March 30 2012 11:28PM
(Jeff Vinnick - Getty)
The Vancouver Canucks took it easy on their fans' nails tonight, potting five past the opposing goaltenders and playing a very effective high-event game for a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars, significantly impacting their Texan rivals' playoff hopes. The Canucks got goals from Chris Higgins, Sami Salo, Andrew Alberts (!), Alex Burrows and Maxim Lapierre and Cory Schneider was strong in the Canuck net, with another quality start and some terrific saves when the game was in its infant stages.
For a full recap, analysis, scoring chances, the Statistical Three Stars and Goats, and all that fun stuff, click past the jump.
-The important numbers lead us off: Vancouver were out-chanced 20-18 in this one and 16-15 at even strength, but that's to be expected since they spent a majority of this game in the lead. With the score tied at even strength, however, the Canucks won the battle 6-3, so they had another good "process" game, as it were.
-But it wasn't without its caveats. Vancouver were out-chanced 8-4 in the first period and were down 11-5 when Steve Ott tied the game up in the second period. Cory Schneider had to make a number of good saves in this one, his best having to come shorthanded when Loui Eriksson took a terrific pass from Mike Ribeiro, with Schneider sliding across and getting his left pad on the puck. He earned his quality start in this one, facing 14 scoring chances in the first two periods, and stopping all but one.
-At the other end, it was pick your poison. Kari Lehtonen let in a softie to Chris Higgins off the hop and never really recovered. He gave way to Richard Bachmann who stopped three of four only. Both goalies earned nods in the Statistical Three Goats, despite Bachmann playing only ten minutes.
-However, the other Goat, Zack Kassian, played just under eleven completely forgettable minutes of hockey. This is his second consecutive appearance on the Goats. Minus-4 scoring chance differential despite getting five offensive zone starts and just two on defence. He mostly matched up against Jamie Benn, so that was probably not the best idea.
-Jamie Benn has had some great games against the Canucks. I'm impressed by his and Steve Ott's ability to move the puck with each other. They're rare breeds of players who not only get a lot of shots (nine combined in this game) but many of them will be scoring chances (they combined to take seven).
-Other great players in this game: Stephane Robidas, who we at Canucks Army continue to express interest in as a potential Canuck trade target. He was the third star. The first star was somehow Jacob Dowell, but he managed to get a +4 chance differential with defensive responsibilities. He wasn't matched up against anybody in particular. The funny thing is is that his snack goal in the dying minutes cost Cory Schneider the First Statistical Star.
-Best Canuck? Alex Burrows. Matched up against Sheldon Souray and Stephane Robidas, but took advantage of the times Dallas couldn't get that one against the top line, taking two shots, scoring a goal and creating a scoring chance for Henrik Sedin in the first period. The revamped Sedin-Burrows-Maxim Lapierre line worked out pretty well.
-The above image? Dale Weise being hauled down on a breakaway. He got the shot away and was credited with a chance, but the play didn't result in a penalty shot, which angered some people who wanted to see Dale Weise on a penalty shot. I couldn't find any shootout attempt results from Weise in the AHL that weren't linked to some online EHM league, so his effectiveness will be debated until the end of time, it seems.
-We didn't get to see much of the penalty kill, but it was perfect killing off one Alex Edler penalty, giving up no chances and just one shot, a Philip Larsen 55-footer. The powerplay was pretty brutal, getting out-chanced, but somehow got a goal.
-Andrew Alberts scored, too. That's that, I guess.
-The third line is amazing. Samme Pahlsson, Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen are all real good two-way players, and it's showing every single game each of those players' ability to move the puck forward.
Statistical Three Stars
- Jacob Dowell, Dallas
- Alex Burrows, Vancouver
- Stephane Robidas, Dallas
Statistical Three Goats
- Kari Lehtonen, Dallas
- Zack Kassian, Vancouver
- Richard Bachmann, Dallas
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 thank you to Vic Ferrari is in order, as his Timeonice.com scripts enabler this entire operation. Yes, there is an app for this.
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 21168
|VAN||1||13:43||VAN G 1-0 Higgins||2||8||20||26||35||36||21||32||33||36||63||73||5v5|
|DAL||2||16:45||DAL G 1-1 Ott||6||7||17||21||35||41||14||29||32||33||36||81||5v5|
|VAN||2||3:35||VAN G 3-1 Alberts||8||14||33||35||40||41||3||11||18||32||40||44||5v5|
|VAN||3||10:54||VAN G 4-1 Burrows||6||14||33||35||40||41||14||18||29||32||33||36||5v5|
|VAN||3||8:42||VAN G 5-1 Lapierre||5||9||23||27||35||40||10||14||27||29||31||36||5v5|
|DAL||3||2:43||DAL G 2-5 Dowell||6||9||21||27||35||41||10||11||27||31||36||81||5v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|