This is an experiment. Had a meeting that took me right out of the loop for the game, so I offered to do the post-game thread "blind", not watching or listening to the game or reading the GDT but simply referring to a few (I chose three) statistical reports. How much do they tell us about what really happens out there? Let me give some educated guesses strictly by the numbers. Those of you who did see the game, I invite your comments to set me straight.
First things first: Shawn Horcoff scored a goal at 19:59 of the second period? After what happened on Saturday, that is almost surreal. The hockey gods usually take a little more time than that to even up the scales of justice. Was it another clock-stopper?
The Game Summary shows the other 3 goals occurred in the game's first 12 minutes -- including 2 goals in 7 seconds! If I'm not mistaken that's a team record. (The Oil allowed 2 goals in 4 seconds once, both by Winnipeg's Deron Quint, but I don't remember them ever scoring 2 in the good end quite so rapidly.) Moreau, Souray, Hemsky, Horcoff -- four of the seven guys called into that leadership meeting early yesterday morning -- accounted for all the goal scoring and presumably a little leadership in the bargain. It would appear that Jeff Deslauriers did the rest.
Obviously the 3-0 lead would have affected how the game was played from then on, with the Oil content to sit back and Phoenix needing to drive the play, but timeonice.com's Shots Directed At Net data indicate an entirely one-sided game in the Coyotes' favour. Either goalie's Corsi stats tell us Phoenix attempted even-strength 70 shots towards Edmonton's net, the Oil just 28 the other way. In 47 minutes of even strength play that's 34-17 in shots on goal, and another 36-11 in shots that missed or were blocked. That latter distribution suggests Phoenix were pretty indiscriminate and just firing from everywhere, while 20 blocked shots indicates the Oilers had some commitment to defensive play although I suspect there were some pretty chaotic moments.
Individually the Corsi numbers ranged from a team best of -5 (!!!) for Hemsky and Penner -- no surprises there -- to -22 apiece for Staios and Souray. The veteran duo each each logged 23+ minutes and I'm guessing a chunk of that was against what on Phoenix passes for the toughs. Souray hard-matched against Doan? Whatever, the Event Summary indicates Souray wasn't exactly a passive bystander out there: 1-1-2, +1, 4 shots, 9 attempted shots, a hit, 4 giveaways, a takeaway, 3 blocks, a boatload of ice time on both special teams ... don't like those giveaways or that Corsi but on balance it would appear Sheldon played a pretty strong game.
I'm also liking Ales Hemsky's stats for the night -- a goal, +1, a couple of shots, a hit, a blocked shot, 2 of the Oilers' 7 takeaways and none of their 20 (!) giveaways. I'm guessing Ales was "on". Another individual stat that jumps out is Dustin Penner's 9/11, 82% on the dot. He was having a dreadful time there a week or so ago. On this night the Oilers actually won the faceoff battle 30-24, a pleasant change of pace.
First star surely was Jeff Deslauriers, putting up the clean sheet despite all those shots and all that apparent zone pressure. That's adds up to a tough night's work (though it looks as if the PK unit did a fair job, holding PHX to 2 shots). A great bounceback game for the kid, who in his first 5 games had allowed 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 goals respectively. Obviously that trend had to change. But our own Ben Massey had it all figured out in the last PGT when he concluded:
Jeff, if you're reading this, you suck and I hate you and your face is ugly. Now go pitch a shutout.
Well done, Ben!
Statistical candidate for the 20th star is Patrick O'Sullivan, who posted a Corsi of +3/-24 = -21 in just 10:30 of EV TOI. That's -2 shot attempts per minute, for goodness sake. Liam Reddox, presumably a linemate, was scarcely better at +3/-21 = -18 in a shade under 10 minutes. Were these guys "keeping them to the outside" or simply getting Pwned?
So that's how I (didn't) see it. Please, help set me straight -- what did I miss?