NHL Playoff Shot Mapping
Updated: Sep 8
With the 2020 Stanley Cup Conference Finals rapidly approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to compare the playoff teams by shot frequency and location. So far in my opinion the 2 most impressive teams have been the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Vegas Golden Knights. The Lightning, who I thought were going to choke to Columbus in the first round again, are emerging as the playoff contender most expected to be for the past few years. Meanwhile the Knights are pretty much performing as expected. The Knights were a top contender coming in and when you look at Peter DeBoer's history, he has taken his last 2 teams to the finals in his first year as a coach. I picked the Knights to win the finals because as a lifelong Sharks fan, I have endured countless nut shots at the hands of the hockey gods and oh what a nut shot would it be if Vegas wins a cup in 3 years with an ex coach. San Jose just needs to keep giving away draft picks and signing players in their mid-40's and everything will work out eventually, right?
Shot comparison below:
If I am Tampa Bay, I don't want anything to do with the New York Islanders. No team is dominating the high slot like they are in these playoffs.
I think Tampa Bay goes to the finals if Philadelphia can knock out New York. Otherwise New York will take the East.
I am going to stick to my guns with Vegas taking the West and the Finals. That being said, we need to ask whether Colorado was over hyped or if Dallas is just that good. Many experts predicted that this would be Nathan MacKinnon's year to lead Colorado to a Stanley Cup Final and they have fallen behind to a Dallas team that is typically classified as inconsistent. Nothing makes me happier than to see Joe Pavelski having success in his new home but the general sentiment before these playoffs began was that Colorado was a far superior team.
Data provided by www.NHL.com