What's the difference between Montreal and Colorado?

WASHINGTON - APRIL 15: Jaroslav Halak #41 of the Montreal Canadiens makes a save against the Washington Capitals in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on April 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

I noticed this over at the Copper n Blue:

"I am looking forward to your or Hawerchuk’s or whomever’s article about how badly the Habs played in their series against the Caps…and how lady luck got them into the second round. It seems their Corsi numbers would be eerily similar to the Avs given how badly they were outshot, especially in the last game….the most important one. =)"

Let's look at those elimination games:

Montreal-Washington, Game 7

Montreal up: 40:30
Game Tied: 19:30
Washington up: N/A

Colorado-San Jose, Game 6

Colorado up: 2:42
Game Tied: 3:16
San Jose up: 54:02

 

Score effects are pretty easy: when a team is down, we expect them to outshoot their opponents, especially in the third period.  And even more so in an elimination game when they've got nothing to lose.  So we'd expect Washington and Colorado to dominate.

But what were the totals of shots on goal plus missed shots?

Washington 53, Montreal 27
Colorado 33, San Jose 49

See the difference?  Washington bombarded the Habs trying to even the score.  Colorado got bombed themselves while they were trying to even the score.  One game reflected pure territorial dominance by the Sharks, the other wasn't out of the ordinary for a trailing team.

Remember: over the course of the season, you want to outshoot your opponents.  In a single game, it depends.

Incidentally, here are the series shot totals with the score tied:

Game 1: Mon 76-75
Game 2: Mon 3-16
Game 3: Mon 22-21
Game 4: Mon 48-54
Game 5: Mon 4-3
Game 6: Mon 12-11
Game 7: Mon 16-27

Total: Mon 181 - 207

Compare that to the Avs: 151-267.  Montreal did not have territorial control, but they are not even remotely comparable to Colorado.

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