Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vs Colorado 6-5 Shootout Loss October 15, 2011

The Montreal Canadiens lost to the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 6-5 Saturday night. Montreal absolutely dominated puck-possession on the powerplay, but were unable to overcome another night where the penalty-killing unit gave up 2 powerplay goals against. The PK unit is running at 50% over the last 2 games.

Mathieu Darche saw limited ice-time, but still managed the top overall grade. His grade was 10 percentage-points above his season average. Other players with grades above 70 include Scott Gomez, Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty, Erik Cole, Alexei Emelin, and PK Subban.

Despite scoring another spectacular goal, Travis Moen managed the team's lowest-grade. Moen's grade was 15 percentage-points below his season average. Lars Eller and Andrea Engqvist also had grades below 60.


The top EVEN-STRENGTH risk/reward rating belonged to both Gomez and Darche. Gomez played equally well in all 3 zones, while Darche's grade was the product of his work in both the offensive and defensive-zones. Expressed differently Gomez's rating shows that he made 2.8 successful plays for every 1 mistake or lost puck-battle, while Darche managed 3.2 successful plays per mistake or lost puck-battle. Plekanec and Emelin also managed even-strength risk/reward ratings above 2.00. Emelin's rating was produced by his work in the d-zone, while Plekanec's was buoyed by his work in the neutral-zone.

Travis Moen had a risk/reward rating in the negative. Moen's biggest struggles occurred in the offensive-zone; he was actually strong in the neutral-zone. Eller had the second-lowest risk/reward rating at even strength. Both Eller's grade and rating come down to passing, as he was successful with only 9 of 23 total passes in the game.

Engqvist, Palushaj and Pacioretty all produced more than 6 events per minute of ice time. While the least involved players include Gorges, Moen and Gill. Gorges' and Gill's low events are easily explained, as both players are defensive-defensemen with limited offensive-zone events. Moen's low event-total is the product of his linemates, as both Gomez and Gionta are among the team leaders with close to 5 events per minute of icetime; there is only 1 puck on the ice.

The top EVEN-STRENGTH offensive-zone risk/reward belonged to Mathieu Darche. Andrei Kostitsyn is the only other player with an o-zone risk/reward above 1.00. Expressed differently, Kostitsyn's risk/reward rating shows that he produced nearly 3 successful plays for every 1 mistake or lost puck-battle. Number 46 was able to complete an impressive 12 of 16 offensive-zone pass-attempts. Other players with high o-zone risk/reward ratings include Gomez and Gionta.

Three players had offensive-zone risk/reward ratings in the negative. They include Moen, Gill, and for the second game in a row, PK Subban. Subban was not able to complete any of his 3 offensive-zone pass-attempts at even-strength, while Gill failed on his only o-zone pass-attempt. Moen, for his part did not win any of his 3 o-zone puck-battles.

Lars Eller produced the most offensive-zone events, but was only able to manage an o-zone risk/reward rating of 0.00. Expressed differently, this shows that Eller made 1 successful play for every 1 mistake or lost puck-battle. Among other players with significant ice-time, Kostitsyn was the second-most active in the offensive-zone; producing nearly 2.50 offensive-zone events per minute of ice-time.


Rookie Alexei Emelin had the top EVEN STRENGTH defensive-zone risk/reward rating. Emelin won an impressive 10 of 11 defensive-zone puck-battles, while also completing 19 of 25 d-zone pass-attempts. Subban had the second-best d-zone risk/reward. Number 76 won 5 of 8 d-zone puck-battles, while completing 20 of 27 pass-attempts. Other players with solid d-zone risk/rewards include Gill, Weber, Pacioretty, Darche and Gomez.

Andrei Kostitsyn had the lowest d-zone risk/reward rating. Number 46 was among the leaders in the offensive-zone, but hurt the team defensively. In fact, he was the only player with a d-zone risk/reward in the negative. Kostitsyn completed only 2 of 6 d-zone pass-attempts. Many Montreal forwards struggled with the half-wall outlet-pass during the game; including Gionta, Moen, Engqvist, Eller. 

Emelin and Subban had the most d-zone events during the game. Engqvist was the leader among forwards. High d-zone event totals can be seen as a double-edged sword, as they could point to the fact that a player is struggling getting the puck out of the defensive-zone.


Plekanec had the top EVEN-STRENGTH neutral-zone risk/reward. Number 14 completed 7 neutral-zone pass-attempts and all 3 of his attempts to beat opposing players 1on1 (deaks). Other players with high n-zone risk/reward ratings include Palushaj, Gomez, and Pacioretty. Gomez and Pacioretty displayed solid puck-management skills, as they successfully dumped the puck into the offensive-zone with all 9 their combined opportunities.

Moen had the lowest neutral-zone risk/reward rating, and was the only player with a n-zone rating in the negative. Other players with low n-zone risk/reward ratings include Darche and Eller. Both players produced 1 successful neutral-zone play for every 1 mistake or lost puck-battle.

Plekanec had the most neutral-zone events per minute of ice-time. Followed closely by Pacioretty and Cole.


Gill, Emelin and Gionta were the only players with SHORT-HANDED risk/reward ratings in the positive. Gill won 5 of 6 short-handed puck-battles, while Gionta completed 2 successful dump-outs. Emelin's rating is an anomaly, as the rookie had only 1 short-handed event, while playing only 39 seconds.

Weber had the lowest short-handed risk/reward rating, but played only 13 seconds. That said, Weber does own the lowest short-handed risk/reward rating among Montreal defensemen this season. In fact, through 4 regular season games, he is the only d-man with a negative short-handed risk/reward. Other players with negative short-handed risk/reward ratings against Colorado include Gorges, Moen, Engqvist, and surprisingly enough, Plekanec.

Gill had the most short-handed events per minute of ice time. Followed by Gorges, Weber and Desharnais.


The above graph does an excellent job of showing how much more successful the first powerplay unit of Plekanec, Desharnais, Pacioretty, Weber and Subban was compared to the second unit. Emelin had the top powerplay risk/reward, but played only 18 second. Among players with substantial PP ice-time, Subban had the top PP risk/reward. Number 76 completed an incredible 19 of 20 o-zone pass-attempts while on the powerplay. Plekanec and Desharnais also had impressive PP ratings, as both players completed 16 and 13 o-zone passes respectively. Plekanec, however had the most failed PP pass-attempts with four; all of which took place in the offensive-zone.

Gionta, Gomez and Kostitsyn had the lowest PP risk/rewards. Each of the 3 players made 1 successful play for every 1 mistake or lost puck-battle; just not good enough for any sustained pressure. Gomez's PP struggles were enough to knock him out of top spot in terms of overall PP risk/reward rating this season; Subban is the new leader.

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