Bruins-Lightning Game 3 Scoring Chances

This is the first time I have tracked scoring chances for any NHL game. I have been very busy with school and whatnot during most of the season so I never had time to do this, but now that it is summer vacation, I have time to waste by doing things like this. I figured tracking chances for one of the playoff games would be a good idea to get my feet wet and game 3 of the Bruins-Lightning series ended up being my first game.

In hockey, a scoring chance is a shot directed at the net from a dangerous scoring area. This diagram shows it better than I can explain it.

Yellow = Boston, Blue = Tampa

This ended up being a good first game to do because, as you can see, there weren’t a lot of scoring chances either way. A great game defensively from both teams, but the Lightning had a clear advantage in chances here. Half of the Bruins chances came in the 2nd period and despite that, neither of their two goals came then. Their first goal came less than 90 seconds in and their second wasn’t even from a scoring chance area. I sort of expected a game like this after that crazy 6-5 game on Tuesday since both coaches know that they were going to have to clamp down defensively to win this series. Boston might have Tim Thomas but they can not rely on him to stand on his head in every game, which is what he did in the 3rd period despite the Bruins only allowing 16 chances all game. Also, both team’s powerplays were awful. Combined six opportunities for both teams and only one scoring chance generated, and that wasn’t until the third period.  I wouldn’t be too surprised if Tampa Bay tied this series next game. Their powerplay is vastly superior to Boston’s and they continued to play better at even strength.

Boston Bruins Scoring Chances

Best Forward: Mark Recchi +5

Worst Forward: David Krecji -5

Best Defenseman: Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, +1

Worst Defenseman: Adam McQuaid -4

The return of Patrice Bergeron was definitely significant because his line with Marchand and Recchi was Boston’s best line in terms of scoring chances. Last game, it was the Tyler Seguin show but that wasn’t the case in this game. It is probably a good thing that they got a good performance out of Bergeron’s line since their first line of Lucic-Krecji-Horton was not good at all, aside Krecji’s goal. Also a nice bounce-back game from Zdeno Chara after a rough start to the series and Dennis Seidenberg played well, too. The rest of the D didn’t make Thomas stand on his head completely, but you can tell by looking at this that Boston likely wouldn’t be winning this series if it wasn’t for him.

Tampa Bay Lightning Scoring Chances

Best Forward: Teddy Purcell +4

Worst Forward: Nate Thompson, Vinny Lecavalier -3

Best Defenseman: Victor Hedman, Brett Clark, Marc-Andre Bergeron +4

Worst Defenseman: Eric Brewer -6

Yikes at Eric Brewer. Thought he was Tampa’s best defenseman throughout the playoffs but it’s never good when you’re on ice for 9/12 scoring chances. I thought Guy Boucher was a fool when I saw he gave M-A Bergeron that much ice time but he actually did a very good job at creating chances. However, a quick glance at his zone starts make it obvious as to why his stats look good. 13/18 starts in the offensive zone. Hey, he’s using him right. Clark-Hedman was their best pairing by a mile, though. Just about every Tampa forward who played a significant amount of time had a pretty good game chance wise, aside from Lecavalier. Can’t help but think that St. Louis, Stamkos and Lecavalier could a lot more, though. Malone and Purcell were really working, though but they couldn’t bury any of their chances thanks to Mr. Thomas.

Head-to-head

Pretty easy to tell which line Brewer and Ohlund saw the most of, eh? Definitely a rough night from the usually solid tandem. You can also see how invisible Boston’s top line was and that Chara/Seidenberg were able to keep Stamkos in check. Mark Recchi sure had himself one great game, though. Odd how he didn’t find his way onto the scoresheet. Same with Brad Marchand. Boston better hope that their top line and bottom-four defenseman play better, though because those numbers aren’t pretty. I’m sure Seguin will do better with more ice-time, though, but I don’t know what to say about Kaberle. Yeesh. They should feel confident now that their top-two defenseman are playing better, though. I still think Tampa has a very good chance at evening this series up on Saturday.

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