2012 NHL Playoffs: Fear The Fin's Western Conference Playoff Predictions

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 27: A general view of a large statue of the Stanley Cup during the NHL Fan Fair at the Ottawa Convention Centre on January 27, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The 2011-2012 playoffs are upon us, and we here at FTF decided to bust out the round table again to look at the Western Conference matchups. There is a lot of firepower in the West this year, especially in the lower seeds. It should be an interesting spring as many of the top seeded teams play with a defense first, clog the neutral zone mentality. This strategy has certainly been successful in the regular season, and now we turn to the post-season to see if these top teams can continue their winning ways.

We've compiled a lot of data that we think speaks to the true talent of the teams. If the terminology is new to you feel free to ask questions in the comments section, hopefully one of us can provide a good explanation. We try to use statistics that are the best predictors of future success, often providing a different angle from more traditional stats you may see around the league.

Glossary

Cumulative Fenwick Close%: The graphs below represent the cumulative Fenwick (EV shots and missed shots) percentage with the score tied at any time or within a goal in the first or second period for teams over the course of the season.

Deployment graphs: On the y-axis is CORSI Rel QOC, x-axis is offensive zone start%, with the size of the bubble representing raw Corsi on. These graphs tell us how players have been deployed by their coaches. High CORSI Rel QOC indicates deployment against tough competition, while a high zone% indicates (easier) offensive zone starts.

H2H EV Fenwick%: Head to head even strength fenwick%, which is the proportion of goals, shots, and misses at the opponent net.

H2H EV GD: Even strength goal differential, which is even strength goals for minus even strength goals against

SAF: Score Adjusted Fenwick: Fenwick% adjusted for score effects. This stat serves as a surrogate not only for posession, but also scoring chances. So far, it is the most accurate predictor of future wins.

5v4SF/60 or 4v5 SA/60: Shots for or against per 60min TOI. This represents the amount of shots generated on the power play. The numbers are presented as the number of shots generated for or against a team if they were on the PP or PK for the entire 60 minutes of the game.

Rank:represents the rank of that team or player in the category immediately to the left.

Corsi: CORSI is similar to plus-minus, but includes every type of shot. It is the number of goals, shots, misses and blocked shots directed at the oppositions net, minus those sent toward a player's own net. This is then put into a rate stat, showing the shot totals on average if a player would have played every miinute of a 60min game.

Corsi Rank: This is the player's Corsi rank as compared to all forwards or defense with over 30 games played.

Goals/Points: This is 5v5 goals and points only.

(4) Nashville Predators vs. (5) Detroit Red Wings

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Team H2H EV Fenwick% H2H EV GD H2H Points SAF SAF Rank 5v4 SF/60 Rank 4v5 SA/60 Rank
DET 0.597 5 6 0.554 1 50.3 9 46.8 8
NSH 0.403 -5 6 0.469 29 45.7 21 52.8 23
League Average 0.501 48.7 49.0

Snark SD: This may be the most lopsided matchup in the entire playoffs this year, featuring the top SAF team vs. damn near the worst. Nashville has survived largely off of great goaltending, which I wouldn't bank on over the long run. I think Detroit has too much talent for Nashville to overcome. Detroit in 5.

Plank: Nashville's an interesting case. Their possession numbers look lousy at face value, but since the deadline they've managed to get some better results with the additions of Hal Gill, Paul Gaustad, Andrei Kostitsyn, and Alexander Radulov. Over the long haul I think Detroit is likely the better team, but the Predators are built similar to San Jose and the physical freak that is Pekka Rinne is too much to pass up. Nashville in 6.

The Neutral: In my mind, Nashville is by far the most intriguing team in the playoffs. They've had a lot of success this season and have managed to do it in the face of some horrific underlying numbers. Much like the 2011 Anaheim Ducks (who, coincidentally, were dispatched in the first round a year ago by the Predators), Nashville outperformed their dismal possession rates on the basis of phenomenal goaltending and an extremely effective power play. And while Pekka Rinne is probably every bit as good as he's been this season, the Predators' success on the man-advantage was almost exclusively the result of an unsustainable 16.8% power play shooting percentage - tops in the NHL. We've mentioned before that shot rates are a better predictor of PP success than PP% given how small a sample size even a full season's worth of PP time amounts to and the Predators struggled quite a bit in that area - finishing 22nd in the NHL with just 45.4 5v4 shots per sixty minutes. The smoke and mirrors of Nashville's power play is really what inflated their overall goal differential - at even strength, excluding empty netters and shootout tallies, the Preds only outscored their opponents by five goals all season. Compare that to Detroit's +54 EV goal differential and you can get an idea of why I don't think Nashville stands much of a chance here.

Detroit is being portrayed as the underdog here but they really shouldn't be considered as such. The team had their struggles when the injuries piled up, which is pretty much a yearly occurrence at this point thanks to all the greybeards in that dressing room, but their three most important players - who remain three of the best in the entire league in my opinion - should be in the lineup for Game 1. While the Wings have been the better team all season, it bears mention that Nashville has improved quite a bit over the past few weeks thanks, obviously, to the addition of Alexander Radulov. With Radulov on the ice, the Predators have been a 0.565 Fenwick Close team, a big reason why they were 20th in the league in Score-Adjusted Fenwick post-deadline after spending much of the year in the bottom five. The most interesting thing to monitor behind the benches in this series is how Barry Trotz uses his home-ice advantage to deploy the Mike Fisher and David Legwand lines. He's generally used Fisher against opposing top lines this season and the former Senator has been feasted upon - posting just a 0.429 Fenwick Close%, well below even Nashville's paltry overall average. Legwand has had success in a checking role in the past and might be a better option to draw Pavel Datsyuk if it weren't for the fact that Radulov has spent a lot of time on his wing. The best course of action for Trotz seems to be continuing to match Fisher against the Wings' top line, sending Paul Gaustad (who's begun 76.3% of his EV shifts in the defensive zone since coming over from Buffalo) out against Henrik Zetterberg and hoping that freeing up Radulov for easier matchups will make up for the lost territory. No matter what, it's going to be an uphill battle for Nashville in this series as it has been all season and as much as I'd love to see them take out Detroit in round one, I think the most likely outcome is Red Wings in 5.

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Name TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
HENRIKZETTERBERG 14.96 1.304 5.4 13.67 25 1008 54.5 19 51
PAVELDATSYUK 14.56 1.243 13.1 19.05 8 1012 55.5 13 41
VALTTERIFILPPULA 14.37 1.294 -7.2 4.91 111 1037 53.8 18 52
JOHANFRANZEN 14.07 1.079 8.4 15.48 21 1023 56.2 17 41
TODDBERTUZZI 13.53 1.222 1.3 9.25 59 1039 53.5 13 33
JIRIHUDLER 13.33 0.788 0.7 10.3 51 1020 55.7 23 40

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Name TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
IANWHITE 18.17 1.046 5.7 13.12 7 1023 57.7 7 21
NICKLASLIDSTROM 17.56 1.545 9 15.35 4 1014 57.1 7 16
BRADSTUART 16.92 0.557 -8.5 4.66 57 1016 54.4 4 18
KYLEQUINCEY 16.56 0.023 2.9 7.96 33 986 57.8 3 10
NIKLASKRONWALL 16.54 0.698 -6.5 5.69 45 997 54.6 8 22

Snark SD: Ian White isn't Rafalski, and that will be apparent this spring, but White has done a fantastic job filling in that offensive defensemen role. Detroit boasts possibly the best D pairing with Lidstrom and White, this playoff season will tell a lot about their capacity to dominate.

Plank: There's no player more exciting to watch in the National Hockey League than Pavel Datsyuk, and his underlying numbers once again paint the picture of a player so good it's almost criminal. And what else can you say about Lidstrom? The guy could play until he's 50 years old and still spin circles around half the League.

The Neutral: Datsyuk will get the media praise and on-air Pierre McGuiregasms (and deservedly so - well, not really sure anyone deserves that second one), but Henrik Zetterberg is still the straw really stirring the drink up front for Detroit. He single-handedly turned Valtteri Filppula into a tough-minutes top six forward this season and routinely destroys the best forwards in the league even if his counting stats have declined a bit.

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NAME TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
MIKEFISHER 15.21 1.645 -10.5 -12.87 373 1045 40.2 19 36
MARTINERAT 14.57 1.595 -4.4 -9.05 330 1037 41.2 13 37
DAVIDLEGWAND 14.46 0.365 10.9 0.49 191 998 44.7 11 30
SERGEIKOSTITSYN 13.79 1.424 -2 -8.59 325 1028 49.1 15 33
COLINWILSON 13.43 -0.158 14.3 0.73 186 997 50.3 9 20
NICKSPALING 13.31 -0.451 -4.3 -10.32 351 992 43.8 10 20


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NAME TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
SHEAWEBER 19.7 1.352 11.3 -0.71 108 1018 44.8 7 23
RYANSUTER 19.67 1.289 7.6 -2.74 123 1016 45.9 3 19
KEVINKLEIN 16.83 -0.147 -7.2 -12.12 207 994 41.7 4 17
FRANCISBOUILLON 15.96 -0.361 -3.5 -8.94 183 1003 46.5 3 9

Plank: Although none of the Predators trade deadline acquisitions made this list, I think their additions give Nashville something they haven't had in years past-- the ability to score goals. It's hard to see them winning in a shootout against Detroit of course, but Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are about as good a foil as you can ask for against Detroit's top lines. Expect them to see 30+ minutes a night for the second straight postseason.

The Neutral: As mentioned above, although he isn't listed here, Radulov has done quite a bit to improve the Predators' underlying numbers and we all know he can finish with the best of them.

Snark SD: It's definitely been anything but a cake walk for Nashville this season, playing in what had to have been the most competitive division in a while. As the numbers for many of the Nashville players indicate, Nashville was largely under-water in the possession department. The Predators are going to need someone to step up and become the hero in the music city if they want to take out Detroit in the first round.

Star-divide

(3) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (6) Chicago Blackhawks

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Team H2H EV Fenick% H2H EV GD H2H Points SAF SAF Rank 5v4 SF/60 Rank 4v5 SA/60 Rank
CHI 0.586 -8 3 0.528 7 46 20 56.4 30
PHX 0.414 8 6 0.490 18 40.1 30 55.5 29
League Average 0.501 48.7 49.0

Snark SD: Again we have a lower seed that has a serious chance of an upset. Despite what looks like a lopsided head to head matchup, Chicago controlled play for most of this regular season series, and I would expect Chicago to come out strong against Phoenix in the postseason as well. Neither team looks particularly strong on special teams, especially on the penalty kill. Phoenix will attempt to muddy up the neutral zone with the snooze fest that is the trap we've all come to know so well. I dont see that stopping a hungry Chicago team though. Chicago in 5.

Plank: The health of Jonathan Toews will always be a relevant concern, but even without their Captain this Blackhawks team is tough to handle. They've had to deal with below average goaltending for the entire season, but their possession metrics paint the picture of a team that is undoubtedly elite. Against a Phoenix team that has struggled to find the back of the net of this season I'm not sure how much that goaltending makes much of a difference. Mike Smith steals one but it's not enough. Chicago in 6.

The Neutral: As much as Mike Smith has been described as a guy who came out of nowhere and a product of Dave Tippett's system, it's probably worth noting that he's only appeared in 40 games in a season three times now in his career, has twice recorded an even-strength SV% north of 0.930 and the last time it was behind a horrendous Lightning team. He's probably a legitimately good goalie and the Coyotes will need him to be to have a chance here. The thing that jumps out at me about this matchup is that both clubs are absolutely terrible on special teams based on shot metrics. Chicago and Phoenix allowed the most and second-most shots against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill, respectively, in the entire league. The difference is that while the Hawks have received a 0.864 PK SV% from their goaltenders, Smith and Jason LaBarbera have provided Phoenix with a combined 0.911 SV% shorthanded. No matter how good Smith or Tippett's PK tactics are, that's almost certainly not Phoenix's true talent and, although something like a penalty kill save percentage is going to be inherently unpredictable over a seven-game series, it's unlikely they'll stop shots at that effective a rate shorthanded. Luckily for both teams, neither is any good at generating shots on the power play either. The Blackhawks finished 20th in the league in 5v4 shot rate while the Coyotes finished 29th. Their overall PP% numbers were reflective of that deficiency, with Chicago finishing 26th in the league and Phoenix 29th. If either team has a special teams advantage here, I don't see it.

At evens is where Chicago distances themselves a bit from Phoenix. As the charts demonstrate, the Hawks have controlled play at a better rate than the Yotes all season but suffered from some of the same terrible PDO luck the Sharks did. I don't follow the Blackhawks closely enough to know whether or not there's a goaltending controversy heading into this series but the re-signing of Ray Emery indicates to me the organization has faith in their backup - they shouldn't. Emery posted an 0.899 even-strength SV% this season which is worse goaltending than your average AHL starter. Crawford's no Dominik Hasek himself, but his 0.915 EV SV% is good enough for the Hawks to win this series as they'll be dictating possession for much of it. The main questions of course center around whether Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland, Chicago's best two natural pivots, will be ready for the series and what kind of condition they'll be in if they are. With home-ice advantage, Tippett will likely want his fantastic tough-minutes trio of Martin Hanzal, Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata out against the Toews line while Quenneville will want to counter those three with Bolland when the series heads back to the United Center. Interestingly, even with Toews and Bolland in the lineup, Phoenix probably has more depth down the middle than Chicago with terrific two-way centers Antoine Vermette and Daymond Langkow both equally capable of facing the Marian Hossa line. This series could easily be a coming-out party for excellent young defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson who will likely see a bit of Hossa himself. This is another series where I have to pick against the team I'll be rooting for. As fun as it would be to see the Coyotes have playoff success in the midst of relocation rumors, Chicago has done a better job at controlling territory all season, have more firepower up front and were lucky enough to draw a team that's as inept on special teams as they are. Chicago in 6.

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Name TEAM TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
PATRICKKANE CHI 16.01 0.541 7.8 11.43 41 1003 66.9 18 52
JONATHANTOEWS CHI 15.04 1.018 14.6 17.17 15 993 64.7 21 37
PATRICKSHARP CHI 14.82 0.141 15.2 15.86 18 1013 64.6 23 46
MARIANHOSSA CHI 14.46 0.274 2 7.61 83 1017 59 18 49
VIKTORSTALBERG CHI 13.29 0.663 12.2 15.33 22 983 63.9 18 39
ANDREWSHAW CHI 13.07 1.214 -5.1 5.94 98 969 41.3 8 14


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Name TEAM TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
DUNCANKEITH CHI 20.63 1.345 -3.1 4.14 60 1005 51.2 3 24
BRENTSEABROOK CHI 19.14 1.576 2 7.86 35 1004 50.1 6 25
NICKLEDDY CHI 17.94 0.456 0.2 6.31 42 973 54.4 3 24
NIKLASHJALMARSSON CHI 17.15 0.792 -3.2 5.09 50 997 51.5 1 14

The Neutral: Duncan Keith has fallen off a bit since his Norris Trophy season in 2010 but he and Brent Seabrook are still two of the best defensemen in the NHL and, playing on separate pairings, are capable of closing up shop for a Phoenix offense with a dearth of options on the wing by themselves. Despite poor shooting luck this season, the Hawks' forwards are still extremely talented and deep. Look for Michal Frolik, who's been shooting blanks for the better part of two seasons but continues to be an effective possession player with a solid shot rate, to potentially have a big series.

Snark SD: Chicago has one of the deepest top 6 forward groups in the league, and every one of those guys can finish. What's been difficult for the Blackhawks this year has been down right terrible goaltending, and some medicore defensive play. Keith and Seabrook have been leaned on heavily to steady the ship from the back, but Chicago is going to need more from their bench if they want to make a deep run.

Plank: As both Snark and The Neutral said, the Hawks forward group is a heavy burden to handle while their blueline is a big question mark going into the series. Niklas Hjalmarsson looked poised to breakout during the Hawks Stanley Cup run in 2010 before hitting the wall in the last two seasons-- can he right the ship this postseason?

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Name TEAM TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
RAYWHITNEY PHX 14.33 1.174 13.4 9.04 62 1035 54.3 16 54
RADIMVRBATA PHX 13.7 1.296 11.2 8.13 72 1036 52.8 23 41
MARTINHANZAL PHX 13.48 1.32 12.3 9.61 56 1016 50.6 5 23
LAURIKORPIKOSKI PHX 13.35 0.666 -12.9 -9.88 344 1016 43.6 13 30
ANTOINEVERMETTE PHX 13.15 0.459 8.1 3.89 125 980 47.8 6 25
DAYMONDLANGKOW PHX 12.87 0.453 6.3 3.95 121 990 54 9 24


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Name TEAM TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
KEITHYANDLE PHX 17.93 -0.06 8.2 4.75 54 1010 55.2 10 31
OLIVEREKMAN-LARSSON PHX 17.68 0.878 5.9 3.31 64 1004 48.4 10 23
ADRIANAUCOIN PHX 16.98 0.475 3.1 2.1 75 1030 48.8 1 7
MICHALROZSIVAL PHX 16.73 0.427 1.8 0.74 91 1019 46.1 1 11

Plank: Looking at the names on Phoenix's roster you have to marvel at how Dave Tippet and Don Maloney have done it. They've pretty much followed the book on locating high-value possession players for pennies on the dollar, doing so on a shoestring budget. I loved the acquisition of Antoine Vermette this deadline, and while I'm taking Chicago here, you have to tip your hat to that entire organization for winning the Pacific and making the playoffs yet again.

The Neutral: Ekman-Larsson had an astonishingly good season for such a young defenseman playing such a difficult role. It wouldn't be surprising to see him in the Norris conversation as soon as next season and I think he'll play a big part in this series.

Snark SD: Much like Nashville that's not one guy that Phoenix has really relied on to get the job done this year. They've been winning by committee, with help from solid goal tending. Although to be honest Smith hasn't looked unstoppable, his numbers are about where Niemi is.

Star-divide

(1) Vancouver Canucks vs. (8) Los Angeles Kings

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Team H2H EV Fenick% H2H EV GD H2H Points SAF SAF Rank 5v4 SF/60 Rank 4v5 SA/60 Rank
L.A 0.535 2 4 0.533 4 44.8 25 49.3 13
VAN 0.465 -2 5 0.524 8 56.2 3 52.6 22
League Average 0.501 48.7 49.0

Snark SD: Despite a 1-8 billing this looks to be a great matchup between two very talented teams. LA has come on fire as of late, as soon as they're shooting percentage finally began to show signs of life. Clearly they were in a funk in the beginning of the year, but lately (and especially against the Sharks these past 2 games) LA looks like a team that can legitimately go deep this spring. The scary thing is they've been playing great without Carter. With his addition in the line up, this team can compete with any team in the west, including Vancouver. That being said however, Vancouver has continued where they left off last year. They've finished the season really strong, and for their efforts are rewarded with a difficult first round match up. This one should be a hell of a series to watch as both teams can flat out skate. I think Van has too much fire power up front for LA to contend with however. Canucks in 7.

Plank: If there's any series you're going to watch outside of SJS-STL and PHI-PIT, this one is it. All season long Los Angeles has been battered by the shooting percentages, finishing the year 30th in the League, and yet their underlying possession numbers continued to show a team that is extremely dangerous. The addition of Jeff Carter at the deadline really gives them a good shot at this thing, and it's hard to downplay how good Jonathan Quick has been for them this season as well. I really like Vancouver, but I like Los Angeles' depth on the blueline and up front too much to pass up. Kings in 7.

The Neutral: The Kings have really had an epic turnaround since hiring Darryl Sutter and it's been accelerated following Dean Lombardi's brilliant deadline move that helped the team not only by adding a premier two-way forward in Jeff Carter but jettisoning arguably the worst regular defenseman in the NHL. As you can see in the chart above, these are two teams that have been headed in opposite directions since the midway point of the season, although you wouldn't necessarily know it by looking at Vancouver's record alone. The Canucks received fantastic goaltending down the stretch from their talented tandem of Roberto Luongo and Corey Schneider and that's helped to mask some of their flaws. They're still a team that keeps the play in the opposition's end more frequently than their own, even with the score close, but they aren't as good as they were last season even despite repeating as President's Trophy winners.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, were on an absolute tear to close out the year. They outshot their final 13 opponents by a combined count of 451-302. We all know by now about Jonathan Quick's exploits this season but the Kings have done a terrific job at easing the burden on him to as great an extent as possible, not only dominating possession but giving him some actual goal support thanks to some work by the regression gods on their once-abysmal shooting percentage. It's hard to envy the Canucks - for the second straight year, they've won the President's Trophy and the first seed in the conference that comes with it and for the second straight year they'll be facing an eighth seed that's about as far from the stereotypical eighth seed as you can imagine. They were able to outlast a high-powered Blackhawks squad in seven games last season and although I think the Canucks are still talented enough (especially with their lethal power play) to make this series go the distance, I believe Los Angeles - who have probably been the best team in the league since the trade deadline - emerges alive. Kings in 7.

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NAME TEAM TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
ANZEKOPITAR L.A 14.93 1.132 13.5 18.91 9 995 50.9 15 46
JEFFCARTER L.A 14.67 1.355 -3.4 -1.56 227 989 50 11 21
DUSTINBROWN L.A 14.46 0.828 5.9 13.78 24 1013 52.5 12 35
JUSTINWILLIAMS L.A 13.92 0.65 17 21.66 3 992 52.8 13 40
MIKERICHARDS L.A 13.07 0.899 -15.1 -3.33 251 1010 50.2 10 25
SIMONGAGNE L.A 12.99 1.567 6.4 11.14 44 973 56.9 6 10


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NAME TEAM TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
DREWDOUGHTY L.A 17.86 0.962 1.6 11.27 13 987 50.6 5 22
ROBSCUDERI L.A 17.02 0.889 -7.7 4.74 55 986 48.2 1 9
WILLIEMITCHELL L.A 16.93 0.372 0.3 8.46 30 1018 51.4 5 14
SLAVAVOYNOV L.A 15.28 -0.123 7.4 13.93 5 1016 57.5 5 14
MATTGREENE L.A 13.29 -0.541 1.7 10.92 17 986 46.8 4 14
ALECMARTINEZ L.A 12.43 -1.357 16.9 25.1 1 969 54.9 3 5

The Neutral: Having Carter healthy for this series is going to be key. I've mentioned before how he really turned around what was one of the worst seasons of Mike Richards' career, in terms of both underlying and "traditional" stats.

Snark SD: LA's defense is so deep I had to include their "bottom" paring guys, hell, Martinez is the #1 CORSI defensmen for players over 30 games. He's matched against weak (really weak) opponents and more often then not in the O zone, but still, you got to say that's impressive. Kopitar, Brown, and Williams have had phenomenal years as well.

Plank: To think that Anze Kopitar has managed to play against top competition, get middle of the road zone starts, and come out on top in terms of possession and points scoring is one thing-- but to understand he's done so all at the age of 24 years old is quite another. The loss of Simon Gagne to concussion is a big one for Los Angeles, but players like Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams up front make that loss less harmful. Drew Doughty, Willie Mitchell, and Rob Scuderi round out an excellent defensive cast, with Slava Voynov improving upon Jack Johnson's performance.

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NAME TEAM TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
HENRIKSEDIN VAN 14.53 0.362 18.7 18.26 11 1024 78.5 6 51
DANIELSEDIN VAN 14.46 0.356 22.5 21.09 5 1009 79.6 17 39
ALEXBURROWS VAN 14.07 0.621 16.8 17.48 14 1022 73.6 23 41
RYANKESLER VAN 13.86 0.658 10.6 12.48 36 1010 47.9 12 26
MARC-ANDREGRAGNANI VAN 13.05 -0.294 13.1 7.93 76 1016 63.1 1 8
CHRISTOPHERHIGGINS VAN 13.03 1.028 2.7 8.49 68 1018 46.5 14 31


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NAME TEAM TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On Corsi Rank PDO Off Zone Start % Goals Points
KEVINBIEKSA VAN 18.19 0.848 7.7 9.98 20 1007 49.1 6 31
DANHAMHUIS VAN 17.59 0.893 7 9.69 23 1032 46.7 3 22
ALEXANDEREDLER VAN 17.08 0.647 0.9 5.85 44 996 57.8 5 21
SAMISALO VAN 14.63 0.707 -4.7 3.08 66 1017 53.1 2 9

Plank: Ryan Kesler may not have the point production that he had the last two seasons, but strong possession numbers are the hallmark of his game. I think he has an excellent series against Los Angeles. There's probably no better top line in the League than the Sedins and Burrows at cycling the puck in the offensive zone, and that opens up a lot of holes in opposing teams defenses. Dan Hamhuis continues to be the brilliant shut down defenseman he's been for quite some time-- I think they would have won the Cup last season if he hadn't have gotten injured in the Finals.

The Neutral: Swapping out Cody Hodgson for Sami Pahlsson was a great move and gives the Canucks two dedicated checking lines to sic on the Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards units for L.A. Daniel Sedin potentially not being available for Game 1 is a pretty significant blow to Vancouver, however.

Snark SD: I think we've beaten this drum to death this year, but nothing stands out more for VAN then their aggressive zone% numbers. But it's hard to argue with the success they've had with it. The Sedin's have turned in another fantastic year, and I don't see them slowing down any time soon. It's going to be a tough draw for any line to match with VAN, and quite frankly, I dont think there is anyone in the west that can.

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