Thomas Vanek will get all the glory for his hat trick in the Sabres 4-2 victory over the Lightning, but credit has to be given to the Sabres defensive play in this contest.
The Sabres defense has been outstanding since Ryan Miller was injured and Jhonas Enroth stepped into his role. Tonight the Sabres limited the high powered Lightning to very few chances and only a couple in the third period with the game on the line.
There has been talk of Enroth playing over Miller in the playoffs which is absolutely absurd. Miller will be back between the pipes as soon as he is healthy but it doesn't really matter who is in goal. The defensive effort from both the blue-liners and the forwards makes it a moot point.
The teams confidence is very high and it is evident whenever they step on the ice. They seem to have the perfect balance between offense and defense at the moment. They capitalize on their chances while allowing their opponent very few opportunities.
It is the perfect time of year to be playing your best and they have changed the conversation from making the playoffs to who their first round opponent will be. They haven't clinched a spot yet, but at this point it seems like nothing more than a formality.
I decided to start a new feature here at Die by the Blade and track scoring chances like many other sites are doing. While this is a very subjective stat and is based mostly on my own opinion, I did use a criteria courtesy of The Copper and Blue.
Here is the definition of a scoring chance via Copper and Blue...
a scoring chance is defined as a clear play directed toward the opposing net from a dangerous scoring area - loosely defined as the top of the circle in and inside the faceoff dots, though sometimes slightly more generous than that depending on the amount of immediately-preceding puck movement or screens in front of the net. Blocked shots are generally not included but missed shots are. A player is awarded a scoring chance anytime he is on the ice and someone from either team has a chance to score. He is awarded a "chance for" if someone on his team has a chance to score and a "chance against" if the opposing team has a chance to score.
Like many others that are using the app, a special thanks to Vic Ferrari for his hard work in creating this and many other apps.
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 21184
This chart tracks individual player ice time as well as scoring chances when the player is on the ice. The green numbers indicate the scoring chances for and the red numbers indicate the scoring chances against.
This charts the chances for each team by period and by situation. Because we are tracking the numbers for the Sabres, they will be listed first and the opponent listed second.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|