It was pretty obvious from watching Thursday night’s Game 1 that the Rangers were in possession of the puck far more often than their counter-parts the Flyers.
But actually how dominant were they? How about these stats…
The Rangers outshot the Flyers 35 to 15, including 13 to 1 in the third period. Yes, the Flyers had four times as many penalties (4) than shots in the final frame.
And when you outshoot someone that dramatically, your Fenwick chart (all shots towards the net, minus the ones that are blocked) tends to look like this (yes, I’m getting all fancy stats on you guys) (via Extra Skater)…
Now you might say that the Rangers Fenwick (64.4% of game’s shot attempts towards the net, minus blocks) and Corsi (62.2% of the game’s shot attempts towards the net) percentages were padded by six power plays, but if you look at their even strength stats you’ll see they still dominated with a 59.3% Fenwick and 61.9% Corsi.
While almost every Rangers player had a positive Corsi rating (percentage of team shot attempts for compared to against while player is on the ice), Anton Stralman (74.3%), Derek Dorsett (72.7%), Brian Boyle (75%) and Rick Nash (73.7%) led the way.
What’s most impressive about Dorsett and Boyle’s Corsi rating is that they both began shifts in the offensive zone just 33.3% of the time. (H/T Adam Herman)
Another sign you’ve done well possessing the puck is faceoff location. In Game 1, there were 29 faceoffs in the Flyers zone and just SIX in the Rangers end.
For those of you (most likely Flyer fans) who think these Game 1 puck possession stats were a fluke, the Flyers were 22nd in the league during the regular season with a 49.2% Corsi and 23rd with a 48.2% Fenwick. Meanwhile, the Rangers under Alain Vigneault’s puck possession game plan were 6th in the NHL with a 53.2% Corsi as well as 53.6% Fenwick.
So get used to Rangers players with possession of the puck as it’s likely to become a trend in this series. The one thing I worry may undermine the Rangers against the Flyers is a continuation of their utter inability to finish their chances. If they can’t find the back of the net, dominating shot totals becomes completely insignificant.