Scoring Chances: Game 2 @ St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 14: Patrik Berglund #21 of the St. Louis Blues controls the puck against Marc-Edouard Vlasic #44 of the San Jose Sharks during Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center on April 14, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Blues beat the Sharks 3-0. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The distribution of scoring chances in this series has been interesting as both teams have had their struggles turning possession into chances so far. While the Sharks spent the majority of the first period in the offensive zone, they ended up only tying the Blues in EV chances in that frame and were outchanced overall. Similarly, although St. Louis dominated possession for much of the second period they were only able to earn a 6-5 edge in chances at evens and were outchanced 7-6 by the Sharks when considering special teams. With both teams adept at solid in-zone defending, it's taken transition opportunities for either side to get into the scoring area. In fact, through two games of this series, 48% of all even-strength scoring chances have come off the rush.

It's anyone's guess as to whether or not that trend continues but if it does, that places even more importance on the Sharks being able to advance the puck through the neutral zone. Despite the loss, I thought that was something the Sharks did a better job of compared to Game 1 and the chance totals back that up as San Jose outchanced St. Louis 16-15 and 12-11 at evens (although score effects played a part with the Blues nursing a 2-0 third period lead).

Best EV Forward: Joe Pavelski (+4), Joe Thornton (+4)

Worst EV Forward: Torrey Mitchell (-4)

Best EV Defenseman: Brent Burns (+4)

Worst EV Defenseman: Dan Boyle (-4)

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 4 5 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2 7 6 5 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 5 4 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 2
4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 16 15 12 11 3 0 0 0 1 2 0 2

Team Period Time Note SJS Opponent
STL 1 8:33 Backes P 31 34 57 60 61 69 26 27 36 41 42 46 5v5
SJS 1 7:34 Couture P 9 29 31 39 44 88 21 22 28 41 57 74 5v5
SJS 1 6:54 Thornton T 8 19 31 37 60 88 5 10 15 27 41 42 5v5
SJS 1 6:51 Burns R 8 19 31 37 60 88 5 10 15 27 41 42 5v5
SJS 1 6:43 Pavelski P 8 19 31 37 60 88 5 10 15 27 41 42 5v5
STL 1 4:04 Perron T 3 8 12 19 31 88 5 22 41 42 57 74 5v5
STL 1 3:32 Arnott P 17 18 22 31 37 44 15 17 27 28 41 44 5v5
STL 1 2:19 Berglund PP 3 8 12 31 88 4 10 20 21 36 41 4v5
STL 1 1:05 Pietrangelo P 17 19 22 31 39 44 22 27 41 42 57 74 5v5
SJS 2 18:59 Havlat O 9 31 39 44 60 61 5 17 20 22 41 42 5v5
STL 2 13:59 Sobotka O 17 18 31 37 60 61 1 4 12 17 26 27 5v5
SJS 2 12:09 Pavelski T 8 12 19 22 31 88 1 4 12 26 36 46 5v5
STL 2 10:35 Colaiacovo P 9 22 29 31 39 88 1 10 20 21 27 28 5v5
STL 2 10:06 Backes R
9 22 29 31 39 88 1 20 27 28 42 74 5v5
STL 2 7:02 McDonald O 9 22 29 31 39 44 1 10 20 21 27 28 5v5
SJS 2 6:53 Clowe O 9 22 29 31 39 44 1 5 10 20 21 22 5v5
STL 2 6:11 Goal - Backes T 8 12 19 31 60 61 1 27 28 42 57 74 5v5
SJS 2 2:40 Clowe R 3 9 19 29 31 61 1 5 12 15 17 46 5v5
SJS 2 1:41 Clowe T 29 31 44 57 69 88 1 21 27 28 57 74 5v5
STL 2 1:30 Berglund T 22 31 34 57 60 69 1 21 27 28 57 74 5v5
SJS 2 0:58 Couture PP 8 12 19 22 31 39 1 5 12 17 27 5v4
SJS 2 0:43 Couture PP 8 12 19 22 31 39 1 5 17 21 27 5v4
SJS 3 18:37 Burns PP 12 19 22 31 39 88 1 17 22 46 74 5v4
SJS 3 16:47 Pavelski P 3 8 12 19 31 88 1 4 10 15 21 46 5v5
STL 3 15:30 Oshie T 17 18 22 31 37 44 1 4 36 42 46 74 5v5
SJS 3 11:44 Havlat O 3 9 12 29 31 60 1 5 10 20 21 22 5v5
STL 3 9:33 Backes PP 3 8 12 31 88 1 22 28 42 57 74 4v5
SJS 3 5:13 Thornton F 8 19 22 31 39 61 1 10 20 21 28 46 5v5
SJS 3 1:25 Burns SH 19 22 31 39 88 1 4 10 28 42 57 4v5
STL 3 0:27 Oshie PP 3 31 61 69 1 10 22 27 57 74 3v5
STL 3 0:25 Goal - McDonald PP 3 31 61 69 1 10 22 27 57 74 3v5

# Player EV PP SH
3 D. MURRAY 11:42 3 1 0:00 0 0 5:00 0 2
8 J. PAVELSKI 8:37 6 2 3:57 2 0 3:33 0 2
9 M. HAVLAT 12:09 5 3 3:31 0 0 0:24 0 0
12 P. MARLEAU 9:13 3 2 4:02 3 0 4:09 0 2
17 T. MITCHELL 9:49 0 4 0:00 0 0 0:52 0 0
18 D. MOORE 9:47 0 3 0:56 0 0 3:39 0 0
19 J. THORNTON 10:29 7 3 4:49 3 0 1:12 1 0
22 D. BOYLE 15:49 3 7 5:24 3 0 3:52 1 0
29 R. CLOWE 12:18 5 3 3:38 0 0 0:00 0 0
31 A. NIEMI 41:44 12 11 7:32 3 0 9:53 1 2
34 D. WINNIK 9:31 0 2 0:00 0 0 3:48 0 0
37 T. GALIARDI 10:06 3 3 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
39 L. COUTURE 10:57 4 4 3:45 3 0 0:54 1 0
44 M. VLASIC 13:32 4 4 0:06 0 0 3:57 0 0
57 T. WINGELS 9:55 1 2 1:30 0 0 0:00 0 0
60 J. DEMERS 12:57 5 4 2:21 0 0 1:06 0 0
61 J. BRAUN 13:14 3 3 0:09 0 0 2:18 0 0
69 A. DESJARDINS 10:37 1 2 0:00 0 0 1:15 0 0
88 B. BURNS 17:22 7 3 3:32 1 0 3:33 1 2

Chance Types

Team Transition Odd-man Rebound Forecheck Possession Steal PP SH
San Jose 3 3 2 1 3 0 3 1
St. Louis 4 2 1 0 4 0 4 0


Head-to-head scoring chances:

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The top line put up much better scoring chance numbers in this one but, interestingly enough, that improvement didn't really come against David Backes. They weren't beaten by St. Louis' top line to quite the degree that they were in Game 1 but they still lost that matchup. The key was being able to take advantage of the Patrik Berglund line as well as their limited minutes against Scott Nichol's unit. I suggested in the Game 1 chance recap that McLellan might look to match Thornton up to Berglund when he has last change and the way the chances went in this one, that might not be such a terrible idea.

Douglas Murray and Brent Burns had a nice rebound effort in this one, in part because the Sharks earned many more offensive-zone draws with their improved territorial play compared to Game 1, giving Murray a significantly easier zone start rate. The flipside of Murray/Burns was the Dominic Moore line who were solid in the Game 1 win, generating many chances late in regulation of that one, but got run over by St. Louis' revamped bottom six here.

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