Data Analysis: Finland vs Denmark 7-1 – 05.12.2018

First period was a nightmare for Denmark against the defending champions from Finland. They got better as the game went on but could not prevent easy win for the opponent.

*Clear path and odd man rush situations belong to category of dangerous possessions. Following graphs brings their distribution by periods.

First and to some extent even third period was a concert for Finland. In both of these periods Finland was able to create 12 clear path opportunities! Denmark was more than even opponent to Finland in the second period though and have some nice looks from odd man rushes.

Finnish team was satisfied with slow attack possessions. They had 69-26 advantage in the game and was very efficient in creating clear path opportunities from them (23-1). The efficiency stopped when talking about converting them in goals. Differential could have been greater than 4-0.

There was another interesting take in the game and that was shot blocking. One of the reasons for 5-0 first period was also absence of shot blocking from Danish defence.

Also overall Denmark was not able to block respectable amount of shot attempts even though they got better in time. At the end they blocked 22 from 83 shot attempts (27%), Finland was able to block 13 of 27 shots against (48%) which made it even more comolicated for Denmark to score.

We shift our focus to players. Next graph reveals which players (and lines) were strong in creating clear path and odd man rush opportunities.

Denmark was able to prevent odd man rushes with their deep defence. Especially first line (Krogsgaard, Trolle, Glass, Oddfeldt, Eldholm) had a solid advantage in odd man rush against Finland when on the field. All Finnish players ended with positive differential in clear path opportunities. Kukkola and Kivilehto recorded +12 and Savonen +11 which was the most in the game. Lamminen, Salin, Salo and Johansson were able to not end on the negative side of odd man rush score.

Last graph brings new metrics as we look ar corsi and shot blocking for players.

Corsi represents activity on the field plus inclination to finish plays (definition on vertical axis). Again defenders Kivilehto, Kukkola and Savonen recorded the biggest positive differential. They also played the most in the game which contextually explains well. Kukkola recorded the most blocks against Danish shot attempts.

Selected gif at the end shows attacks for both teams.

Finland is trying to yield another good scoring opportunity here from slow attack. In this case their forwards overcommit to offence and after failing to convert there is no time to come back and prevent 3 on 2 the other way. Can they be more careful in tougher matches for them?

*Clear path is a situation in which offensive player is located in dangerous area in front of the net, there is no defender between him and goalie and a real chance for this player to receive ball exists.

By Petr Malina