rangers

Game 28 Inside the Numbers: Hurricanes at Rangers

Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller opted to shake things up a bit after the team's bad loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday night by jumbling the lines a little bit. He took Jeff Skinner off the second line with Jordan Staal and placed him with Riley Nash & Jussi Jokinen while Patrick Dwyer and Drayson Bowman were moved up to the second line with J. Staal. The Canes got barely anything out of their third and fourth lines during the Tampa Bay game, so moving an offensive stalwart like Skinner to a lower line could help them expose some bad matchups for the Rangers. Meanwhile, Staal and Dwyer have played well together in the past and could possibly carry the water against one of their top lines.

The plan did not completely backfire but it sure as hell did not work out in the Hurricanes favor. Once again, their first line was forced to carry the bulk of their offense while the rest of the lineup did very little to contribute at even strength. All this did was reduce Skinner's ice-time and limit how much of an impact Jordan Staal could have by placing him with weaker linemates. People might be satisfied with the Hurricanes getting a point out of last night, but they were very lucky to get to overtime with how badly the Rangers swarmed them after the first period.

I"m not going to place the blame on Muller for switching up the lines but to say that I don't understand the moves would be an understatement.

Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers 3/18/13

Period Total EV 5v4 5v3 4v5 3v5
1 7 3 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2 1 7 1 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 4 6 4 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 1 3 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 13 19 13 18 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

I was ready to eat my words about the lines after the first period because the Hurricanes looked fantastic during that frame. They controlled possession, were creating a ton of offense and didn't allow the Rangers to do much of anything at all. A lot of it relates to how strong they were on the fore-check and frustrating New York while they were trying to exit the zone. After that, everything changed and the Rangers completely took over the game. The Hurricanes failed to match their scoring chance total from the entire first period while the Rangers basically just ran them over at even strength. The only time I thought the Hurricanes showed any life was towards the end of the third period and that was all coming from the first line which had previously been doing the bulk of the work for most of the game.

What changed after the first period, though? The new lines looked fine then but the Rangers were able to adjust and seemed to have an answer for just about everything Carolina threw at them. It's not like Carolina wasn't trying or failing to win board battles because they were for durations of this game. The Rangers were just better in every area after that first period.

Hurricanes Individual Scoring Chances

# Player EV PP SH
4 Jamie McBain 19:04 6 9 0:57 0 0 0:04 0 0
6 Tim Gleason  14:50 2 4 0:00 0 0 3:19 0 1
8 Kevin Westgarth 6:56 2 2 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
11 Jordan Staal 16:11 5 6 1:12 0 0 2:31 0 0
12 Eric Staal 19:57 5 4 1:45 0 0 0:30 0 0
18 Adam Hall 11:01 3 2 0:00 0 0 1:42 0 0
19 Jiri Tlusty 16:36 5 5 1:46 0 0 0:00 0 0
20 Riley Nash  11:35 1 6 0:16 0 0 0:00 0 0
21 Drayson Bowman  13:34 3 4 1:16 0 0 0:23 0 0
24 Bobby Sanguinetti 13:33 2 3 1:08 0 0 0:00 0 0
25 Joni Pitkanen 20:35 7 7 2:06 0 0 1:44 0 0
27 Justin Faulk 23:18 4 6 1:55 0 0 3:19 0 1
28 Alexander Semin 19:49 7 5 1:22 0 0 0:59 0 0
29 Tim Wallace 6:44 2 1 0:00 0 0 0:50 0 1
31 Dan Ellis  56:49 13 18 3:08 0 0 5:03 0 1
36 Jussi Jokinen  12:26 1 6 0:43 0 0 1:10 0 1
39 Patrick Dwyer 13:51 1 4 0:00 0 0 2:01 0 0
44 Jay Harrison 22:18 5 7 0:00 0 0 1:40 0 0
53 Jeff Skinner  15:55 3 6 1:09 0 0 0:00 0 0

Best EV Forward: Alexander Semin +2

Worst EV Forwards: Riley Nash & Jussi Jokinen -5

Best EV Defenseman: Joni Pitkanen EVEN

Worst EV Defenseman: Jamie McBain -3

Muller stuck with the same lines throughout most of the game but he did tweak things a bit and not many of them had a positive impact. Sure, Adam Hall did some good things when he was bumped up to Jordan Staal's line but otherwise? Not much good came from these line changes. The new "third line" was especially bad and it seemed to get worse when Jussi Jokinen began taking some shifts as a center. We've been down this road many times and it has either led to a dead end or a ditch so I'm not sure why the Hurricanes keep traveling down it.

It's only one game and I'm willing to let the coaches experiment but Skinner & J. Staal were at least creating chances & driving possession at even strength when they were on the same line. Separate them and what do you get? Two borderline top-six lines that aren't able to drive the play forward. The first line stayed for for the course with their offensive production but the rest of the lineup did not do much, which was the same problem they had against Tampa Bay.

I made note of how active the defense was in jumping into the play with Joe Corvo out of the lineup but the only player who was creating a lot of chances out of it was Joni Pitkanen, who was on-ice for over half of the even strength chances the Hurricanes created. He also had four controlled zone entries during 5v5 play and a beautiful pass to set up Eric Staal's goal. I still don't think his game is completely at 100% coming back from his injury but offensively, he was almost as good as one could ask for.

Rangers Individual Scoring Chances

# Player EV PP SH
4 Michael Del Zotto  21:20 9 4 2:59 1 0 0:58 0 0
5 Dan Girardi 22:11 4 6 1:51 1 0 2:07 0 0
6 Anton Stralman 14:45 7 4 1:39 0 0 0:00 0 0
8 Darroll Powe 4:35 1 0 0:00 0 0 1:15 0 0
10 Marian Gaborik 17:59 7 4 3:33 0 0 0:00 0 0
14 Taylor Pyatt 14:08 1 4 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
15 Jeff Halpern 6:27 1 1 0:00 0 0 1:20 0 0
19 Brad Richards 19:23 5 5 3:03 1 0 0:00 0 0
21 Derek Stepan 15:26 9 4 2:00 0 0 1:08 0 0
22 Brian Boyle 14:21 1 4 0:00 0 0 0:40 0 0
24 Ryan Callahan 17:39 10 5 2:56 1 0 1:13 0 0
27 Ryan McDonagh  24:54 7 7 0:31 0 0 2:05 0 0
30 Henrik Lundqvist  56:49 18 12 5:03 1 0 3:08 0 0
32 Michael Haley 5:26 1 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
40 Roman Hamrlik 10:32 2 2 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
44 Steve Eminger 19:48 7 3 0:07 0 0 1:01 0 0
47 JT Miller 12:41 0 3 2:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
61 Rick Nash 19:10 6 4 2:36 1 0 0:00 0 0
62 Carl Hagelin 17:28 10 4 2:00 0 0 0:40 0 0

Best EV Forward: Carl Hagelin +6

Worst EV Forwards: Brian Boyle, Taylor Pyatt & JT Miller -3

Best EV Defenseman: Michael Del Zotto +5

Worst EV Defenseman: Roman Hamrlik -2

The Rangers forward depth issues were on display last night but their top-six showed up to the party and Tortorella was able to get them out against Carolina's bottom-six plenty of times. This led to a big night for the Hagelin-Stepan-Callahan line, who were the Rangers main catalyst offensively. Michael Del Zotto was also gave the Canes a lot of trouble with how often he was jumping into the play and creating offense. The Rangers first line also had quite a few good chances off the rush, but the Hurricanes didn't get beaten too badly by this trio compared to Stepan's line.

Head-to-Head at Five-on-Five

To sum things up here, the first line did their job for the most part. They won their battle against the Brad Richards line along with Girardi/McDonagh and exposed some of the Rangers other lines. The rest of the forwards did not play that well at all and the Skinner-Nash-Jokinen line were destroyed by the Rangers second line. Would things have been different if Skinner was on the second line instead? Maybe, maybe not but I have a hard time believing that line could be as disjointed as it looked last night. In their defense, everyone on the Hurricanes had trouble containing the Stepan line but they took the bulk of the damage. The Hurricanes are too good to be a one-line team but that's what they were limited to last night.

Period Team Time Player CAR OPP Strength
1 CAR 16:39 Westgarth 8 18 29 4 25 31 19 24 62 6 40 30 5v5
1 CAR 15:29 Bowman 11 39 21 6 24 31 22 47 14 4 44 30 5v5
1 CAR 13:02 Tlusty 12 19 28 27 44 31 19 10 61 5 27 30 5v5
1 NYR 11:50 Gaborik 8 18 29 27 44 31 19 10 61 6 40 30 5v5
1 CAR 9:51 Semin 11 28 21 4 25 31 21 24 62 5 27 30 5v5
1 NYR 9:46 Hagelin 11 28 21 4 25 31 21 24 62 4 44 30 5v5
1 CAR 5:46 Wallace 8 18 29 24 44 31 22 47 14 4 44 30 5v5
1 CAR 5:25 E. Staal 12 19 28 27 44 31 15 22 14 5 27 30 5v5
1 NYR 2:03 Girardi 29 36 6 27 31   19 24 61 4 5 30 4v5
1 CAR 0:50 E. Staal – GOAL 12 19 28 4 25 31 19 24 61 5 27 30 5v5
2 NYR 10:11 Nash 12 53 28 4 24 31 22 14 61 5 27 30 5v5
2 CAR 9:21 Nash 20 53 36 4 25 31 21 24 62 4 6 30 5v5
2 NYR 8:56 Callahan 20 53 36 4 25 31 21 24 62 4 6 30 5v5
2 NYR 8:54 Stepan – GOAL 20 53 36 4 25 31 21 24 62 4 6 30 5v5
2 NYR 5:50 Hagelin 19 20 36 4 25 31 21 24 62 4 44 30 5v5
2 NYR 5:43 Stepan – GOAL 19 20 36 4 25 31 21 24 62 4 44 30 5v5
2 NYR 3:12 Richards 20 53 36 4 6 31 19 10 61 6 27 30 5v5
2 NYR 1:25 Callahan 11 39 21 27 44 31 21 24 62 4 44 30 5v5
3 NYR 16:08 Haley 11 8 21 27 44 31 8 15 32 6 40 30 5v5
3 CAR 13:01 Semin 12 19 28 27 44 31 19 10 61 5 27 30 5v5
3 NYR 12:46 Gaborik 12 19 28 27 44 31 19 10 61 5 27 30 5v5
3 NYR 12:06 Callahan 20 53 39 6 24 31 21 24 62 4 44 30 5v5
3 CAR 11:38 J. Staal 11 18 21 4 25 31 21 24 62 6 40 30 5v5
3 NYR 3:41 Gaborik 12 19 28 27 44 31 19 10 61 5 27 30 5v5
3 NYR 3:16 Hagelin 11 18 21 4 25 31 21 24 62 4 44 30 5v5
3 CAR 2:11 E. Staal 12 53 28 6 27 31 22 47 14 6 27 30 5v5
3 CAR 1:26 Semin 11 19 28 25 44 31 19 10 61 4 5 30 5v5
3 NYR 0:10 Gaborik 11 12 28 25 44 31 19 10 61 5 27 30 5v5
4 NYR 3:56 Del Zotto 11 53 27 44 31   21 10 4 44 30   4v4
4 NYR 3:11 Callahan 19 39 6 24 31   24 62 6 27 30   4v4
4 NYR 3:08 Callahan 39 36 4 6 31   24 62 6 27 30   4v4
4 CAR 1:13 J. Staal 11 53 4 25 31   21 10 27 44 30   4v4

 

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