Andrew Ladd releases the 53 ft. wrist shot. screen grab via NHL.com
You're looking at only the second goal not deemed a scoring chance since I started pinch-hitting for Dennis King in tracking Oilers chances this season. The first was against Jeff Deslauriers, which speaks for itself. This one, though, came against the goaltender I spent a large portion of the game one post defending, so thank you very much, Evgeni Nabokov. This screenshot is illustrative, I think, of the process that goes into tracking a scoring chance. I've used the same definition of a scoring chance (see the definition after the jump) since the beginning of the playoffs and I've stuck to it as closely as I can, watching all shots directed at the net at least twice and any shots that may be a questionable chance in slow motion, frame-by-frame.
On this play, the NHL official scorer marked Ladd's shot at 53 feet. A 53-foot snap shot from the center of the ice should be saved by the goaltender an extremely high percentage of the time, as it's not in the "dangerous scoring area" from the crease to the dots and into the slot. There is no element of surprise as the puck was carried in by the shooter, there was no cross-seam pass or one-time shot. After watching the three replay angles in frame-by-frame, I determined that there was no screen, in fact, Nicolas Wallin actually moved out of the way of the shot as Ladd wound up. There was no deflection, either from the defender or from another forward in front of the net as Ladd was the first man into the zone. So the goaltender had an unscreened look at an untouched snap shot from the puck carrier from 53 feet and whiffed. For the second time in eighteen games, I ruled that a goal was not a scoring chance.
Scoring Chances for game 30322
For those of you who are new to the concept of tracking scoring chances, 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, 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. Vic Ferrari makes this all possible with his tools to evaluate Corsi, head-to-head ice time and scoring chances.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
The Sharks again won the battle of the chances as evens and lost the game, this time soundly. This wasn't a case of winning because of game state - the Sharks jumped out to an early chances lead and stayed up the entire game.
After Jonathan Toews early chance, the Sharks reeled off seven straight chances and were trailing 1-0. Annti Niemi kept the Hawks in the game once more. The second period was a bizarre one as there were only six chances total, three on the power play and three at even strength, but there were three goals in the period.
For San Jose, I don't know if there is much that Todd McClellan can change. His lines are winning the chances battle and the Corsi is even. Unless he can cast a spell on Nabokov or turn Thomas Greiss into Olaf Kolzig, circa 1998, the Sharks are in trouble. If I were to show these two chances charts with names redacted and asked for a winner, the nearly universal answer would be the Sharks. Copper & Blue favorite Logan Couture isn't getting a regular shift and has been a non-factor.
The talking heads are really getting caught up in their own story here. Dave Bolland is getting rave reviews for his work thus far in the series, but he's been outchanced 3/14 in two games and Kris Versteeg has put up a 4/12. This line's work is so is so good that they should play for the Montreal Canadiens. I understand what Joel Quenneville is trying to do - he's freeing up Jonathan Toews by running away from Joe Thornton. But the point isn't to shut down Thornton - it's to free up Toews. But if the point is to shut down Thornton, Bolland is doing a miserable job of it and Quenneville should look to some other strategy as soon as possible. In spite of all of this, it's been the Troy Brouwer - Marian Hossa - Patrick Sharp line that has done the chances damage in both games. Brouwer is 6/6, Sharp is 8/6, and Hossa is 9/5 so far, mostly against Manny Malhotra's line.