Data Analysis: Finland vs Sweden 4:5 – 03.12.2018

What a game in the first day of the 2018 World Floorball Championships. Finland against Sweden and the rematch of the 2016 final. This article looks on the 5-4 win for Sweden through lenses of ones and zeros. Data are coming!

Yeah, shot attempts during the game, have a look.

Sweden created more shot attempts in the game. Does this says enough about the game itself? Certainly not. But it tells us something. Sweden tried to control the game more than opposition, created more slow attack possessions (34-51) at even strength. The aim was to outplay finnish defence and create good looks for scoring. Can we call them *clear paths for now? In the game Sweden recorded solid advantage in clear paths from slow attack possessions (6-12). Sweden outscored Finland 0-2 from slow attacks and similarly 0-2 from clear path situations, all at even strength.

This all does not break it yet. Finland concentrated their execution on quick attacks and mainly odd man rush situations. They did not yield more odd man rushes than Sweden (4-7) but were deadly in executing them. Finland won the game 3-0 on odd man rush goals. Nice effectivity and maybe too nice for them, what do you think?

Graph above distributes these dangerous possessions (clear paths and odd man rushes) between periods played. We can see that overall Sweden had the edge and only in the second period was challenged by Finland from odd man rushes.

Finnish effectivity in quick and odd man rush attacks almost led them to another win over Sweden. What made a difference at the end was power-play. Three penalties for Finland and only one for Sweden. No surprise that Sweden was able to execute more cross field passes (2-8), more clear paths (1-3) and at the end to score more goals (0-2) and yes Entröm´s goal in the second period falls into power-play category too.

So there you have it. Sweden pressuring, Finland with effective counters but power-play sealed the win this time.

And the players? In the following graph dangerous possession differentials are visualized for all players.

First swedish line (Hedlund, Johansson E, Enström, Samuelsson J, Galante Carlström) proved to be very important as they yield both more clear paths and odd man rushes than opponent. Second line of Sweden (Nilsberth, Gustafsson, Sjögren, Svahn, Rudd) was successful in clear paths too, similarly successful was finnish second line (Lamminen, Savonen, Salin, Salo, Johansson S).

Last graph reveals who were the finishers and it is meant as both shooters and passers.

Galante Carlström and Gustafsson recorded mots shot attempts in the game (7) and added 4 assists. If we are giving the prize for this it must go to Gustafsson as he is a defender! Samuelsson J had the most assists (5) and from finnish side it was Salin who was the most active in finishing plays  with 5 shot attempts and 3 assists.

Why not finish the articles with gifs (notice missing question mark). When Finland and Sweden meet there is not much space in the game and tight areas become ordinary workplace. These best athletes show us there are possibilities to stay creative under these circumstances. Have a look at Finland as they create clear path opportunity in tight area.

Yeah, give and go will be always nice even when not executed, don´t you think?

Next example is focused on individual skills as we look at swedish defender Sunstedt (no. 66).

This might or might not fit the criteria for clear path opportunity but who really cares. Wish us all more creative moves and plays in the upcoming floorball days in Prague!  

By Petr Malina