Ottawa went 7-3-2 over the third quarter of the season, and continue to look secure of a playoff spot despite dropping the last two in regulation. There was concern the poor stretch the Senators experienced after losing Karlsson was a sign of things to come, thankfully they've been better than that since. As it stands they're an average to below average possession team with elite goaltending. Curious to see how well they play down the stretch, and of course what kind of matchup they get in the first round (assuming they make it). Wouldn't be thrilled about playing Boston or Montreal…even though I"m sure it'd be great TV.
And this is the scoring chance definition I adhere to when tracking games:
"A scoring chance is defined as a clear play directed toward the opposing net from a dangerous scoring area – loosely defined as the top of the circle in and inside the faceoff dots (nicknamed the Home Plate), though sometimes slightly more generous than that depending on the amount of immediately-preceding puck movement or screens in front of the net. Blocked shots are generally not included but missed shots are. A player is awarded a scoring chance anytime he is on the ice and someone from either team has a chance to score. He is awarded a "chance for" if someone on his team has a chance to score and a "chance against" if the opposing team has a chance to score."
The "home plate" scoring chance area can be seen below.
If you have any questions, or need clarification on anything just stop by in the comments.
Team totals by period:
|PERIOD||CF||CA||C%||EV CF||EV CA||EV C%||PP CF||PP CA||PK CF||PK CA|
– As I wrote about last week, Ottawa's possession game has suffered minus Karlsson, so much so that they're now a sub-50 team by Fenwick Close. The Senators took 46.9% of the shot attempts in close game situations through games 25-36. Just for comparison in the first quarter of the season they took an elite 54.3%. If you're looking for a primer on the importance of possession, this post Eyes On The Prize published yesterday is excellent.
– By scoring chances the Senators look better than the shot count, taking 51.3% of the chances and 49.0% of the shots over the last twelve games. Some might say this is evidence the Senators have a talent for creating higher quality shots and keeping the opposition to the outside, but over the entire season to date the shot and scoring chance rates are nearly exact – 49.6% of the shots and 49.7% of the chances.
– Through the first half of the season Ottawa had a tendency to start slow before coming on late in the game. Which was reflected in the chance count; -31 in the first period after 24 games. But in the third quarter they were the inverse, +25 in chances in the first and -24 in the third.
– Ottawa was shorthanded 28:19 more than their opponents in the third quarter of the season but came out +2 in special teams chances. Never hurts to add a player like Conacher, and his knack for drawing penalties.
Forwards at even-strength:
– Turris really struggled with the bump up to #1 center initially, but it looks like he's adjusted. Which is great to see, there isn't much optimism we'll be seeing Spezza anytime soon.
– Games 1-12 Silfverberg was -11 in chances at evens, games 13-24 he was -15, and games 25-36 he was +15.
– Zibanejad is still being sheltered, but you have to be impressed with how defenisvely sound he's been this year at 19. His faceoffs are imrpoving too, was 43.4% through game 24, and the last 12 games was winning 48.8%. Center depth of Spezza, Turris, Zibanejad, Smith next year just might be the envy of the league.
– In his stint in Ottawa the Senators had 33.3% of the chances when Dziurzynski was on the ice at even-strength. MacLean did him no favours with zone-starts and opposition faced, but even for a checker that rate is bad.
– Early, early days but I've liked what Hoffman's shown. The speed and shot obviously, but he also protects the puck a lot better than I expected.
Defence at even-strength:
– Important to remember that the minutes Gryba has played this year are much harder than what Cowen faced last season. On the other hand Gryba is 24 and Cowen was 20. Still he'd be exposed a lot less if he was playing as a 5/6 with some PK time.
I'll be doing this once more at season's end.