Burrows celebrates his short-handed goal. I like to think he said to Ryan Jones "nice coverage."
Having whiffed on their first chance to wrest top-spot from the Minnesota Miracles on December 23rd against Calgary, the Canucks came out like guerillas on boxing day and dominated a group of children from Edmonton. Vancouver’s club was energetic and deadly in the first period, as they got two goals from an unlikely source in under-rated possession player Andrew Ebbett, and took advantage of a missed call on Daniel Sedin’s goal on their way to building a three goal lead that was ultimately insurmountable. They also embarrassed Ben Eager in the process, which, is always fun to see!
A more detailed recap, chance data and your statistical three stars after the jump!
– The first Andrew Ebbett goal was a total fluke, though the Canucks were due at this moment in the game. On the power-play that had narrowly preceded the game’s opening tally, Cody Hodgson hit the post so hard that he’s now named Tiger Woods.
– The Daniel Sedin goal was beautiful, though it probably shouldn’t have counted. To create the necessary space for the goal, Daniel tripped Oilers checker Petrell and in doing so took out two Oilers on his way to the slot. It was a missed call, and a costly one for the Oilers, as Daniel Sedin made no mistake on that finish. What a beauty.
– My goal of the game, however, was when Andrew Ebbett proved once again that Ben Eager is kind of a bad hockey player. He beat him on the rush, dove for the puck and got just enough on it to beat the Bulin Wall (who, for what it’s worth was blown up in tonight’s game). The best part, however, is Ben Eager failing to catch up with Ebbett and then driving him into the boards after the fact. What a complete and utter putz.
– Though I love seeing Ben Eager embarrassed, I like seeing Jannik Hansen and Cody Hodgson play together more. Those two are a great fit as line-mates, and both made superb passes to functionally ice the game on Ebbett’s second goal. Hodgson for his part, drew three Oilers to him in the defensive end before sending a clever outlet to Hansen, and Hansen’s pass to Ebbett was magically accurate, like a bullet from a book depository in Dallas.
– One thing I want to mention, on this play Cody Hodgson made a finesse move with the puck in the defensive zone. He made another one in the second period to avoid a Ben Eager check. I loved both of those moves as a fan, but I’ll wager his habit of playing around with the puck in the defensive end drives Vigneault crazy.
– Speaking of wasted space, Darcy Hordichuk got less than a minute of ice-time in last night’s game. Remember when he was talking about how he may have been able to make a difference in the Stanley Cup Final? Hey, stop laughing so hard, there’s no reason to hyperventilate.
– After the first period the Canucks were outshooting the Oilers 13-5 and were out-chancing them 11 to 3. Usually around the holidays the Canucks are charitable towards young people in unfortunate circumstances, but I guess the team made an exception last night.
– In the second period, the Oilers made the game somewhat more interesting than it needed to be as a result of the major penalty and game misconduct assessed to Dale Weise for his hit on Alex Plante. Our best wishes go out to Alex Plante, the Oilers defender who was injured on the play, hopefully he isn’t concussed and won’t miss significant time.
– Though Weise’s hit was a bad one, it probably doesn’t merit a suspension. The way the hit has been discussed however, is pretty ridiculous. We’re so obsessed with Rule 48 (the head shots rule) and the offseason changes to "boarding" that these calls have infected our dialogue about what a penalty is, and what warrants a suspension. In all the coverage I’ve read of this hit everyone seems to be ignoring that Weise wasn’t assessed either of these penalties – he was assessed a charging penalty. What does that mean? Well it means the fact that it was a "shoulder to shoulder" hit or that Plante "turned at the last minute" doesn’t matter at all. What matters is the distance Weise travelled (it was a four strider), and the ferocity of the impact. I doubt he’ll be suspended and he probably shouldn’t be, but the refs got this call right (despite having a generally woeful game).
– The Oilers had seven power-play opportunities, and seven power-play chances last night, including the five minute major, which, they tallied on twice. Both goals were off of rebounds and Luongo had no chance on either goal. The Canucks penalty killers were somewhat of a mixed bag last night, Kesler, Raymond, Edler and Salo were spectacular while Bieksa, Hamhuis, Malhotra, Ballard and Jannik Hansen were atrocious. Hansen cost the Canucks nearly a full goal (by our statistical three stars formula) with his play short-handed last night.
– Luckily Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler sealed the deal by combining on two lovely goals. That the Oilers gave Burrows as much time and space in the slot with the man-advantage is humiliating for the young squad. Renney seemed mad at the referees (and for good reason, they were off last night) but he should’ve been more upset with his team. The Oilers are going to hate to watch this goal on tape today.
– The Kesler goal was a gimme into a wide-open cage that, to his credit, Khabibulin nearly saved. The goal came after a missed hooking call on a Kesler breakaway that should’ve been, and was created off a really smart shot-fake by Burrows. Burrows’ shot-fakes are an under-rated part of his game but they’re extremely effective… Just ask Tim Thomas!
Your Statistical Three Stars:
- Ryan Kesler (monster game, 2 chance assists, +5 EV chance differential, Oilers managed no chances in his nearly 3 and a half minutes of short-handed ice-time).
- Mason Raymond (excellent short-handed, + 10 Fenwick, a chance assist, +3 EV chance differential)
- Sami Salo (2nd on the team in SH TOI, only one chance allowed).
Here are your advanced stat charts, and scoring chances courtesy Vic Ferrari and Timeonice.com.
Scoring Chance Table:
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20526
|VAN||1||11:47||D. Sedin GOAL||1||4||14||22||33||41||35||37||55||57||58||77||5v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|