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Canadian Territorial Dominance vs Switzerland

One last thought on last night's game: Canada completely dominated Switzerland in the face-off circle. Not only did Canada win over 60% of offensive and defensive zone faceoffs, but almost 60% of these faceoffs were in Switzerland's end:

Faceoffs Total Wins Losses
Total 47 30 17
Off. Zone 29 21 8
Def. Zone 18 9 9

Normally, that's a very bad sign for your opponent. If there's a minor negative, it's that Canada won only 50% of defensive zone draws. Of course, over just 18 face-offs, this is well within the range of random variation.

The net result of both having a lot of offensive zone faceoffs and winning a lot of them was total dominance on the shot board:

Shots SF SA
Total 62 30
Close-in 34 18

Canada both had double the total shots that Switzerland did and also twice as many opportunities close to the net.

Switzerland clearly has a great goaltender, and they gave up on offensive opportunities in the 3rd period to prevent Canada from having any itself. We should keep in mind that this is not normal behavior in a tied 3rd period - consider Washington's shot totals in tied third periods this season:

Feb 13 @STL 23 11
Nov 21 @TOR 25 17
Oct 30 NYI 14 23
Oct 17 NSH 15 25
TOT 77 76

Washington is a prolific shooting team, and they played four tied third periods this season against teams that are nowhere near as good as they are. And yet their opponents played them to a draw, both in goals and shots. It is simply out of the realm of NHL strategy to play a system that gets you outshot 23-6 in the third period in hopes of hanging on for a tie. As Tyler noted in the comments in my previous post, perhaps this team could use some practice beating the trap - but not scoring a goal against the Swiss in the 3rd period yesterday was mostly bad luck.