I’m sure you all watched the game. It was bad. Turnovers left and right, completely unable to complete a pass. I’ll keep this short… who impressed me? No one. Who didn’t? Everyone.
So I’m going to do something a little different with this game recap and take a look at something I’ve noticed in the first 3 games that, if it continues, could potentially be a bad thing for the season.
I noticed during the Phoenix game that we were getting almost no puck penetration at all inside the slot/high probability scoring areas. We were taking shots from near the goal line or up by the blue line. These were giving LaBarbera way too much time to see the puck coming and make the easy glove save or just not creating the rebound opportunities that this team is going to need to score goals (see: Prospal’s goal on Monday night).
We can’t rely on the breakaway to save us like it did versus Nashville and Detroit.
I pulled up the Game Trackers for each of the first 3 games on the CBS Sports site because they have a pretty solid shot map showing where each of the teams shots (and goals) were taken from on the ice. For example, here’s the GameTracker for the Phoenix game. Load this page and click “Total” and you should see the shot placement map.
I combined this with the Elias Sports Bureau’s (official stat keeper of the NHL) definition of a “Scoring Chance”:
…clarifies a scoring chance as an attempt or shot taken from a “home-plate shaped area” that goes from the top of the faceoff circles, through the faceoff dots, then angled to the goal posts.
Here are the shot maps for all 3 games (the “Total Shots” view includes shootout goals so I’ve included any such goals with the “SO” tag on or next to it). In case it’s not obvious which team the shots are for, look for the logo on the ice:
The #CBJ only had roughly 4 shots on goal from inside this area (the two overlapping X’s next to the SO goals were failed SO attempts) and two right on the border. Nashville had around 8 in the first period alone (converting one into a goal) and two more in the 3rd period.
Take a look at this map. Look at all those red X’s… and say a silent thank you to GM Scott Howson for trading for Sergei Bobrovsky… Looking at this map, I don’t know how we came away with a point from this game. The Red Wings had 8 in the first period, 8 in the second period (1 goal) and 10 in the 3rd period (1 goal). The #CBJ actually did a pretty solid job of getting shots in this area as well.
Here’s where it really starts to stand out… By my count the Jackets had 4 legit shots inside this zone and two on the border. The Coyotes, while not much better had 10 shots from inside the “scoring chance” area and converted on 4 of those (with a 5th coming just outside). In this game more than any other, the Jackets took way too many shots from down by the goal line or up near the blue line. They’re going to have to do a better job of getting penetration into this area.
Through 3 games, the #CBJ have just 2 goals from inside this area (both against Detroit) and 4 goals from outside. Their opponents have 7 from inside and 3 from outside.