Game 10 Statcap: Lightning 3, Sabres 2

The Buffalo Sabres have a chance to be historically bad.

No, really.

Since the hockey analytics movement has really gained steam on the back of Gabriel Desjardins’ Behind the Net website, no team has ever finished a season with a sub-40% Fenwick rate. But so far — 10+ games into the season for most teams — that is exactly what Buffalo is.

Tampa Bay maintained a healthy advantage in shots, shot attempts, and scoring chances as the floundering Sabres continued to flounder. The Fenwick graph below shows that as the game wore on, even though the score remained close, Tampa Bay’s territorial edge only grew, even into what ended up being a frantic third period. Part of that advantage can be attributed to score effects, as the Bolts were forced to press to tie the game as the Sabres held an unlikely lead late in the third period despite being outchanced on the night 19-7, including 6-1 in the final frame.

Three defensemen for the Lightning managed to go the entire game without being on the ice for an even strength chance against. Eric Brewer (+5/-0), Sami Salo (+3/-0), and Mark Barberio (+4/-0) help to further illustrate just how futile Buffalo is, has been, and will likely to continue to be.

While needing a third period comeback against a team so bad is never a good thing, hockey is a game so affected by random chance that these things can happen even when you play a solid game. That the Bolts stuck to their good process and were eventually rewarded with a good result is a great omen for this team moving forward.

Fenwick (Unblocked Shots) Timeline via Extra Skater

Following is the scoring chance and zone event data we tracked for this game that is, we believe, exclusive to Bolt Statistics:

Lightning Totals

Scoring Chances

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Zone Entries (Even-Strength)

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Zone Exits (Even-Strength)

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Game Logs

Scoring Chances

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Zone Entries (Even-Strength)

[table “58” not found /]

Zone Exits (Even-Strength)

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We’d like to acknowledge utilizing data from the game report produced by Extra Skater and the Scoring Chances and Zone Entry Nexus applications created by Josh Weissbock.

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