Saturday, April 14, 2007

A look at the Sens-Pens defence

Part of the reason I'd thought heading into Round 1 that the Ottawa-Pittsburgh series would be a slam dunk for the Senators was simply the match-ups on defence. After seeing Michel Therrien's motley group holdup in Game 2, that may simply not be the case.

Ottawa has some of the NHL's top defensive defencemen (or defenceman defenceman, as Anton Volchenkov calls them), while Pittsburgh employs the likes of Rob Scuderi on its penalty kill — but that didn't seem to matter today in Ottawa.

Here's a look at both teams' blueliners, including ice time from Games 1 and their individual goals-against average at even strength during the regular season:


Game 1 EV
1 Redden 21:14 13:59 3.16
2 Meszaros 20:17 14:17 3.14
3 Volchenkov 20:03 10:37 1.95
4 Phillips 19:26 10:26 1.80
5 Corvo 17:12 13:16 2.69
6 Preissing 12:11 10:49 1.36
7 Schubert 12:05 7:48 1.73


Game 1 EV
1 Gonchar 26:40 12:13 2.84
2 Whitney 23:38 11:24 2.19
3 Scuderi 17:52 14:49 2.57
4 Eaton 17:16 11:52 3.05
5 Orpik 15:15 13:15 2.14
6 Melichar 14:13 12:35 2.89

Among other things we can see here is just how valuable 24-year-old Ryan Whitney is to the Penguins. In today's game, his ice time was cut way back to 16:39, but he ended up being on the ice for every goal in the game aside from Daniel Alfredsson's second-period power-play marker.

Josef Melichar was the big beneficiary of the extra ice time, as he jumped all the way up to 23:08 — which included 10 minutes on the penalty kill — and wasn't on the ice for a single goal against.

For the Senators, meanwhile, Chris Phillips and Volchenkov were on the ice for three of the Penguins' four goals against — including the game winner with just more than eight minutes remaining in the third period.

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At 7:21 p.m., April 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All season the Pens' Rob Scuderi has been underated on what he is capable of doing, especially on the penalty kill. I think he showed a lot of it in todays game. He is the go to guy when it comes to situations such as the 5 on 3 also.

At 8:09 p.m., April 14, 2007, Anonymous David Johnson said...

Redden and Meszaros have been very weak defensively for the Senators all season. Both can be intimidated by physical play and/or be caught out of position. Both of those were seen on the Staal goal today. I am actually a little surprised that they haven't shifted Schubert back to defense more often, particularly when they get a lead, and sitting Meszaros. Of course they couldn't have done that tonight but Schubert does seem to be a much better defensive defenseman than Meszaros or Corvo or even Redden but they aren't going to sit Redden.

At 9:15 p.m., April 14, 2007, Blogger JavaGeek said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:35 p.m., April 14, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11:23 p.m., April 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do Canadians spell defense?

At 4:52 a.m., April 15, 2007, Blogger Luke said...

Personally, I spell it L-U-O-N-G-O.

At 1:24 p.m., April 15, 2007, Blogger Doogie said...

How do Canadians spell defense?

We spell it the English way.

At 12:19 a.m., April 16, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

We spell it the proper way.

And start using the metric system!


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