After a slight delay the Dallas Stars wing of the Scoring Chance Project is back on track. We had a few hiccups (which we'll discuss after the jump), but now we have two games worth of chances to analyze. The Stars began a road swing deep into enemy Pacific Division territory to take on two teams with playoff aspirations in the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.
This weekend we saw the Stars play their best overall game in probably three years, and lose. We also saw one man masochistically launch himself face first into the boards in a "selfless" attempt to put his team on the powerplay. And, this time, it wasn't Dustin Brown. Unfortunately a faceplant into the boards doesn't count as a scoring chance (though maybe it should) so the event is a little out of the scope of the rest of this post.
We will be doing this a little bit differently today with two games to go over. I think SBN might break if I put two full games worth of data (and the corresponding HTML) into one post, but we're going to make it work. The games don't stop due to technical problems, and neither will the scoring chance reports. So, follow the jump to find out how scoring chances determined (or didn't?) the outcome of both Stars games this past weekend.
In the interest of keeping this post from being three to four thousand words, I am going to use a different format. Normally we have three reports for each game. One of those three reports is massive. The massive report in question is the detailed list of events from the game. It's a useful tool for those of you that want to see what I did or didn't count as a chance. Unfortunately for you, the valued reader of Defending Big D, this information isn't going to be readily available today. We're going to limit both games to two reports. We will keep the total scoring chance report and the individual player reports for both games. With that out of the way let's start rolling out the reports.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
The first game of the duo we'll be going over was the first meeting of the season between the Stars and the Ducks. Once again, the Stars were outchanced in a big way. At even strength they were a -12 as a team including -5 at even strength. The biggest area of concern was once again special teams. It's great that the Stars wre killing penalties at a high clip, and they aren't allowing a ton of chances to opposing powerplays. The problem of the special teams is one of special teams efficiency. For instance, The Ducks outchanced them by 7 on special teams.
I'm going to get into special teams efficiency in a later post, but right now just know that the sum of powerplay and penalty killing percentages should equal about 100%, which should be relatively intuitive since in any special teams situation someone will either score, or not. The point for the purposes of this recap is that the Stars aren't giving themselves enough of an opportunity to be successful on special teams. On a game to game basis they're being severely outchanced on special teams, and it isn't just because they take more penalties than they should. They generate so little on the powerplay that they're constantly in the hole. The Stars have done a lot right so far this season, but this success isn't sustainable without the powerplay generating more chances.
The Mike Ribeiro line had a rough night. Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow were both -4 chances at even strength, and Michael Ryder was only -1. The defensive pairing of Nicklas Grossman and Stephane Robidas were both -7 at even strength (Robidas added another -5 shorthanded for a sparkling -12 on the night). Your biggest positive player from the Ducks and Stars first meeting of the season? You already know. Alex Goligoski wins again. He was a +6 for the game, and his partner for the night was a +4. That partner? Mark Fistric.
Despite the bad, the Stars still beat the Ducks 3-1. Saturday night against the Kings the Stars played easily their best game of the season with backup goalie Andrew Raycrioft in the lineup, but they lost.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
The Stars outchanced the mighty Kings 16-9 in total chances. At even strength the Stars outchanced the Kings 15-7, but were still a -1 in chances on special teams. Both teams played exceptionally well, but the Stars were able to get more consistent chances. Once again the Stars slowed down in the second period, but not as violently as in the recent past. The second period 4-5 defecit came on the heels of a few Kings powerplay chances. If a 4-5 defecit is your worst run in a game then you're doing fine.
I'm not even going to waste your time telling you how awesome Alex Goligoski is. You already know, and if I spent much more space doing that you'd probably start thinking I'm on his payroll. But...Goligoski was a +7 in chances at even strength. His partner Adam Pardy was a +6. The pattern here seems to be that whatever defensive minded defenseman you pair with Goligoski is inevitably going to be a net positive at even strength.
The Ribeiro, Ryder, Morrow line had an exceptional game. I don't recall many defensive breakdowns, and they were a +5 at even strength. Ryder still chucks the puck at the net without abandon, but he was generating real chances against the Kings including one exchance where he got a shot on net from the low slot then picked up the rebound for another chance. Other very positive games: Sheldon Souray and Robidas were both +4.
Overall I don't think you can argue against the results from this weekend. The Stars left the weekend with two points, and they legitimately had a claim at four points. The powerplay is still a giant issue, but they have enough talent to be able to find something that works. The Stars next game is Tuesday night against the Coyotes. The first meeting between the two was a low chance affair, and I wouldn't expect that to change.
Hopefully, I'll have the next scoring chance report for you Wednesday morning. The reason for the long delay is that whomever scored the game for the NHL website made the report basically say that Kari Lehtonen didn't play in the third period. Five players also played into the 84th minute. These two issues made all of the chance data skew horribly. I think the report I generated before I knew there was an issue said Robidas played ten penalty killing minutes. But, what are you going to do?
***Also, I almost have the database done of the scoring chances for the year. Work is keeping the...work, I guess, down. Before long you will be able to see who is leading Stars in chances, and compare everyone, and see results vs each team, and see the entire years results, and etc etc etc. HINT: The answer to the first question is Alex Goligoski. I'll give you an update when the database is finished. Hang tight.