This was the first game of the series where I thought that the road team was the better of the two clubs, and that bodes very well indeed for a positive outcome to Game Seven should the Blackhawks get there with a win tonight. This game started with a silly Brian Campbell penalty, but the Canucks couldn't do much on the power play; when the Blackhawks got their own chance after a Moreaunic penalty from Tanner Glass, they didn't look much better, that is, until Marian Hossa was able to rush up the ice and get a shot off from the top of the scoring area that tipped off of Alexander Edler's stick and found the back of the net. The Blackhawks followed with another goal less than thirty seconds later, and made it 3-0 before the end of the period. By the time five minutes had gone by in the second, the Blackhawks were up 5-0, and the game was essentially over (give or take a Manchester Miracle). Scoring chances and more after the jump.
For those who'd like a definition: 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. Finally, a big thanks to Vic Ferrari for making the whole damn thing possible with his awesome scripts.
|Period||Chi / Van||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Yeah, the Canucks outchanced the Hawks overall, but that doesn't really tell the story. I'd say that Chicago's 9-3 lead when Roberto Luongo got the hook, or their 10-5 lead when the game was 5-0 on the scoreboard is really what tells the tale. The Sedin line, for example, looks good by the numbers listed above, but they had just two chances before the game was 5-0, and both of those came between Chicago's fourth and fifth goals. For Chicago, I thought Marian Hossa would look better by the numbers than he does. I'm glad that he's on the board, but the Hawks still need him to be better.
Those Born of God
3. Corey Crawford - I don't really believe in momentum carrying over from one game to the next, so maybe it's silly to give a nod to the goaltender in a rout, but with Vancouver generating a lot of chances in the third period, Crawford stood tall and didn't give anything up. He looked much more controlled than in the first two games of the series, which was also good to see. He'll need to be just as good in the next two games if the Hawks are going to come all the way back.
2. Jonathan Toews - Set some wonderful screens, especially on the power play, and did a great job completely neutralizing Ryan Kesler's line all night long (Toews beat Kesler 2-0 in EV chances head-to-head). That match-up has worked wonderfully all series, and it's very likely that Joel Quenneville will get it again for Game Six. Toews also had the funniest reaction of the game when he failed to score and hit the boards in frustration even though his team was already up by five. Competitive guy.
1. Duncan Keith - A great player who just didn't look very good early on in the series, but was much better last night. In addition to the four points, he was one of four guys on the team to finish with a plus in the Fenwick column. He was involved in the offense all night with two goals and two assists, and in three of the four plays, was a significant contributor to getting the puck in the back of the net (Hossa's goal... not so much). With Brent Seabrook out, Keith needed to be very good to give Chicago a chance. He has been.
Those Committing the Sin That Leads to Death
3. Aaron Rome - I can't believe that this guy is playing over Keith Ballard. Maybe I just haven't noticed Ballard's mistakes, but I think he's been pretty decent in the series so far. Rome, on the other hand, was running all over the place in this game. The second goal stands out for me as one where you wonder a bit. The goal isn't "on him" but I'm curious as to what value there was in chasing Ryan Johnson all the way to the top of the faceoff circle to push him over when he's already moved the puck. Mikael Samuelsson is a good guy and all, but having him cover for you in front of the net is the kind of thing that drives me bonkers.
2. Ryan Kesler - He was out there for two of the first three goals, but I don't think he should really be blamed for either one (although Patrick Kane's tip from the high slot - a spot the Canucks love to set up in both at evens and on the PP - happened with Kesler standing right beside him). The bigger issue is how badly he was outplayed by Toews. That's a match-up that the Canucks would like to see finish about even I'd imagine, and it wasn't close in this one.
1. Alexander Edler - Has generally been great in this series, but had a rough game here. Tipped the first goal past Luongo after backing in way too deep on Hossa's attack, and then got caught on the fourth goal when Hossa snuck behind him. He didn't have the same physical presence he's had in the other games either, took a holding penalty in the first period, and just generally looked off.