(Image courtesy of Nucks Misconduct – Couldn’t resist)
The Vancouver Canucks stuck it to CBC, scheduling an afternoon affair in Vancouver against the San Jose Sharks, for their third Western Final rematch since Christmas. It was their last game of the season against the perennial playoff contenders, finishing the season series at 3-0-1 over their Pacific rivals with a 4-3 win with a lucky goal from Cody Hodgson in the game’s waning minutes. After a pretty slow affair, the pace picked up for the third period and the team’s played to a pretty entertaining finish.
For more in-depth analysis, scoring chance numbers, and the statistical three stars, click past the jump…
-First off, the important numbers: the Canucks won the score-tied, even-strength scoring chance battle 8-3, won it overall at even strength 14-7, and won 14-9 overall. The Canucks dominated 5 vs. 5 this afternoon, but thanks to some shaky goaltending at either end, a poor special team’s game and a few missed nets, the score was probably closer than it should have been.
-Both teams fired six pucks on net for scoring chances. The Canucks scored on two of them (David Booth’s goal and Hodgson’s second goal didn’t count as chances). Neither Roberto Luongo or Antti Niemi got blown up, but neither recorded a quality start, either. Not the best way for Luongo to take over the all-time team record in wins.
-Hoo, man, did Cody have a game or did Cody have a game? Of course, Alain Vigneault kept his minutes to 10:10, and Hodgson responded, scoring two goals (albeit one was a total fluke), setting up two scoring chances and getting 4 shot attempts, all of them on net. He didn’t have to play a lot of defense, either, on the ice for 23 Corsi events (goals, shots, misses, blocks) 14 of them were directed at Niemi.
-The Canucks’ leaders in Corsi were the Sedin twins. Daniel was a +15 in Corsi. He also had 9 shot attempts, but no member of the line was above a +2 in scoring chances. The rebounds and bounces, which usually turn those Corsi events into scoring chances, weren’t there for the Sedins today, but at least they kept the play out of their own end.
-The second line was buzzing all game. David Booth didn’t set up any chances on his own like he usually does, but him, Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins were +5, +4, +3 in scoring chances. Kesler had the go-ahead goal late in the third period that could have held up as the winner if Alex Edler and Chris Tanev hadn’t been caught in their own end at the end of the game.
-I like Edler, but he was observably the weak link in the second pairing today, which sort of brought down my ChrisT.mas buzz. It was Tanev’s first game since October, and he played a relatively low-event game as a foil to the tempo usually plays. I didn’t think the pairing really worked out, up against Joe Thornton, Tanev obviously doesn’t have the physical attributes to win that matchup.
-The pairing did open up Keith Ballard and Aaron Rome to play against San Jose’s depth guys. Check your charts—they ran right over them, and Ballard took off Joe Pavelski for five minutes with a fight at the end of the second period.
-Manny Malhotra was on the ice to start 11 shifts. 3 of them were neutral zone draws, 8 of them were defensive zone draws. At the other end, Alex Burrows started none of his 13 shifts in the defensive end.
-Another Cody Hodgson stat: he won 5 of 8 faceoffs.
The Statistical Three Stars:
1 – Cody Hodgson (+5 scoring chance differential, 4 shots, 2 chances created)
2 – Ryan Kesler (+4 scoring chances, 3 shots, 0 chances against in 1:05 penalty kill time)
3 – David Booth (+5 scoring chances, two shots, 2 chances against in 16:07 of ice time)
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20701
|SJS||1||4:07||S.J G 1-1 Couture||1||2||3||7||9||20||3||31||39||69||88||5v4|
|SJS||2||18:55||S.J G 2-1 Couture||1||21||23||27||29||8||12||19||22||31||39||4v5|
|VAN||2||15:31||VAN G 2-2 Hodgson||1||4||9||21||29||36||10||22||26||31||43||44||5v5|
|VAN||3||5:50||VAN G 3-2 Kesler||1||2||3||7||17||20||17||22||26||31||44||64||5v5|
|SJS||3||5:14||S.J G 3-3 Boyle||1||8||14||20||23||33||3||8||19||22||31||69||5v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|