What a crazy game that was. Cory Schneider gets the start, and then gets hurt. Alex Burrows has his best game of the series, and then misses a wide open net. The Hawks' powerplay looks fantastic for two games in a row, and then can't score in almost two consecutive minutes of five-on-three. The Canucks dominate in overtime, and then the Blackhawks put away the winning goal. Although I guess that last one is more completely awesome than crazy. 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|
Note: the script measured the wrong players in overtime, but I altered the player charts so that those totals are (as) correct (as the NHL play-by-play), but the first chart with the chance times lists the wrong players on the ice in OT.
The Blackhawks looked fantastic at home in both Games Three and Four, but they were thoroughly outplayed on Sunday. The overall chances don't look so bad thanks to the five-on-three, but the Canucks outchanced Chicago 19-13 at even strength, and when the score was tied at evens, it was 19-5. It was a whooping. And yet, the Blackhawks managed to spin straw into a third consecutive win - much like the Canucks in Game Three - and send the series back to Vancouver. For the Canucks, the outcome was no doubt disappointing, but it must have been encouraging to once again establish themselves as the dominant team. Still, we've seen dominant play from both sides now, so tonight, who knows what's going to happen. All I can say is, let's go Hawks.
The Sons of Light
3. Henrik Sedin - There was a call before the game for Vancouver's best players to step up, and I thought that the Sedins did a great job of that. Yeah, they were -2 for the game, but I didn't think they were bad on the goals in question - although I did give Henrik the nod over Daniel based on which one was battling with Ben Smith on the winning goal - and for the first time in a while, they looked dominant with the score still in doubt. They scored the opening goal of the game and could easily have had more. That said, I'm not afraid to admit that my favorite Henrik Sedin moment of the night was watching him get called for diving. Diver!
2. Alexander Edler - Gosh golly gee did he ever play well tonight. With Sami Salo down and out early on, there was a lot of extra pressure on Vancouver's defenders, and I thought that they handled it really well. The only Canuck who played more than Edler was Kevin Bieksa who had a fine game himself (except for that hit by Bryan Bickell - that one probably didn't feel too good), but I wanted to recognize Edler here since I called him out for poor play last time, and of course, because he led the team in Corsi, Fenwick, and chances.
1. Dave Bolland - I realize that it's a bit odd to recognize both Sedin and Bolland since they played so much against one another, but I do think that they were both very good. Bolland's line has helped to give Chicago the depth it needs to compete. He did alright when it comes to scoring chances, and he helped to create two goals, first with a huge hit on Dan Hamhuis, and then finishing off a play for the second goal.
The Sons of Darkness
3. Chris Campoli - It was the first time he was really exposed in the series, but I thought that he had a tough game. When I looked after the game was over, I was surprised to see that he played more than Nick Leddy, but unsurprised to see that he was outchanced badly while on the ice. The play that stands out is, of course, Vancouver's second goal when Campoli put the puck right back onto Burrows' stick.
2. Cory Schneider - When goaltending is the difference and the guy at the other end isn't a star, you didn't have a very good game. I hummed and hawed over this decision a little since Schneider was actually great at times, particularly on the five-on-three. In the end, I just couldn't get past the puckhandling errors, which may have cost Vancouver the game.
1. Roberto Luongo - He looked as bad as I've ever seen him. Every save looked like a struggle and almost every shot against resulted in a huge rebound. The goal was a bad one (that lunge forward was crazy) but he looked terrible on most of the saves too. He obviously wasn't expecting to play tonight, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be ready. He didn't look ready to me.