At 5-on-5, from start to finish, this one belonged to the Florida Panthers. The Toronto Maple Leafs play like this almost every game. They get dominated during even strength play, but sneak a couple of goals in and then get stellar goaltending to bail their defense out. It's a trend that's carried over from last season, and it's most likely going to result in the same disastrous late season collapse unless they can figure out a way to fix it.
Shot Location Charts
We'll look at all situations here to see how each team's defense did, and the results aren't pretty for either team. The Panthers let the Leafs get right on top of the crease three separate times throughout the game, and it cost them each time. On the flip side however, the Leafs let the Panthers get tons of shots off from the point, as well as a good number of shots in the high slot. Both teams need to work on their defense headed into their next couple of games.
(S - shot, M- miss, B- block. If a letter is bigger than the others, than that means the shot taken was either a shot taken on the rush, or a rebound. Both have a higher chance of being a goal than a regular shot.)
We have a number of charts and graphs to help us see how each individual player did in this game, starting with the Corsi performances throughout the game. The higher above the line in the middle the better, meaning that Phil Kessel/Tyler Bozak killed it for Toronto, while Brian Campbell dominated for Florida.
Also of note is the newly formed line of Tomas Kopecky - Derek MacKenzie - Scottie Upshall. I pointed out in our season preview that all three of them couldn't generate many shots, but were excellent at suppressing shots. They're the perfect shutdown unit, and I hope they stay together for a while.
(Above the line in the middle means that the player was a positive possession player in the game. The data has been adjusted for score effects.)
Next, we have the passing statistics for each player. The acronym "SAG" stands for "Shot Attempt Generated", meaning that the player generated a shot attempt with his passing. As you can see, even though Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel had similar Corsi totals, Kessel did most of the offensive work for the two. For Florida, the duo of Sean Bergenheim and Aleksander Barkov had a great night offensively, though their defense was severely lacking, as their overall Corsi total was negative.
#Leafs Offense Passing Stats (SAG = Shot attempt generated) pic.twitter.com/tHl6PoASlQ— Shane O'Donnell (@shane1342o) December 29, 2014
#Leafs Defense Passing Stats (SAG = Shot attempt generated) pic.twitter.com/lNsagXdH53— Shane O'Donnell (@shane1342o) December 29, 2014
#FlaPanthers Offense Passing Stats from tonights game vs. the #Leafs pic.twitter.com/nB8Si6qYGl— Shane O'Donnell (@shane1342o) December 29, 2014
#FlaPanthers Defense Passing Stats from tonights game vs. the #Leafs pic.twitter.com/PM0Nx50L8v— Shane O'Donnell (@shane1342o) December 29, 2014
Though the Panthers could have dominated the Maple Leafs a bit more, they did end up winning the game. A bit of puck luck would be nice headed into the next couple of home games (vs. Canadiens on the 30th, vs. Rangers on the 31st), but with the way this team has been playing, they may not need all of the bounces to go their way in order to pick up a couple of more wins.