck making sense of what is there. Only three Flyers were on the ice for more than one Flyers' goal, and Lavy decided to bench one of them for Game 4. Brilliant. Which forwards were most potent on offense? Why, the small sample sized- Fourth line of Darroll Powe, Blair Betts, and Dan Carcillo of course. Which three forwards gave up the most goals? Why, series standout star James van Riemsdyk, defensive-stud Mike Richards, and the clutchiest playoff performer Danny Briere.
How about which top-9 players Peter Laviolette deployed in a defensive role? How about one-way players like Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere. Who had the fourth most defensive zone starts among the top nine? The other third of that line, Ville Leino. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it? I mean, those three ranked 12th, 13th, and 14th (or the three least often deployed there) in most often deployed in the defensive zone among forwards with 40 games played during the regular season, why not flip that on its head in the second round of the playoffs?
Yes, Peter Laviolette completely wasted the Briere line. It's mind-boggling that he would do that. It is the exact opposite of what he should have done. Just to pile on Laviolette, look at Nikolay Zherdev. What the hell did he do in that series to warrant sitting him? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
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Oh, this is just beautiful, isn't it? Each of the Flyers' top-4 defensemen gave up 6 even-strength goals in 4 games. Kimmo Timonen had an on-ice save percentage of 0.794. Think about how ridiculous that is for a second. Only two NHL goalies who faced at least 10 shots had save percentages worse than that. While a man down. Brutal.
Only Danny Syvret - who played less than 21 even-strength minutes all series - had a save percentage of 0.900 or higher. And while Travis showed that Matt Carle was having a brutal series, he was the one Kevin McCarthy deployed in the defensive zone most often. A lot of oddities in this table.
Oof. First, before anybody sees that 0.831 and says that Boucher sucks, let me remind you that he had a 0.936 even-strength save percentage in round one. Second, holy hell is that 0.831 bad. But so is the 2.82% shooting percentage while Boucher was on the ice.
Also, as further evidence of how crappy the team played in front of Boucher, in a series where the Flyers only held a lead for 14 minutes (5.5% of the entire series), they were still out-shot. All evidence available suggests that when teams are trailing, they out-shoot their opposition. It's score effects. And yet, the Flyers got out-shot with Boucher in net. Not to mention starting in their own zone more often than not. That's some bad hockey going on in front of Boucher.
While Bobrovsky wasn't very good either - an 88.9% even-strength save percentage would rank in between Robin Lehner and Rick DiPietro from this past season - the team played better in front of him. Still not great, but better.
I already used words to say how everything including coaching, offense, defense, and goaltending went wrong in the Boston series, but here we use numbers. To me, it's even more telling that Laviolette was out-coached, the defense was out-played, the offense was non-existent, and the goaltending was playing a man short.