The New York Islanders took on the Presidents Trophy front-running Nashville Predators in a game labeled as a potential Stanley Cup Final preview.
The match was not contested under no-holds-barred rules, but Nashville's tag team partner did a great job of distracting the referees as Mikhail Grabovski took an "upper body injury" to the skull, Frans Nielsen was speared in the sternum, John Tavares was slashed multiple times and Colin McDonald was punched in the face despite not actively trying to fight.
Ultimately all of the non-calls wouldn't stop the Islanders as they slammed on the gas in the third period en route to a five to two victory where the Predators looked like second class citizens. Here's how the game worked out statistically.
The Corsi Table
|#||Period One||Period Two||Period Three||Total|
|CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%||CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%||CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%||CF||CA||CF%||CF REL%|
|Player Data from War-On-Ice.com|
|All data is five on five and score adjusted.|
Grabovski's numbers can basically be ignored as it was a very tiny sample size and he's likely not going to be around for a while. From what the post game interviews sounded like, he's likely not going to be around for a long while and Eric Nystrom will likely be hearing from Chris Pronger and company.
Grabovski, Clutterbuck really had it going early on too and Clutterbuck appeared to have a problem with the liberties being taken tonight. The numbers were mostly fantastic considering the team played down a forward for the entire night and only the fourth line of Colin McDonald, Brock Nelson and Matt Martin were in the negatives.
The most encouraging thing is that the "shell" that the Islanders normally go into never appeared tonight. They stepped on the gas in the second and third period and became increasingly dominant as the game went along. While it would have been nice to have the possession numbers in the first period, many fans had to be happy that they took the win rather than coasting to it. Even normal sieve Brian Strait was in the positives. While a -8.3 percent in relative Corsi isn't exactly good, that's a huge step up from the -35 he posted last game.
The Stats Table
|#||All Scenarios||5v5||4v5 PK||5v4 PP|
|TOI - Time on Ice | G - Goals | A - Assists | ISC - Individual Scoring Chances | ICF - Individual Corsi | PND - Penalties Drawn | PNT - Penalties Taken | FOW - Faceoffs Won | FOL - Faceoffs Lost | BS - Blocked Shots | HIT - Hits | OZS - Offensive Zone Starts | DZS - Defensive Zone Starts | FA - Fenwick Against | P - Points|
|All Data from war-on-ice.com|
Nick Leddy lead the way with three points for the Islanders including a goal and two assists. Johnny Boychuk also put up a goal and an assist (too bad he couldn't have won that faceoff though!). There was just a lot of scoring going on in this game as half the team had at least a point. Strait even started things off by scoring in the first minute.
The power play wasn't great - they had three shots on goal during the power play while the Predators had two on the penalty kill, but they managed to score anyway. Michael Grabner was out for about a minute and 25 seconds on the penalty kill and during that time Nashville didn't register a single Corsi attempt so it's very nice to have him back.
The W.O.W.Y. Table
|Attempts For/Attempts Against - Even Strength Corsi Numbers With - Data from Natural Stat Trick|
The chart looks a little bit more disheveled than it normally would due to the Grabovski injury and subsequent line adjustments that were made. Clutterbuck had a great game adjusting to just about everyone he played with. While his effort didn't show up on the scoreboard, there's a case to be made that he was the best player on the ice. Lubomir Visnovsky had a similar effect on the defense which was good to see coming off of a scratch from the last game. Hopefully he can keep up the effort.