I enjoyed being part of the scoring chance project so much this season that I decided to take the liberty to track a few playoff series. While most of the teams in the playoffs have people tracking for them already, there are still many who are not tracked and two of them are the Detroit Red Wings and the Nashville Predators. To fill that void, I will be tracking chances for this series and possibly a few more if I have time. The Predators are one of the teams this year that has managed to stay near the top of their conference despite being a weak team by standard puck possession metrics like Corsi & Fenwick. Tracking scoring chances will help us find out how much "shot quality" comes into play for them and if it's one of the reasons why they have been so successful this season.
Unfortunately, tonight's game didn't really explain much at all because of how unorthodox it was. A little under 40% of the game was played at special teams because the refs were calling pretty much anything that resembled a penalty and it led to special teams dictating the pace of play. Whichever team had the most powerplays in a given period had the advantage in chances and there isn't much that can be said about either team's play at even strength because not many chances were recording during five-on-five play.
What I can tell you is that 15 of the 34 the scoring chances that were recorded tonight were at even strength, so this was basically a special teams battle for most of the game. To make things even stranger, the Preds ended up winning 3-2, outscored the Wings 3-0 at even strength, two of which were very fluky goals, and weren't very efficient on the powerplay despite having 10 minutes with the man advantage.
Like I said, it was an odd game so there's not much that can be determined from this other than Pekka Rinne was probably the best player on the ice tonight and that the Preds did a nice job of preventing the Wings from doing much of anything on their last minute rush.
After the jump, we'll take a look at some of the raw numbers from this game.