The Detroit Red Wings and their fans invaded the American Airlines Center last night to participate in a 5-4 Red Wings victory over the Dallas Stars. The scoring chance results from last night's game might be the strangest I've seen this season, but they do fit with my recollection of the game so I'm confident enough in the results to present them to you here.
The first period was a flurry of chances for both teams that saw the Wings spring out to a 3-1 lead. The chances were 8-6 in favor of the Wings through one period, and included the chance pictured to the right which saw Valteri Filppula have 95% of the net to aim for with at least ten feet of room to operate on all sides of him. The remaining periods are where things get strange. The Wings and Stars combined for six total chances over the remaining two periods despite scoring five goals between them.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Neither goalie was particularly sharp last night, and the Stars defense was terrible. The Stars lost 5-4, and it really could have been worse. The individual chances from last night's loss can be found after the jump.
I think Alex Goligoski is broken. Prior to his thumb injury he was easily the Stars most valuable defenseman in my eyes. He wasn't lighting the world on fire with his offensive production, but he was key in the transition game. He wasn't making very many mistakes in the defensive end either. Now it seems like he's being exposed at an astronomical rate.
As I mentioned yesterday, Goligoski was on the ice for 14/18 total chances in the Bruins game. Last night he was on the ice 10 of the 20 total chances, two for and eight against. The easy explanation is to blame Adam Pardy, and boy is it tempting. I don't think he is the full cross bearer here though. They played together for a while earlier in the year, and Goligoski was still very useful.I looked at a few numbers to see if anything has changed lately to explain why things have appeared to go south. In doing so I noticed that his full season offensive zone start percentage has dropped by 7% in just a couple of weeks while at the same time his Corsi Rel Quality of Competition has risen significantly. So either teams are exploiting a weakness with Goligoski, or he's taking a bath with more defensive responsibility with Sheldon Souray and Stephane Robidas still on the shelf.
Goligoski's partner in crime last night was Pardy who was a -4 even strength chances. Last night was probably his worst game as a Star. He and Goligoski were brutal together when they tried to defend in transition. Two goals immediately come to mind that were a direct result of poor transition coverage by those two. I got the sense that Glen Gulutzan was tired of the pair as well. With Kari Lehtonen pulled, and the Stars going for the tie he put Goligoski on the ice...with Jordie Benn. If he was going purely for offense theres no question Trevor Daley is on the ice with Goligoski, but he wasn't. I could be reading too much into it, but Benn The Elder's presence out there late struck me as odd.
The Jamie Benn line was the top scoring chance generator last night. Benn, Michael Ryder, and Loui Eriksson were +5, +5, and +4 respectively. The third line was a cumulative -5 chances at even strength, and the Mike Ribeiro troika was a cumulative -3 at even strength. Jordie Benn, in his NHL debut, was a +3 chances at even strength. He looked like he belonged at the NHL level. He finished the night with a hair more ice time than Pardy as well. I doubt he'll be up for very long, but he looks like a solid contributor. He plays with poise, something the Stars could use more of.
The detailed report can be found above. The game itself was pretty rough, but still enjoyable. The defense was poor, but the Stars still had more energy than you could normally expect on a given night. They just didn't have enough of it to beat one of the two or three best teams in the league.
If you have any questions about any particular chance feel free to leave a comment or send me a tweet @Josh1220.