I was thinking of opening with another set of song lyrics, but when I thought about which lyrics I would use to signify the end, I realized there were far too many songs that fit. The Avs played their two best periods of the series last night in the first and the second, but they were still down 6-8 on the chances tote board after two. That's essentially the story of the series and the story of the Avs year: even their absolute best means that they are being outshot and outchanced.
I put some thought to the Avs last night and realized that even their management didn't think they had a chance in the playoffs. If they thought otherwise, they would have gone out and grabbed some real NHL forwards at the deadline. They were going cheap, considering that Dominic Moore went for a second-round draft pick. Rather than bring in two more forwards, they let it ride (Swapping Wolski for Mueller) and chose to play for the future. I think that management understanding the position of the team is important - it shows that they have a more level-headed view of the team than the fanbase.
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.
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 30156
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Same story, different game. The Avs were outchanced 2-1 at even strength. Once again, Sacco found Paul Stastny on Joe Thornton and Matt Duchene on Joe Pavelski in a power-versus-power matchup.
The first period was very slow, not very exciting at all. There were shots directed at the net, but they never made it there. Guys were throwing pucks through the slot and wide even though they had open looks.
Once again Paul Stastny and Brandon Yip were just smoked at even strength, and once again Duchene was the best forward in terms of scoring chances, but he was still -2 on the night.
I'll have the series totals up tomorrow.
Updated: Gabe Desjardins noticed an issue with the time of one of the chances. I reported a chance at 19:53 of the third period that should have bee :53 of the third period. I've updated the reports to reflect that.