Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Portland-Seattle First Round Series: Stats So Far

The Portland Winterhawks and Seattle thunderbirds meet up for Game 6 tonight with Portland hoping to eliminate the T-birds and move on to the 2nd round for the 6th straight year.

I have been collecting some stats over the first 5 games and have complied them in a table below:
PlayerATOIGoalsAssistsPoints+/-Total ShotsShooting %Total HitsFaceoff %
BjorkstrandUNK3710+533 3/33=9%311/1=100%
De LeoUNK145-4231/23=4.3%1158/112=51.8%

-Somewhat strange that Oliver Bjorkstrand is tied for 3rd overall in checks and tied for 1st among forwards (with Alex Schoenborn). It's something he started doing more of as the season was coming to a close and it's starting to look like more of a part of his game.
-The Defensive pairing of Blake Heinrich and Keoni Texeira are not surprising hit leaders (tied for team lead with 33). Both are players who like to give the open ice check, as well as, hits in the corners to make puck possession harder for Seattle's skilled forwards. They are also among the team leaders in +/- as well which could very well be related.
-The two players with 10 or more shots and no goals in the series are Anton Cederholm and Miles Koules. Cederholm showed a little more offensive ability as the season went on, but still gets a majority of his shots from distance or even as part of a dump in. All of Portland's D-men seem to be forcing it on net more, in order to keep the very good passing of Goalie Taran Kozun in check. Koules not scoring despite 18 shots on net is startling though. He struggled to get it going through the first three games, but certainly found his stride in Games 4 and 5, getting 8 shots on net total in those two games. If he continues to play well, there is no way that this goose egg stays in his goals column.
-Chase De Leo, number-wise appears to have struggled in the series so far. He is a -4, has barely won more than half of his draws and has only 1 goal on 23 total shots. Saying he has not performed well in this series, does not pass the eye test though as he is possessing the puck and really driving play at the Seattle end, despite getting matched up against Seattle's best Center-man: Mathew Barzal for most of his shifts.
-Alex Overhardt winning over 75% of his draws is a great sign as he will likely be moved up to either the 3rd or 2nd line Center role next season.
-Keegan Iverson has been on a tear recently, scoring 2 goals on only 11 shots in the 5 games. His one-timer in Game 5, could be a sign of increased scoring for the rest of this season and also next season.
-This year's Winterhawks team does not back down from the physical contact, as much as recent iterations did. Portland's physical play seems more like a part of their game and enables them to play with a little more room in the opponent's zone. When previous squads tried to get into the rough stuff it took them away from what they liked to do. It's unknown right now whether this type of play will eventually wear down Portland, but it certainly has helped them in this series.
-Game 6 goes tonight in Kent at 7:05 pm.

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