Bounce helps Burrows bury Blues - Recap and scoring chances

Cam Charron
March 01 2012 11:27PM

After two disappointing losses in extra time in Dallas and Phoenix, respectively, the Vancouver Canucks returned home on Thursday to show off new acquisitions in front of their home fans for the first time. Zack Kassian, Marc-André Gragnani and Samuel Pahlsson all made their debuts in the blue sweater against the St. Louis Blues, having strong games for the most part.

But there wasn't a lot going on in this one. As expected, there was very little space on the ice, as what tends to happen when you have Ken Hitchcock coaching against a coach who has two of the top defensive centres in the game to his credit. Alex Burrows scored the game's first goal midway through the third period off a lucky bounce and Chris Higgins sealed it with a late empty-net effort, while Roberto Luongo held steady for the 29-save shutout.

For a detailed recap, scoring chance numbers for both teams, and the Statistical Three Stars and Goats, follow us after the jump…

-First, the important numbers: Vancouver won the scoring chance battle 9-8, 8-7 at even strength and 6-5 with the score tied at even strength. If that seems like a low number, you're right. NHL games usually feature between 12 and 17 chances per team, but this is absurdly low. St. Louis are the best defensive team in the league for a reason and you can see why—the sysem benefits Brian Elliot, hence his very low goals against total.

-Flip the coin, and the Blues are the 21st best offense in the league and due to drop after this one. They were shut out by a goaltender who never really looked comfortable in his crease, who fought the puck on most saves from in close and had to make a pair of awkward efforts off of chances by Vladimir Sobotka. He didn't really have to play too well in this one, as most shots were unscreened efforts from beyond the perimeter.

-Zack Kassian had a nice home debut. He took three shots on net in the first, two of which I recorded as scoring chances, and was credited with four hits to boot. What I do like about him is his versitility. He came out and played a couple of shifts with the Sedins post-penalty kill, but also spent a lot of time helping Manny Malhotra and Maxim Lapierre in the defensive zone.

-I haven't seen a lot of play by Malhotra in the defensive zone in the last couple of games, and they're finally getting help moving the puck forward. While Malhotra was usually given anywhere from half to two thirds of defensive zone faceoff duties, that's now being shared by Samuel Pahlsson now.

-Get this: in the last two games, the Canucks have had 32 defensive zone faceoffs. Manny Malhotra has been on the ice 15 of them and Samuel Pahlsson has been on the ice 15 of them. Unfortunately, Pahlsson is being used as insurance as Ryan Kesler is the one taking those draws, so the trade hasn't exactly freed up Kesler in any capacity. He's still missing a step, getting just two shot attempts in this game.

-David Backes is a pretty good hockey player, as it turns out. He had four shots on goal and played in some tough minutes against the Sedin twins, neutralizing them when they were on the ice together.

-Unfortunately for Backes, the Sedins pitched a perfect game defensively for the first time in a while, and caught Backes on the ice for the game's winning goal. 

-For some reason that goal reminded me of Maxim Lapierre's Game 5 goal against Boston. Same type of game, except a little less exciting since the consequences weren't as dire.

-I guess the Canucks remain the top seeded team in the Western Conference. That's nice, but it wasn't necessarily done convincingly. Vancouver haven't had a clear victory in six games, now, although winning close games is better than the alternative. This is a good enough team that it should be getting a little bit more separation in the goal differential department, but it hasn't.

-Dan Hamhuis pitched a shutout at even strength, but was unfortunately on the ice for the Blues' lone shorthanded chance against. He did play 2:28 of time on the penalty kill, however, so he did come out ahead in that regard, and the defensive miscue (I didn't check to see whose it was) didn't cost him a spot in the statistical three stars.

-Mason Raymond wound up as the game's first Statistical Goat, which is understandable, since he wasn't even in Vancouver for this one...

-Finally, the Canucks reboot Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. A couple of former Canucks return to town and I'm guessing it will be a loud building to welcome the return of Christian Ehrhoff to Rogers Arena.

-New Ehrhoff, Marc-André Gragnani, was pretty slow in this one, though he made a few heads up plays in the offensive zone, I'm still not sold on him being a guy that Vigneault can routinely bank on in tight situations. He only did play 15:38, and his pairing with Aaron Rome was one of the more "high-event" pairings on the team. I'd prefer to see him get some good minutes with the Sedins and really jump forward in those plays. He seems to know how to pass the puck, at least, and when to pinch.

Statistical Three Stars:

  1. Roberto Luongo
  2. Dan Hamhuis
  3. Brian Elliott

Statistical Three Goats:

  1. Mason Raymond
  2. Ryan Kesler
  3. Alex Pietrangelo

External Resources:

Corsi / Fenwick

Zone Start Report

Head 2 Head Shift Chart

Event Summary

Scoring Chances:

A chance is counted any time a team directs a shot cleanly on-net from within home-plate. Shots on goal and misses are counted, but blocked shots are not (unless the player who blocks the shot is “acting like a goaltender”). Generally speaking, we are more generous with the boundaries of home-plate if there is dangerous puck movement immediately preceding the scoring chance, or if the scoring chance is screened. If you want to get a visual handle on home-plate, check this image. A big thank you to Vic Ferrari is in order because his timeonice.com scripts enable the entire operation.Yes there is an app for this.

Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20957

Team Period Time Note VAN Opponent  
STL 1 18:53   1 6 7 17 21 23 1 6 10 42 46 74 5v5
STL 1 14:58   1 5 7 17 21 29 1 5 21 22 25 57 5v5
STL 1 8:18   1 2 3 21 40   1 6 17 25 27 57 4v5
VAN 1 7:59   1 9 22 23 29 33 1 17 22 25 44 46 5v5
VAN 1 7:12   1 6 17 22 23 33 1 5 10 21 27   5v4
VAN 1 5:02   1 2 9 22 29 33 1 21 22 25 46 57 5v5
STL 2 17:36   1 5 20 26 29 36 1 5 10 22 42 74 5v5
VAN 2 17:19   1 5 20 26 29 36 1 5 12 22 26 75 5v5
VAN 2 2:08   1 2 20 26 29 36 1 5 10 27 42 74 5v5
VAN 2 2:57   1 3 5 7 14 21 1 17 22 46 57 74 5v5
STL 3 18:15   1 5 20 26 29 36 1 6 17 32 44 46 5v5
STL 3 17:12   1 6 7 17 21 23 1 5 21 22 25 57 5v5
VAN 3 15:43 VAN G 1-0 Burrows 1 2 3 14 22 33 1 10 27 28 42 74 5v5
STL 3 14:06   1 3 7 17 21 23 1 21 25 27 28 57 5v5
VAN 3 13:44   1 2 3 7 17 21 1 21 25 27 28 57 5v5
STL 3 5:14   1 6 9 23 27 40 1 10 28 42 46 74 5v5
VAN 3 5:12   1 6 9 23 27 40 1 10 28 42 46 74 5v5

VANCOUVER
# Player EV PP SH
1 R. LUONGO 51:58 8 7 4:00 1 0 4:00 0 1
2 D. HAMHUIS 20:17 4 0 0:00 0 0 2:28 0 1
3 K. BIEKSA 19:02 3 1 2:53 0 0 2:28 0 1
5 M. GRAGNANI 13:58 2 3 1:40 0 0 0:00 0 0
6 S. SALO 16:26 1 3 1:07 1 0 1:26 0 0
7 D. BOOTH 13:26 2 4 1:34 0 0 0:00 0 0
9 Z. KASSIAN 11:04 3 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
14 A. BURROWS 14:16 2 0 1:34 0 0 1:19 0 0
17 R. KESLER 15:32 1 4 2:26 1 0 1:25 0 0
20 C. HIGGINS 11:56 2 2 0:00 0 0 0:33 0 0
21 M. RAYMOND 15:00 2 4 1:34 0 0 0:08 0 1
22 D. SEDIN 13:58 3 0 2:26 1 0 0:00 0 0
23 A. EDLER 17:43 2 4 2:20 1 0 1:32 0 0
26 S. PAHLSSON 12:14 2 2 0:00 0 0 0:49 0 0
27 M. MALHOTRA 9:52 1 1 0:00 0 0 1:35 0 0
29 A. ROME 16:36 4 3 0:00 0 0 0:06 0 0
33 H. SEDIN 13:40 3 0 2:26 1 0 0:00 0 0
36 J. HANSEN 14:02 2 2 0:00 0 0 1:54 0 0
40 M. LAPIERRE 11:00 1 1 0:00 0 0 0:17 0 1

ST LOUIS
# Player EV PP SH
1 B. ELLIOTT 51:29 7 8 4:00 1 0 4:00 0 1
5 B. JACKMAN 16:06 3 2 0:04 0 0 1:45 0 1
6 K. HUSKINS 13:01 2 0 0:36 1 0 0:54 0 0
10 A. MCDONALD 15:37 3 3 1:55 0 0 1:47 0 1
12 S. NICHOL 8:19 0 1 0:00 0 0 0:20 0 0
17 V. SOBOTKA 14:04 1 2 0:15 1 0 1:37 0 0
21 P. BERGLUND 12:54 3 2 2:27 0 0 0:30 0 1
22 K. SHATTENKIRK 19:54 3 4 2:56 0 0 2:15 0 0
25 C. STEWART 15:31 3 3 0:15 1 0 0:00 0 0
26 B. CROMBEEN 9:39 0 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
27 A. PIETRANGELO 20:35 1 3 2:05 1 0 1:45 0 1
28 C. COLAIACOVO 16:38 2 3 2:19 0 0 0:00 0 0
32 C. PORTER 13:14 1 0 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
42 D. BACKES 15:37 3 3 1:18 0 0 1:53 0 0
44 J. ARNOTT 14:17 1 1 2:33 0 0 0:00 0 0
46 R. POLAK 17:53 3 4 0:00 0 0 1:21 0 0
57 D. PERRON 15:21 3 3 1:27 1 0 0:00 0 0
74 T. OSHIE 16:10 3 4 1:50 0 0 1:53 0 0
75 R. REAVES 5:41 0 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0

TOTALS (Vancouver on left, St. Louis on right)

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 3 3 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2 3 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 3 4 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 9 8 8 7 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

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Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
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#1 DaNucklhead
March 02 2012, 03:34AM
Trash it!
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Vancouver may not have had a convincing win in the last six games - and I don't mean to offer excuses as I desperatley want the team to win convincingly, but take a look at the circumstance of the last six games

Nash - significantly better than even in the playoffs. Did not sit back once they had the lead. Addition of Gill was not insignificant. They are a serious cup contender.

Det - When are they not a tough team to play? Missing Datsyuk may be the reason they did not win - they had pride and incentive for keeping their streak alive against the best road team in the league.

NJ - Canucks should not have won this game. 5th game in 7 nights. Playing well(9-0-1). Canucks were running on fumes and you could see it. NJ scores first and there is no way Canucks come back

Dal - should have been easiest game on the trip but I wager trade deadline played havoc with players minds. No one wants to be traded from a cup favorite team (in spite of Hodgson rumours). Worst game Canucks played on the trip but I would bet we beat Dallas convincingly in 2 of next 3 this month (Back to back on a road trip after Chicago - any team has a chance)

Pho - Hottest team in the league, almost perfect record for Feb - last game on the road trip and new bodies to boot.

I am actually amazed Canucks did so well on that road trip especially seeing how long trips impacted Chicago and San Jose. I am more conviced than ever this team is better than last year, at least more playoff ready.

Perhaps the stats would chew up many of my arguements, but I salute the boys for a hard fought win against another strong opponent who played last night. On Saturday night, only a suddenly hot Ryan Miller (or an extremly poor performance by the Canucks) is going to keep the game close. Something tells me the Canucks players like Cody and Christian, but will let them know they made mistakes putting themselves ahead of the team's ultimate and only goal - winning the Stanley Cup.

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#2 VBS6935
March 02 2012, 10:48AM
Trash it!
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"-Mason Raymond wound up as the game's first Statistical Goat, which is understandable, since he wasn't even in Vancouver for this one..."

Et tu Cam?

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