The stat that tells the story of this game the best, in my opinion, is the scoring chance report. Chances were 17-5 overall for the game in favor of the Bolts as they utterly dominated this game. Aside from a brief period of time sandwiched around a Brad Boyes power play tally for the Florida Panthers, the Lightning had the puck for much of the night, and they were moving it through the neutral zone and into dangerous scoring areas with relative ease.
Conversely, Florida could get nowhere with the puck. They had very little sustained offensive zone time and even when they were able to get the puck into Tampa’s zone they did next to nothing with it. 2 of Florida’s 5 scoring chances were recorded on breakaways, meaning they only created 3 chances from in-zone play, and 1 of those 3 was the aforementioned Boyes goal. Tampa Bay will hopefully control their gap better and not allow more breakaways in the future, but aside from a just a handful of lapses the team as a whole looked very good against an admittedly weak opponent.
The low chance count for Florida meant that Tampa Bay skaters Sami Salo, Ryan Malone, Martin St. Louis, Victor Hedman, and Steven Stamkos — essentially the top line and top defense pairing — weren’t on the ice for a single scoring chance against at even strength.
Also impressing was the new line of Tyler Johnson between Ondrej Palat and Teddy Purcell. Since swapping Purcell and Panik, the Johnson line as thrived territorially, and they carried play all night against the Cats. Purcell led the way with an outstanding 86.7% Corsi For. He’s been a real boon for the kids, and while rolling with three left shots on the second line isn’t ideal the benefits far outweigh the concerns with this lineup tweak, at least so far.
Lastly, a curious note — Eric Brewer’s PDO for this game was 200.
Yeah, that’s right. When Eric Brewer was on the ice tonight, every single shot on goal for the Lightning went in the net. And every single shot on goal for the Panthers was saved.
No confirmation to the reports that Brewer was seen headed to a Seminole Indian Casino after the game.
Ultimately, though, Florida is just not a very good hockey team. The Bolts should have been expected to win this game and decisively so. So, it was good to see them take care of business at home against what — on paper and according to the eye test — tells you is an inferior opponent as they prepare for some more tough opponents to open the season.
Following is the scoring chance and zone event data we tracked for this game that is, we believe, exclusive to Bolt Statistics:
Zone Entries are still presently being tracked; player totals will be posted when completed.
[table “61” not found /]
Zone Entries are still presently being tracked; the game logs will be posted when completed.
[table “58” not found /]