Senators/Wild analysis by the numbers

David Rundblad had a very good NHL debut. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

The Senators dominated the Wild for large stretches of the game, but needed another third period come back. This time they actually pulled out the win though. How did the players do? Here is a look.

Corsi Rating (click here for my introduction to Corsi rating)

Last night's Corsi ratings are here. As you would have expected based on the play, the line of Daniel Alfredsson, Stéphane Da Costa and Milan Michalek were the best forwards, with ratings +13, +14,  and +18 respectively. Colin Greening, while scoring, was among the bottom three forwards. Greening's line with Jason Spezza and Mika Zibanejad had a rating -7, -2 and -5, so it wasn't a good night for Giggles and company.

On defence, David Rundblad had an excellent debut and his pairing with Chris Phillips had a +16 and +14 rating. Jared Cowen and Sergei Gonchar were the only two defenceman with a negative rating, both at -4. While it was only game, I thought Rundblad was definitely better than Cowen last night. Paul MacLean has hinted that the lineup will be the same against Colorado, but when Brian Lee does come back I expect it to be at Cowen's expense. Cowen wasn't too bad, but he hasn't missed any games yet, while both Rundblad and Lee have.

More after the jump.

Zone starts

Last night's zone starts are here. This basically states how many times did Paul MacLean send out a player for a faceoff in the neutral, defensive or offensive zone.

As you might have expected, Rundblad despite playing almost 21 minutes, received pretty protected minutes with 8 offensive zone starts compared to only 2 in the defensive zone. He definitely did well in that situation (and so did Phillips) and I think easing the load on Phillips can only be good for him as well.

Erik Karlsson's growth can be seen with him playing in every situation, even strength, penalty kill or power play. Another reason is that his shifts aren't heavily tilted towards offensive zone starts. Last year, Karlsson was among the leaders on the Senators in offensive zone starts, but last night he was practically even with 8 defensive zone starts and 9 in the offensive zone. By proxy, Filip Kuba is also off to a pretty solid start (which further annoys me when I hear him get booed). I don't know if this has any significance, but it seems like almost all of Karlsson's shifts started after face-offs (i.e. he didn't change on the fly).

Zenon Konopa was brought in to win defensive zone face-offs and his 6 defensive zone starts and only the one offensive zone start is in line with that. Jason Spezza (perhaps due to playing with two rookies), was given more offensive zone starts, but that line still wasn't very effective.

What do you think? Do these numbers more or less agree with what you felt or do they contradict your initial reactions?

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