The fourth 5-on-5 goal came in the third period. Shortly after Tomas Tatar lost the puck to Dominik Kubalik along the right (Vanecek’s right) side boards, Kubalik tossed a quick pass to Raymond, and darted ahead for a quick give-and-go. As Dougie Hamilton took out Raymond with a hit after the pass, Jonas Siegenthaler had to stretch to his left to get to Kubalik. The forward had the poise to keep the puck away from him as he essentially went around Siegenthaler. While Vanecek tracked this puck, Kubalik lifted the puck past Vanecek’s glove for the goal.
The eventual goal scorer, Wade Allison, is all alone to Blackwood’s left. I have no idea what or who Ryan Graves thinks he is covering. He’s just hanging out in the slot. While it appears Blackwood is screened, he easily stops the shot. He did not catch it or hold it though. He gave up a juicy rebound to his left, which makes it easy for Allison to score. Was this a bad goal to allow? Yes. Blackwood should have frozen the shot. Or at least not send the rebound away.
One can question why no one picked up Perron. I question why Vanecek put the puck at risk or why no one told him otherwise. Was this a bad goal to allow? Yeah. Vanecek served it up for Perron and ate a GA for it. Was there a miscue by the Devils skaters? Despite the picture showing a lot of Not-Defense, I do not think they were prepared to account for this happening. Just a mistake from the goalie. Siegenthaler, was this best you could do against Dominik Kubalik? The fourth goal in the second period was in 4-on-4 play.
Was there a miscue by the Devils skaters? Yes. Graves covering air seems like a miscue to me. The second goal was scored by Travis Konecny from a bit of distance. A play by Kevin Hayes at the blueline set him up to go one on one with Brendan Smith. Here is the moment of the shot: Konecny is about to make Smith and Blackwood look bad.
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The first goal against was this put back by Wade Allison on a shift right after Alexander Holtz - You remember him, right? Young guy. Scored a goal and then exiled to the fourth line in the next game - scored a goal. Here’s a key moment on the play: Where are you Ryan Graves? NHL Highlight Video Right after a defensive zone faceoff loss by Michael McLeod, the play goes back to the points. Ivan Provorov gets it from Tony DeAngelo and takes a seemingly harmless shot from the boards. McLeod contests him. Severson picks up Noah Cates in front. Everything looks fine here.
What does this mean? A couple of things. One: It means the Devils have absolutely crushed Detroit’s defenses and Anaheim’s defenses. They racked up plenty of scoring chances and especially high danger chances in both games. (Aside: I have to look at this later, but getting more than 12 HDCF in 5-on-5 appears to be exceptional. Devils had 16 and 18 in their last two home games) They were not at all stuck on the perimeter and firing hopeful pucks towards the net. I Two: This also justifies the frustration with the lack of goal scoring, especially against Detroit.
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Over a long enough time, a high xGF or xGA will do a decent enough job to tell us whether a team or a player is putting in good performances or not. For a single game or a few games into a season, it can be easily to misinterpret if someone just brings up a xGF or xGA value and leaves it at that. A little more investigation is needed. Expected & Actual Goals Short Look at the Offense The 2022-23 New Jersey Devils certainly warrant it in their first three games.
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