February 19 2013 11:30PM
It'll get lost in the shuffle, but Cory Schneider's performance (despite the loss) was worth talking about.
The Vancouver Canucks started off their four game road trip by taking an undeserved point from the Chicago Blackhawks, before ultimately losing in the glorified skills competition that is the shootout.
I watched this game from start to finish - in fact, I watched many sequences more than once as part of the chance counting process - and I can't quite figure out how the Canucks managed to steal that point. Well, that's a lie, because I can; it was thanks to the Cory Schneider show. Let's just say that the members of the team's defense owe their 'tender a few rounds after this one (I'm sure Patty Kane can throw a recommendation for a good hangout spot their way).
Read on Past the Jump for Scoring Chance Data, and Analysis.
If you watched this game, your eyes surely told you that Schneider put forth a spectacular effort. But let me try to quantify it for you - the Blackhawks managed 30 scoring chances on this night, which is a number that you won't see far too often in an NHL game (especially against a team that isn't terrible). Unfortunately, we don't categorize the chances in terms of how dangerous they were. A scoring chance is a scoring chance. But I'd venture to guess that quite a few of the ones on this night were of the "Grade A" variety. It's remarkable that only 3 got by him, really.
A classic example of what he was faced with came roughly halfway through the first period, when the Hawks managed to get two shorthanded breakaways in a row. Just moments after the Canucks had managed to barely kill off that brutal power play of theirs, Patrick Sharp was sprung for yet another one, which Schneider stopped as well. You would have figured that he would have fared better in the shootout considering the practice he got early on.
Somehow, the Canucks still managed to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission despite being out-chanced by a margin of 10-2. Ironically enough, Daniel Sedin - who was stoned on the team's only two chances early on - managed to get a weak one past Sugar Ray Emery from a brutal angle. Classic Emery.
We preach about the process, and eventually, it bit the Canucks in the rear end. The Hawks continued to dominate play in the 2nd, scoring 3 unanswered to take what seemed like a commanding lead at the time. The second one came after Max Lapierre, who had been stuck on the ice for 1:56 during a penalty kill, committed a penalty of his own. Shortly thereafter Ryan Kesler broke his stick, and the Hawks' lethal power play took advantage of a prime opportunity. The third tally was pretty much just a case of Marian Hossa being significantly better at hockey than Kevin Bieksa and Jason Garrison, combined. Not too much you can do about that, unless of course your name is Jannik Hansen..
.. settle down, I'm just joking. I hope that Hossa is okay. Concussions are serious business, and you never want to see anyone get hurt that way. Especially a player of the caliber of Hossa, who is so exciting to watch. He makes being a fan of hockey a more fulfilling experience.
I'm not going to comment on what Hansen did, though, because I have no idea what his intentions were. As fans of the team know, he's not exactly the type of player to stoop to that sort of thing. And from my point of view, it sure looked like he was making a play at the puck. Given the history between these two teams, there will understandably be skepticism whenever something like this happens. Still, I find it difficult to believe that he meant to hurt Hossa. Who really knows, though (except for Hansen, himself). Let's all stop pretending to. I'm not sure if he'll be suspended; instead, I'll just wait to see how this all turns out, then feign outrage regardless of the outcome. It seems like a trendy course of action these days.
Let me just point out that Hansen will be made to look like a dangerous villain who was "head hunting", despite the fact that - in the same game, no less - Brandon Bollig punched Dale Weise in the face three times before Weise could defend himself. Those darn Canucks, with their head shots and what not.
Back to the game now, since this is a game recap after all. I really thought things had a chance to get out of hand in a bad way at several points during the 3rd, especially if the Hawks got that 4th goal. Things got quite chippy. But instead, the Canucks used two instances where they had the extra attacker (one on the power play, then another with their goalie pulled) to tie the game up. Those goals came 101 seconds apart, and since they both came in the final three minutes, I'm led to believe that means they were "clutch".
This game will likely be remembered for Hansen's elbow on Hossa, and for the two late goals to get the Canucks their single point. But the main story for me was Cory Schneider, who put forth an otherworldly effort, reminding everyone out there that he's still a pretty sweet goaltender.
Scoring Chance Data
A reminder for those of you new to reading our site: a scoring chance is counted any time a team directs a shot cleanly on-net from within home-plate (here's an image of "home-plate"; so you can get a visual definition). 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.
Here's the total scoring chance data:
|1st Period||2nd Period||3rd Period||Overtime||Totals|
|Canucks (EV)||2 (2)||5 (5)||3 (2)||0 (0)||10 (9)|
|Blackhawks (EV)||10 (8)||9 (5)||8 (8)||3 (3)||30 (24)|
And here's the individual chance data for the Canucks skaters:
|Individual||Chances Taken||Chances Assisted||Chances Total|