Monday, April 13, 2015

Hawks and Tips Split First 2 Games: Stats and Notes

Portland and Everett got their Western Conference Semi-Final series off and running Friday and Saturday night playing a couple spirited games.

On Friday, Everett was able to jump out to a 3-0 lead by the 2nd period and a 5-1 3rd period lead, before holding on for a 5-3 win.

Player TOI Shots Faceoff % Hits Blocked Shots
Bittner UNK 2 N/A 4 2
Petan UNK 4 14/23=60.1% 5 1
Bjorkstrand UNK 4 N/A 11 0
De LeoUNK311/18=61.1%10
-The biggest difference in Everett's play from the last time the Hawks played them in the regular season is how much Everett gets jump off of face offs. Even when they lost a draw, they gained possession of the puck and quickly carried the puck into Portland's zone.
-In the first period, simple zone entry was difficult for Portland, even though Everett was without two of their top 4 D-men to injury: Tristen Pfeifer and Noah Juulsen.
-Cole MacDonald had an incredible game for Everett. He ended the night with three assists, but two of those assists came on point shots that were deflected home by Remi Laurencelle and Jake Mykitiuk and the other came on the power play, when the Hawks over-stretched themselves in order to stop his shot and he found an open Patrick Bajkov for a one timer.
-Bajkov's one timer is Everett's best weapon on their power play. He had a hat trick earlier in the year in one game, purely off of one timers. His goal in this game, put Everett up 5-1 and made the road for Portland's road back nearly impossible, even though they were controlling a lot of the play.
-Mitch Walter, a late season acquisition for the Hawks, after they lost Tyson Predinchuk, Ethan Price and Adam DeChamplain, had two awful penalties, one of which was the one that set up Bajkov's goal.
-Kohl Bauml, Mykitiuk(in place of the injured Dawson Leedahl) and Carson Stadnyk did an excellent job of making Portland's top line play defense and wear themselves out in their own zone. While there wasn't necessarily a concerted effort by Everett's coach Kevin Constantine of putting Bauml against Petan, they seemed to get the match up more often then not.
-Jordan Wharrie, a last unit pairing D-man for the Tips, blocked a shot to the face in the 2nd period and returned to the game soon thereafter.
-Nikita Scherbak drilled Blake Heinrich from behind in the second period and was given a penalty on the play. This hit, brought back memories of a hit Heinrich was given in the preseason by Everett's Dawson Leedahl that put him out nearly 2 months with concussion syndromes. Heinrich makes fantastic outlet passes, but in the process, probably receives more hits then any other Portland player.
-Dominic Turgeon scored yet again for the Hawks after he found the rebound on a Keegan Iverson one timer. He has found a way to get on the score sheet, practically every game of the post season.
-Anton Cederholm, had a relatively poor outing for the Hawks, getting only 5 hits in a playoff game, which is really low for him. He may have been somewhat affected by playing so many minutes in the deciding game 6, but did not seem to have as much jump in his step as normal.
-Miles Koules, added another goal, after finally breaking his playoff score-lessness in Game 6 of the Seattle series
-Adin Hill had no chance on the 2 tips, or the Bajkov one timer, but probably could have better overall.
-Oliver Bjorkstrand seemed frustrated by Everett D-man Ben Betker, who took every opportunity to body up on the Danish sniper and limit his ability to get a clean shot off.

Next up, let's take a look at the stats from Portland's double Over-Time 4-3 Win:

Player TOI Shots Faceoff % Hits Blocked Shots
Bittner UNK 5 N/A 7 0
Petan UNK 2 13/24=54.2% 4 0
Bjorkstrand UNK 8 N/A 12 0
De LeoUNK514/21=66.7%41
De JongUNK0N/A10
-Jake Mykitiuk notched his 2nd of the series and 3rd of the playoffs to open the scoring after an Adin Hill misplayed puck led to a bouncing pass to Mykitiuk, who found a gap over Hill's shoulder to open the scoring.
-Layne Viveiros re-assumed his role as the power play quarter-back and was rewarded with an assist on Chase De Leo's power play goal late in the first period. Viveiros will probably keep his spot on the Hawk's top PP, after helping yield Portland first PP goal of the series.
-Nikita Scherbak, had only 3 points over his first 7 games of playoff hockey, but found his way to tip home two different shots in this game, for 2 goals. Everett has 8 goals in 2 games vs the Hawks so far in this series and 4 of them were off deflected shots. This is something Portland's defensive unit is going to have to find a way to be better at defending.
-Portland had played 2 games in which over-time was needed this year and they controlled most of the play in both games. Everett out shot them 17-13 overall, but most of Portland's shots were closer in range.
-Both teams though, had plenty of chances to win the game.
-Portland ended it when Nic Petan won a faceoff, early in the 2nd OT period and Oliver Bjorkstrand found a relatively easy path to the slot, where he placed the puck over Carter Hart's shoulder to end the game and knot the series.
-I don't know if Bjorkstrand finds as easy a lane to this area, if Everett's players were not worn down from the long game.
-Keegan Iverson replaced Paul Bittner on the top line and that seemed to fire up Bittner's play. My theory is that is what it was designed to do, as Bittner did not have a great start to the series for the Hawks.
-Both Goalies, made mistakes earlier in the game, but found their strides in the Over-time sessions. Hart let himself be beat by a relatively weak Henry wraparound, while Hill could have been better on Everett's first goal. Both goalies had loose pucks in their crease in the first OT, but found ways to get it out of danger.
-Everett will likely get one if not both of either Pfeifer and Juulsen back by the time Game 3 is played (Thursday) and Portland will not have as easy a time in controlling possession in the Tips zone.


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