First, a polite nod to the boys at Jewels from the Crown, from whom I'm blatantly borrowing the format for these posts.
Now lets get down to business. I've started recording my own scoring chances using the scoring chance project tools located at http://sareon.pythonanywhere.com . A quick summary of how this works. I log any plays directed at the net in the scoring chance area (roughly the area between the faceoff dots in the offensive zone). A player on the ice for a scoring chance for gets a +1, a player on the ice for a scoring chance against gets a -1). I can exclude blocked shots but I do count shots that miss the net or hit the post.
The Flyers played a solid game Saturday night in New Jersey, out chancing the Devils 11-5 at even strength and 17 - 11 overall. A dominant first period was followed by a fairly even second and third. The devils got a late flurry of chances on the PP but were otherwise kept in check for most of the night.
Forward Lines (Even Strength)
1st Line - ( Hartnell +7, Giroux +5, Voracek +6 ) A, It was a stellar night for this line as they thoroughly out chanced their opposition at even strength. Overall I'd say they were the 3 best players on the ice for Flyers. Hartnell in particular was a force in front of the net, logging a number of dangerous deflection chances on the power play. And this unit saw relatively tough competition, matched primarily against the Jagr line, and the Greene/Fayne D-Pairing. They only allowed 1 or 2 solid scoring chances against Emery. They couldn't have done much more besides actually score a goal! I hope we see more of this line in the future.
2nd Line - ( McGinn -2, B. Schenn -2, Simmonds -1) C-, A less than stellar effort from this line. Although Brayden Schenn nets the only goal for the Flyers tonight, his line was the only one out of all 4 lines to get out chanced. It was also a weak possession effort for these guys as they all ended up in the bottom half of the roster in Corsi%. Instead of taking advantage of a relatively easy match up against the Henrique line and the Gelinas/Larsson pairing, this line allowed itself to be outplayed at times. Saving grace for the unit is that overall they didn't allow many chances either way and Schenn did manage to score the only Flyers goal. They need to be better.
3rd Line - ( Raffl 0, Couturier +1, Read 0) B-, Very low event hockey for this grouping and an average puck possession outing. Couturier is the only one of the three I can recall generating a grade A scoring chance in the slot. They saw mainly the Volchenkov/Zidlicky D-pairing and a pretty even split against the Devils top 2 lines. Give them credit for not being a defensive liability, but I have to knock them down a peg for not doing more offensively. We should be seeing more chances generated given their team high offensive zone starts and an easier night match up wise.
4th Line - ( Rosehill +1, Rinaldo +1, Hall+2) C+, I hesitate to even given this grouping a grade given how little ice time they got. No discernible match up by either coach, but I'll still give them credit for coming out ahead in scoring chances. A bad night possession wise, but it is the 4th line. Lets take what we can get! None of these guys should be getting more than a few minutes a night and we should be worried if they do. Very exploitable.
Defensive Pairings (Even Strength)
- 1st Pair ( Coburn 0, Timonen +3) A, A solid game for the reunited d-pairing. They saw tough competition against most of the Devils Top-6, and got quite a bit of Jagr. Coburn stayed above water in possession and Timonen was the best flyers player not on the top forward line in terms of Corsi%. Coburn and Kimmo ate up big minutes in this game and managed to push the play forward. Nothing to complain about here.
2nd Pair (Grossman+1, Streit +2) A, Winning both the possession and scoring chance battle, they turned in a respectable effort and ate up some decent minutes. Not quite as challenging a match up as the first pairing but still primarily used against the Devils Top-6, and they saw a lot of Henrique. Again, not much to complain about here.
3 Pair (Gill +2 , Meszaros +4) B+, A very surprising grade for these two guys. Mez made a great play to set up the Flyers only goal and both guys had a good night in terms of scoring chances for. However, this is tempered a bit by the fact that they lost the puck possession battle. They didn't get run over by any means but they did get outshot by a fair margin. Another surprise is they weren't sheltered at all from the Devils best players and actually got lots of ice time against Jagr and lots of defensive zone starts. I'd take this type of game from a 3rd pairing every night if I could get it.
Powerplay, D, 5 opportunities, 5 shots, 0 goals. About the only thing notable that happened on the Flyers power play was a quick flurry of chances for Scott Hartnell in the 3rd period. Working the high/low screen with Simmonds Hartnell was able to generate some dangerous deflections in the slot. Otherwise a quiet and largely ineffective night for the power play. The PP units need to start taking advantage of opportunities if the Flyers are to have any hope of beating teams better than the Devils.
- Penalty Kill, A-, 5 opportunities, 3 shots against, 0 goals. Yet another solid outing for the Flyers penalty kill. I'm knocking them a bit because they did allow 5 scoring chances. It was a little disheartening that the PK gave up some real grade A scoring chances late in the game, including a shot from Michael Ryder that beat Emery clean and rang off the post.
Ray Emery, A, Emery only faced 14 shots thanks to the defensive effort in front of him. But you can't argue with that SV% and 0 goals against. He was good when he needed to be and lucky when it mattered (Jagr missed a wide open net on a backhand). He gets an A for pitching a shutout in a game the Flyers desperately needed to win.
Overall Team Performance: B+
We got great performances from all 3 defensive pairings and Ray Emery pitched a shut out. But there are some concerns with the forward group to note. It was a one line show in this game, with the large majority of chances generated by Giroux, Hartnell, and Voracek. It would have been nice to see the 2nd and 3rd lines pitch in more puck possession and scoring chances. Although B. Schenn got the only Flyers goal, his line was by far the weakest at even strength. The powerplay continues to be abysmal and didn't generate enough shots or scoring chances. I think we should be happy that we got such a strong performance from Giroux and friends because this is otherwise a dead even game against the Devils where neither team really dominated. Lets give the Flyers credit for putting in a full 60 minute effort and out chancing another team that is desperate for wins.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Shot Attempts courtesy of Extra Skater.
I intend to do a few more of these posts. Hopefully the formatting, style, and writing will improve as I get used to writing these reports. The Carolina game report should be ready soon. If you like what I'm doing here please be vocal about it. If the general reaction is positive, then I'll make an effort to do these for the rest of the season. Although I'd love someone to volunteer to help track scoring chances for the team this year. If you have free time and gamecenter or DVR, you can track scoring chances VERY EASILY. My hope is that these posts will be a spring board for some thoughtful analytical discussion. And I welcome any comments or suggestions about what I could do to improve these posts in the future! I'm a bit challenged in the graphs/tables department so I imported everything directly from Extra Skater and the Scoring Chance Tracking site. Any tips on how/where to get some better graphics for these posts would be much appreciated!