Conference Finals - 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs
The St. Louis Blues, with a decisive game 6 victory over the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Finals, punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals. A well rested Bruins squad await the Blues. ICEBERG Hockey took a deeper look at some of the more interesting metrics surrounding the conference finals series.
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Danger zone - abbreviated DgZ - "house-shaped" area consisting of the slot - where the most high quality shots tend to come from
Possession % - percentage of time that the team held possession
xG - "expected goals" - this metric associates an expected goal value with each shot, taking into consideration a plethora of variables including pre-shot movement, distance to goal, speed of shot, etc.
DgZ Shots (EV) - count of shots from inside the danger zone when at even strength
DgZ SV% (EV) - goalie save percentage on shots within the danger zone
% of xG blocked - Percentage of opponent's xG that was blocked via blocked shots (higher percentage = more blocked xG)
xG/20 on PP - expected goals per 20 minutes of PP time
Western Conference Finals Matchup:
San Jose (2) vs St. Louis (4)
The St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks in 6 games in the Western Conference Finals. The Blues held an advantage in 3 of the 6 metrics Iceberg Hockey analyzed. Possession at even strength was relatively even at 51% vs 49% in favour of the Sharks. The Sharks also held the advantage in expected goal value at even strength (xG (EV)) with 2.2 more expected goals than the Blues. Shots in the danger zone at even strength (DgZ Shots (EV)) were exactly the same for both teams. The Blues had a higher danger zone save percentage at even strength (DgZ SV% (EV)) by 0.052%, while percentage of xG blocked was virtually the same between both teams. The Blues held an advantage in expected goals per 20 minutes of PP time (xG/20 on PP).
Eastern Conference Finals Matchup:
Boston (3) vs Carolina (4)
The Boston Bruins swept the “Bunch of Jerks” from Carolina in 4 games in the Eastern Conference Finals. After knocking off the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals and sweeping the New York Islanders, the magic ran out for the Hurricanes. While possession % at even strength was equal, the Bruins expected goal value (xG (EV)) was 4.7 more than Carolina’s. The Bruins held a significant advantage in shots within the danger zone at even strength (DgZ Shots (EV)) and Tuukka Rask had a much higher save percentage on shots within the danger zone at even strength (DgZ SV% (EV)), than the Carolina Hurricanes’ netminders. Carolina blocked a slightly higher percentage of xG but the Bruins held a slight advantage in expected goals per 20 minutes of PP time (xG/20 on PP).