NHL Playoffs, Flyers vs. Canadiens, Game 4: Fun with numbers

gomezfight.jpgWe’ve had some nice coverage of today’s upcoming Flyers-Canadiens tilt. Here’s the game preview and a story about the so-far-huge effect of home ice advantage on the series. To give you a little more information going into the game, I thought I’d throw some math at you.

Some are simple but some are a little more interesting. Let’s have a little fun with numbers. Some of them come from this game preview.

  • So far for the playoffs, the Flyers have 47 goals for and 34 goals against (+13) while the Canadiens have 44 goals for and 50 goals against (-6).
  • The Flyers scored 17 goals on the powerplay while allowing 10 shorthanded (+7) while the Canadiens allowed one more (13) on the kill than they scored with the man advantage (12).
  • Michael Cammalleri leads the playoffs with 13 goals. That’s fourth all-time among Montreal Canadiens players in the playoffs. He’s really good.
  • Like I mentioned in that home ice advantage post, the home team outscored the road team 14-1 in the three games of this series so far.
  • Two years ago, the Flyers also led their best-of-7 series against Montreal, 2-1, before winning Games 4 and 5.
  • Scott Gomez – yes, that Gomez – is the Habs’ penalty minute leader with 25. Philly’s PIM leader is predictably Dan Carcillo (30).
  • Mike Richards hasn’t been far behind Cammalleri, points wise, with 18 to Cammalleri’s 19. Those totals lead their teams, by the way, although Briere is tied with Richards with 18 as well.
  • Jaroslav Halak is still without a shutout, which seems like the only thing the Slovakian goalie can’t accomplish in these playoffs. Meanwhile, Michael Leighton already has 2 SO’s and only played in six games so far.
  • Somehow the rough-and-tumble Flyers and small-but-scrappy Canadiens average the same amount of PIM per game (12).
  • One thing we can be certain of: at least one of these teams won’t be undefeated in games that they can be eliminated. Unless the world ends before they play a hypothetical Game 7 … (not ideal)

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    Report: Yes, Claude Julien’s job is in some danger with Bruins

    MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 12:  Head coach of the Boston Bruins Claude Julien looks on as he walks across the ice during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on December 12, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Boston Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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    After the Boston Bruins squandered a 3-0 lead against the Detroit Red Wings and ultimately lost 6-5 via a shootout, plenty of fans and commenters had enough. Many called for Claude Julien’s head.

    They might not be alone.

    During the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading on Thursday, Bob McKenzie didn’t say that Julien was definitely going to be fired, but he said there’s a “credible threat” to the long-standing Bruins bench boss’ job security.

    The phrase “impending doom” came up, too.

    So … yeah, it sure sounds like Julien is on thin ice.

    McKenzie indicates that Julien should be behind the bench on Friday and could improve his situation if he reels off some wins. That’s where things get extra interesting.

    The Bruins play three of their next four games and seven of their next nine contests at home. Most of those games are against playoff-caliber teams, however, so it wouldn’t necessarily be “easy.” Still, the opportunities are there for the Bruins to solidify their spot in the East playoff picture.

    Still, it sure sounds like the margin of error is pretty small for Julien, just as it might be for Boston in this playoff race.

    Want more coaching hot seat talk from McKenzie? He also discussed Paul Maurice’s situation with the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday:

    Video: There was no stopping John Tavares on this goal

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    New York Islanders fans probably needed a moment like this, even ones who are more than happy that Jack Capuano was let go.

    It’s no surprise that John Tavares provided such a moment.

    Watch in the video above as he makes an obscene move against Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, and then finishes with some really nifty timing. Wow.

    Tavares now has 17 goals this season, reinforcing the thought that the team’s struggles aren’t on him.

    Now catch up on all of the drama surrounding the team:

    Bob McKenzie updates on the fuzzy future for the Isles

    Liam McHugh grills Garth Snow on a variety of burning questions

    Coyotes demote Duclair to AHL so he can ‘regain his scoring touch’

    NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 25: Anthony Duclair #10 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 25, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    It’s been a tough season for both Anthony Duclair and the Arizona Coyotes. Even so, it’s still startling to see that he was demoted to the AHL on Thursday.

    GM John Chayka explained the team’s logic for the demotion:

    “Anthony is a good young player,” said Chayka. “Unfortunately, he has struggled this season. We felt this was a good time to send him to Tucson to work on a few things and hopefully regain his scoring touch. We hope to have him rejoin our team soon.”

    Duclair’s been the subject of more than a few trade rumors, but this is probably the low point of a rough 2016-17 season for the 21-year-old.

    It’s worth taking a second to consider the very different luck Duclair’s experienced in his breakout season last year vs. this one.

    His shooting percentage was 19 in 2015-16, helping him score 20 goals on just 105 shots. By comparison, he’s only converted on 5.2 percent of his shots this year, nabbing three on 58.

    In other words, Duclair’s work is probably somewhere between those extremes … but he’s also at that age where a player can make big leaps forward. So, it’s understandable that the Coyotes want to try to repair their prospect’s confidence, and it’s also reasonable that other teams might believe that they can get more out of him.

    A trip to the AHL really might be good for his confidence but … still, wow.

    The good news and the bad news for Roman Josi

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    Roman Josi told Swiss Hockey News.ch that he suffered a concussion from that Anton Blidh hit you can see in the video above, according to a translation passed along by the Tennessean.

    So, that’s the bad news for the Nashville Predators. The good is that he also told that outlet that he might be able to return for the Preds sometime next week.

    Josi, 26, has dealt with concussion issues before, making this report a concern for the long-term. Still, the possibility of a return so soon is definitely a positive.

    Here’s what the next week and change looks like for Nashville:

    Tonight: at Flames
    Friday: at Oilers
    Sunday: at Wild
    Tuesday, Jan. 24: vs. Sabres
    Thursday: vs. Blue Jackets

    The Predators aren’t out of the West picture altogether, but they need to make the most of their opportunities. Much like the Bolts with Victor Hedman, Nashville’s hanging in there OK without one of their key guys, but every point counts. Getting Josi back would be huge.