clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Stats Recap: Only Score Effects Help Minnesota Wild in 4-0 Loss to Dallas Stars

New, comments

The Dallas Stars dominated their Game 1 victory against Minnesota in every way possible, on paper and on the scoreboard.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars, when they play well, thrive on possession, and that didn't change in Thursday's Game 1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. The Stars dominated possession early to build their lead and clamped down on the high danger chances late as they pitched a post-season shutout.

Here's the general team possession breakdown, courtesy of War-on-Ice:

Team All Sit CF All Sit CF% All Sit SCF All Sit HSCF 5v5 CF 5v5 CF% 5v5 SCF 5v5 HSCF
Dallas Stars 62 57.4 32 12 35 44.3 17 5
Minnesota Wild 46 42.6 11 2 39 55.7 8 1

If you're relatively new to possession statistics, what we're seeing here in the 5-on-5 shot attempts is something called score effects, where a team that gets down starts throwing more things at the net while teams who lead are more likely to try and retain possession without shooting as much.

This was especially true in Game 1, as shown by the scoring chance column. The Stars simply smothered the Wild, holding them to only one high-danger scoring chance in the entire time at even strength and two in the whole game. When you can do that, you're playing a heck of a defensive game.

You can also see how much the Stars used the power play to their advantage in this one. Even without one of their most dangerous snipers, they were able to force the Wild further back into a defensive shell. The Wild didn't have  early as much time with the man advantage, obviously - just three minutes to Dallas' 11:50, but they also generated only two shot attempts (both blocked) in that time and no high-danger scoring chances.

Finally, here are the individual player possession numbers, first for Dallas:

Player All Sit CF All Sit CA All Sit CF% All Sit Zone Start 5v5 CF 5v5 CA 5v5 CF% 5v5 Zone Start
Kris Russell 19 13 59.38 61.54 13 13 52 60
John Klingberg 29 14 67.44 85.71 9 13 40.91 57.14
Jason Demers 13 11 54.17 75 13 10 56.52 85.71
Patrick Sharp 21 15 58.33 78.95 5 10 33.33 33.33
Radek Faksa 14 10 58.33 37.5 14 9 60.87 42.86
Mattias Janmark 8 11 42.11 33.33 8 11 42.11 33.33
Jamie Benn 29 13 69.05 66.67 8 8 50 22.22
Patrick Eaves 26 8 76.47 82.61 10 7 58.82 55.56
Cody Eakin 6 13 31.58 25 5 9 35.71 28.57
Antoine Roussel 11 9 55 37.5 11 8 57.89 42.86
Colton Sceviour 19 15 55.88 44.44 11 16 40.74 14.29
Stephen Johns 12 20 37.5 14.29 11 16 40.74 14.29
Alex Goligoski 18 10 64.29 58.33 8 9 47.06 57.14
Vernon Fiddler 6 14 30 28.57 6 13 31.58 33.33
Valeri Nichushkin 14 12 53.85 85.71 8 12 40 80
Johnny Oduya 18 23 43.9 15.38 16 18 47.06 18.18
Ales Hemsky 19 8 70.37 55.56 12 8 60 42.86
Jason Spezza 28 9 75.68 86.36 9 8 52.94 62.5

What sticks out here to me is the zone start disparity. The Stars have clearly decided there are certain players they will sacrifice, for lack of a better turn, to deep starts in their own zone. In this game, that included the fourth line of Sceviour, Fiddler and Janmark along with the defensive pair of Oduya and Johns.

In fact, let's take a moment to appreciate how well Oduya did in incredibly deep zone starts. The Stars could hardly have buried him more in his own end, and he very nearly broke even at even strength. That's some impressive defense right there.

The first line also got a lot of deep zone starts (partially because Benn is so dangerous in transition), but except in the case of Eakin, those numbers got pulled much higher overall because of special teams.

And here's Minnesota's chart:

Player All Sit CF All Sit CA All Sit CF% All Sit Zone Start 5v5 CF 5v5 CA 5v5 CF% 5v5 Zone Start
Charlie Coyle 16 9 64 88.89 11 8 57.89 85.71
Marco Scandella 22 18 55 55 17 9 65.38 76.92
Chris Porter 9 13 40.91 28.57 9 6 60 28.57
Mikko Koivu 20 20 50 42.31 15 10 60 66.67
David Jones 13 8 61.9 50 15 10 60 66.67
Justin Fontaine 3 19 13.64 16.67 3 10 23.08 33.33
Jason Zucker 10 12 45.45 71.43 9 11 45 83.33
Ryan Carter 5 20 20 25 5 13 27.78 25
Jarret Stoll 5 19 20.83 11.11 4 11 26.67 20
Ryan Suter 19 28 40.43 33.33 18 16 52.94 45.45
Nino Niederreiter 10 7 58.82 75 9 7 56.25 71.43
Matt Dumba 17 16 51.52 62.5 12 15 44.44 60
Jonas Brodin 13 24 35.14 21.43 12 12 50 50
Zac Dalpe 8 6 57.14 28.57 8 6 57.14 28.57
Jason Pominville 17 8 68 80 16 8 66.67 77.78
Nate Prosser 5 11 31.25 0 4 5 44.44 0
Jared Spurgeon 16 27 37.21 36.84 15 13 53.57 55.56
Mikael Granlund 25 20 55.56 40.74 8 11 70.37 75

Players who want to burn this game tape include Fontaine, Carter and Stoll. Even with score effects, none of them were able to do much in trying to shut down the Stars offense.