April 23, 2011

Roberto Luongo and United Center

This theory that the United Center in Chicago is some sort of house of nightmares for Roberto Luongo is just silly if you just look at the stats over the past three playoff series (and regular season) between the Vancouver Canucks and Blackhawks.

First, the playoff numbers:

2009 at United Center: 1-2, 3.33 GAA, 10 GA
2009 at home: 1-2, 3.71 GAA, 11 GA


2010 at United Center: 2-1, 1.68 GAA, 5 GA
2010 at home: 0-3, 5.36 GAA, 16 GA

2011 at United Center: 1-1, 4.62 GAA, 8 GA
2011 at home: 2-1, 2.98 GAA, 7 GA

Regular season at United Center 2008-09/09-10/10-11: 3-2-1, 2.23 GAA, 12 GA

(Regular and postseason)
Games at United Center with > 3 goals: 4
Games at United with 2 or < goals: 9

A total record of 7-6-1 record with a 2.97 GAA isn't as terrible as it's being made out to be. 

The United Center and the Fratelli's "Chelsea Dagger" isn't what's caused Luongo nightmares, it's just the playoffs in general that do that.

Photo credit Bruce Bennett / Getty Images


April 21, 2011

A series in one photo















Of the 10 goals scored by the Phoenix Coyotes in their series against the Detroit Red Wings, only four came 5-on-5.

How?

The picture above explains everything that the Red Wings did to prevent Phoenix from scoring at even strength. Every Coyote covered. Sticks in lanes. Nowhere to put the puck to help create a scoring opportunity.

It's just one example in the series showing how Detroit played disciplined 5-on-5 and thereby frustrated a Phoenix team that was middle-of-the-road offensively entering the first round.

April 15, 2011

A split-second changes everything

From last night's 3-2 San Jose win over the Los Angeles.

1) If Kings defenseman Alec Martinez was a split-second quicker he would have disrupted Joe Pavelski with a stick check before the OT winner:


2) Wayne Simmonds goes for the blocked shot on Pavelski's goal, but in the process gets in Jonathan Quick's line of sight by staying on his skates and not dropping all the way down to the ice:


Football isn't the only game of inches.