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Playoffmetrics: Game 4, Round 3

A winnable game that slipped away at the end of regulation.


This was a game that, at its conclusion, felt more like the Anaheim Ducks gave away than the Chicago Blackhawks earned a win. By going up a goal with some time remaining, it was a matter of riding out the inevitable push and stealing both games in that building. Instead, a lazy defense of Patrick Kane at the far post resulted in a tying goal.

I credit the Ducks with being the better team in both overtime frames. The bounce that yielded the game winner, a rather impressive block by Rickard Rakell to perhaps save the first shot from scoring, came back to the Hawks stick with Simon Despres turned away from the puck and Frederik Andersen already down.

Three of Chicago's goals against last night came from patient shooters holding the puck until Andersen committed, then beating him. There's no reason Anaheim's defenders should allow shooters that much time. The game winning goal aside - a goal mouth scramble gone bad if anything - the Jonathan Toews goal and Kane goal featured two of the game's best players with entirely too much space that close to the net.

By raw shot attempts, courtesy of Hockey Stats, this was an ugly game:

And yet the Ducks were only down one after a horrid first period. Again, this was a winnable game.

The unblocked attempts chart paints a different picture and presents a similar theme as previous games: the Hawks end up yielding a lot of unblocked attempts to the Ducks, which have resulted in shots on goal fairly well. The series is well within Anaheim's reach with some cleaner defending.

The head to head datarink chart:

Here's how it looks in shift chart form, with the Ducks from highest TOI top-to-bottom and the Hawks mirrored above:

Here are the two TOI charts, even strength and all situation. Cam Fowler was the team's top defenseman last night. His pairing with Despres, while unfortunately on the ice in the last moments of the game, were the only two defenders with a positive shot attempt differential on the night.

I won't bother commenting on the third pairing anymore, but both Clayton Stoner and Sami Vatanen have been dragging influences to the roster in this series.