Before the Philadelphia Flyers take on the New York Rangers tonight I went ahead and made some graphs. They display each team’s 5 on 5 score close CF% for each of their meetings since 2011/12.
For those of you unfamiliar with what the term “Close” means in regards to a team’s Corsi For % here is the definition as defined by Extra Skater:
Close refers to game situations where the score is tied in any period or within one goal in the first or second periods. This does a pretty good job of removing score effects, which are the result of a team going into a defensive shell or going all-out to score a goal. Close numbers have proven to be a better predictor of future results in some instances than numbers from all game situations. via Extra Skater
Now with that you’ve had time to wrap your head around the definition here are the graphs I slaved away on. (Not really though.)
This year was the last season in which we saw Chris Pronger and Matthew Carle on the ice in a Flyers uniform. It also happens to be a season in which the Flyers went 0 – 5 against the New York Rangers even though they outpaced them in CF% Close in 4 out 6 games. After looking at the individual games it appears to me that they were determined by a combination of bad Flyers goaltending along with some seriously bad luck when it came to SH%.
With Matt Carle lost to free agency the Philadelphia Flyers scrambled to get a viable blue line together. They traded James Van Reimsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Luke Schenn in hopes the young player could blossom into a top pairing defenseman. The rest of the defense was a cobbled together disaster that saw Bruno Gervais and Kurtis Foster see significant ice time. It also seems to have lead to the New York Rangers dominating the Flyers in CF% close in all but one game. The Rangers took the season series again 3 – 2.
And now we have come to the present season. The Flyers split the season series 2-2 with the Rangers. Each team secured wins on their home ice but once again, the Flyers come out on the losing end having lost the CF% close battle in 3 of their 4 games. And before you ask, no, that game on the 12th of January is not a typo. The Flyers were handily spanked in that game from the on-set of the game. Considering this obviously is the most recent set of games in which we can draw expectations for the upcoming series tonight, the Flyers have a very tough road in front of them.
The Philadelphia Flyers begin their seven game series tonight in New York. I have them losing in six. I hope they prove me wrong.
Stats provided by ExtraSkater.