April 02 2013 12:51AM
Cory Schneider, likely wondering what he has gotten himself into.
Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson, via Getty Images.
On Monday night the Vancouver Canucks submitted their best impression of the Calgary Flames franchise, as they did just enough towards the end to give their fans a false sense of hope, before ultimately proving that the hole they dug themselves was too deep to overcome.
While it's easy to look at the 3 minute stretch in the 2nd period as the reason for the loss, the time leading up to it was really just as big a reason for their undoing. They came out of the gate flat, yet again, and there was only so much Cory Schneider could do before the flood gates opened. It's back to the drawing board for a team that may look drastically different the next time we see them take the ice.
Read on Past the Jump for Scoring Chance Data, and Analysis.
Despite not actually surrending a goal in the opening 20 minutes, the Canucks were essentially dominated as badly as they were on Saturday night in Edmonton. It felt like a matter of time before the Sharks broke through, and they did just that in the 2nd period to the tune of 3 goals in a span of 133 seconds. After that the Canucks scratched and clawed and generated more offense as the Sharks were content to hang onto their lead. See, guys. Alain Vigneault isn't the only coach that does it. It's simply a part of the game.
The team's defense today was horrid, and I think I'm being relatively easy on them by saying that. The way they played probably deserves an expletive-filled rant. At one point in the 1st period, we see a Bieksa-Barker pairing play out exactly the way we would have expected it to. In the 2nd period, a Tanev-Edler pairing which looked completely lost was the victim of two goals successive goals against.
I'm going to shine a light on Bieksa's performance in particular, because his high level of play has been such an important part of this team's success in the past (and will continue to be in the future). He skipped the morning skate before the game as he's clearly nowhere near 100% right now. And it showed in this one. He looked like he was skating out there all willy nilly as if he was high out of his skull on pain killers, or something. It's hard for the Canucks to be successful when he's as big a liability as he has been.
Nicklas Jensen both made his NHL debut in this one after being called up from Chicago on Sunday. He actually got to play with the Sedins for most of the game, logging 17:32 by the time the final whistle was blown. The scoring chance data for him isn't flattering, but I thought for a 1st career NHL game, he was passable. He was able to sustain a cycle with the twins on a few occasions, although none of them actually led to anything. Hopefully he'll be given a reasonable leash before being sent back down, or even worse, demoted to a bottom-six line.
On a positive note, Alex Burrows was fantastic. He was all over the place throughout the entire game, as his partnership with Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen proved to be a successful one. They created both of the goals for the Canucks, and were responsible for nearly every single scoring chance the team had. I actually took issue with the fact that Vigneault refused to reunite Burrows, who was doing everything right, with the Sedins in the closing minutes of the game. I understand the logic behind separating him from them to start the game, and that's fine. But when you're desperately trying to get a game-tying goal, you may want to put your three best players together. Just a thought.
Let's wrap this game recap up with the obligatory Tom Sestito note. On the ice for a goal against, three scoring chances against, while bringing absolutely nothing to the table. Yeah, whatever.
Scoring Chance Data
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 Period||Totals|
|Canucks (EV)||1 (1)||5 (4)||4 (3)||10 (8)|
|Sharks (EV)||6 (6)||6 (5)||5 (3)||17 (14)|
Individual Chance Contributions:
|Individual||Chances Taken||Chances Assisted||Chances Total|
Individual Scoring Chance Differential:
|Individual||EV F - A||PP F - A||SH F - A||Total F - A|