Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Games 1 and 2 Stats/Notes and Analysis

Portland and Seattle split the first 2 games of their first round series on Saturday and Sunday. Somewhat surprising is the fact that Seattle won the more open and back and forth game on Saturday and Portland won the tighter checking tilt on Sunday.

First here's the stats for Saturday's 4-3 loss In Game 1:

Player TOI Shots Faceoff % Hits Blocked Shots
Bittner UNK 5 1/3=33.3% 5 0
Petan UNK 6 11/16=68.8% 2 0
Bjorkstrand UNK 4 1/1=100% 6 0
De LeoUNK314/22=63.6%30
-Good to see 2 goals from Portland's D-men, especially considering they did not get a lot of shots on net. At one point Portland's blue-liners had scored on 2 of their first 3 shots on net. I'd like to see the Hawks get more shots through, especially when the Turgeon line is out there.
-The Scott Eansor-Nolan Volcan-Donovan Neuls line along with D-men Shea Theodore and Jerret Smith got a lot of ice time vs. the Petan line and did a fantastic job at limiting the amount of looks at the net that Bjorkstrand had. 4 shot son et is low for him.
-Henirch scored his goal with 6 seconds left in the first period and Seattle's Mathew Barzal was stopped with a couple seconds left in the 2nd, setting up what I thought would be last second heroics for Portland, but it was not to be.
-Barzal's eventual game winning goal was off an incredibly skilled/incredibly lucky play by Ryan Gropp. It took a high amount of skills to knock down the puck and get around Viveiros, but luck to have the puck not get away from him in that spot. Gropp then found Barzal, who scored his 2nd of the game.
-Alex Schoenborn returned from injury after missing 19 games and demonstrated both what he's good at and what his biggest knock is. He threw 8 checks in the game, but one of those was away from the paly and set up Seattle's second goal; a power play goal off a rebound by Cory Millette.
-Ryan Gropp was stopped by the blocker of Portland's Goalie: Adin Hill's blocker on a penalty shot after he was tripped on a breakaway by Blake Heinrich, who was at the end of his shift.
-Evan Weinger his talent on the Hawk's 3rd goal, when he chipped the puck around Seattle's Turner Ottenbreit and the beat Taran Kozun down low. When he gets in open ice, he is tough for a lot of D-men to handle. If he is able to string a few goals like this together, his NHL draft stock will skyrocket.
-Probably Taran Kozun's best save on the night was midway through the 3rd when he robbed Nic Petan, who was in the slot, with his glove.

Next up Sunday's 3-0 win in Game 2:

Player TOI Shots Faceoff % Hits Blocked Shots
Bittner UNK 4 N/A 6 0
Petan UNK 4 14/19=73.7% 3 1
Bjorkstrand UNK 6 N/A 9 0
De LeoUNK68/15=53.3%31
-Portland Coach Jamie Kompon seemed to make a concerted effort in Game 2 to make sure that the Petan line avoided the Eansor line and one of the biggest statistical impacts can be seen by the fact that Bjorkstrand got a couple more shots on goal, a goal and Petan was even better at the faceoff dot.
Through the first 2 games, Petan is 25/35 for 71.4%, but he seems to do his best vs. Barzal and Alexander True.
-Keoni Texeira's play was impressive as he led the way with 11 checks, including a couple plexi-glass rattlers.
-Overall Portland's Defensemen did a fantastic job at limiting scoring chances for Seattle, mostly by using great stick checks and getting into shooting lanes, causing Seattle's shooters to hold up form getting pucks towards the net.
-Adin Hill got his 3rd shut out of the year, but his first career post-season shut out in only his 2nd career WHL playoff game (a good ratio).
-Portland has a lot of very skilled 2-way forwards in their lineup and on Sunday, they made a commitment to the fore-check and back-check, which made a huge impact on the game. Hopefully, Portland can be more consistent with this play.
-Kompon also made sure to get the 4th line more ice time, while Seattle's Steve Konowalchuk did much of the same, except for Barzal double shifting with the 4th line.
-On the one goal that actually got past a goalie, 1998 born Skyler McKenzie put two big hits on Seattle D-men, freeing up Miles Koules to get the puck towards the net and leading to a fresh off the bench Nic Petan, who poked it home. McKenzie will have to see more ice time and in fat, got some shifts in place of Evan Weinger with Dominic Turgeon and Keegan Iverson.
-Speaking of Turgeon's line; they played a great game Sunday night. Iverson and Turgeon won a whole lot of board battles, setting up a great cycle and keeping the puck in the Thunderbird's zone.
-Konowalchuk pulled Kozun with 2:05 left, only down 1, which was a little early for my taste. My philosophy is if you are down 1; unless you are under a minute, you have to establish possession deep in the other team's zone before you take this risk. Portland is too good at quickly turning play the other way to take a risk too early.
-Oliver Bjorkstrand, who scored 63 goals in the regular season, only has 1 so far this series and that was on a vacant net. He is too good to be kept down for long and could break out in Seattle Tuesday night.

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