March 20 2013 12:33AM
Rust? What rust? Schneider was tremendous in the early going, keeping the Canucks in it until they found their legs.
This game probably justifies having three separate recaps, since none of the periods really had anything to do with each other. It makes me wonder what a potential fourth period of hockey would have looked like; likely a bunch of sluggish, tired play since it's, you know, a fourth period of hockey.
The Canucks shrugged off a nearly disastrous opening 20 minutes, before taking control of the game in the middle frame en route to a 3-0 lead. Things got dicey in the third as the Blues countered with an onslaught of their own, but the home team wound up holding on for a desperately needed 2 points.
Read on Past the Jump for Analysis, and Scoring Chance Data.
Schneider was terrific in this game, especially in the first period when the team so badly needed him to be rock solid. He was up to the task, stopping 15 shots, as the Canucks gift-wrapped 9 scoring chances for the Blues. Things were particularly tumultuous during St.Louis' power play opportunities - a unit which came in ranked number 1 in the league - but Schneider was up to the task. He'll certainly get the nod on Thursday in Phoenix, and has a chance to earn himself many more in the near future. The seesaw continues.
Kassian foray back into the lineup was a rather brief one, as reports surfaced that he was pulled from the game due to a reaggravation of his back injury. Before he left though, he had a spirited bout with Chris Stewart. Twitter was outraged that Kassian would remove himself from the game for 5 minutes like that. I agree. It's not like the other guy was recently named the NHL's #1 star or anything like that.
The Canucks looked like a completely different team in the 2nd period, jumping on the Blues right out of the gate. Whatever Alain Vigneault said to them clearly worked. Or maybe he didn't say anything, and they were just thoroughly embarrassed by that first period showing. Either way, they scored 3 goals, all of which were beauties.
The first was a filthy shot from Hansen that went right by Jake Allen. The second was a result of vintage Sedinery, as Henrik somehow thread the needle to his brother. Daniel really needed that one, as he came into the game with an 8-game drought. He also displayed some impressive dangles later on in the game (drawing a penalty), and some acceleration (tracking down a loose puck to create a scoring chance). Positive signs from a player that has to get his act together.
Jordan Schroeder is a gangster. The spinning pass he made to set up Dale Weise's goal was a thing of beauty, and he had himself another strong game. I pleaded for Vigneault to give him more ice-time tonight, and he did just that; Schroeder wound up logging 17:52. It's just two games, but you can't help but be thoroughly impressed with what he has been able to do.
Another sign that Canucks fans can't be rational: there was legitimate outrage on Twitter after Steve Pinizzotto received a post-penalty kill shift with the Sedins. I'm not wasting any more time on this. Just know that Alain Vigneault can't win.
Chris Tanev was hurt once again by a blocked shot. The scene of him gingerly walking down the tunnel with the trainer is quickly becoming a staple in Canucks games. He still has a ways to go to reach Cal Ripken, though.
The third period was a tutorial in what we call "score effects". Situations like those skew the overall numbers, and it's why we cite statistics such as 'Fenwick Close' and 'Corsi Close' in our game previews. Of course the Blues dominated the final period of a game in which they were down 3-0, as the Canucks were clearly content in running out the clock. It's worth pointing that this happens to every team. In every sport. It's part of the game.
With 4:04 left in the game Alex Edler drew a boarding penalty. As the Canucks brought out their extra attacker with the delayed penalty in effect, Jannik Hansen (wisely) decided to run some time off the clock by hanging out behind the net, and passing it around with his teammates. Once the Blues realized they needed to get the puck and charged in, the Canucks brilliantly broke out on a 2-on-1. It's a shame that Kevin Bieksa couldn't bury the opportunity, because it would have definitely been one of the goals of the year. Anyways, the Blues didn't get the whistle until there was only 3:06 left in the game. I found it all to be quite entertaining.
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.
Scoring Chance Totals:
|1st Period||2nd Period||3rd Periods||Totals|
|Blues (EV)||9 (5)||5 (5)||6 (6)||20 (16)|
|Canucks (EV)||1 (1)||8 (7)||1 (1)||10 (9)|
Individual Scoring Chances:
|Individual||Chances Taken||Chances Assisted||Chances Total|
Individual Scoring Chance Differential:
|Individual||EV F - A||PP F - A||SH F - A||Total F - A|