The entire tenure of Gary Bettman can be summed up in the fact that the Vancouver Canucks got a point tonight. They had no business being in this game, no business winning this game, and yet still took it to a shootout and escape with what amounts to half a victory in this warped system the NHL has created for itself.
For analysis, scoring-chance breakdown and the Statistical Three Stars, click past the jump.
-First, the basics: Detroit won the chance battle 17-11 tonight, 13-9 at even strength and, most importantly, 11-2 with the score tied at even strength. Mason Raymond’s goal did not qualify as a chance.
-Before anybody so much THINKS of suggesting that there was shot quality involved in this one, let me know if you were counting quality shots, because I was, and this game should never have been a question. But the Canucks managed two late tying goals thanks to the respective ineptitude of Drew Miller and Brad Stuart.
-The only reason the Canucks got a point tonight was because Roberto Luongo stopped 40 of 43, for a .930 overall save percentage on the night. He gets the quality start, and I can see it on Team 1040 callers and HFBoards tomorrow, people questioning Luongo’s ability in the shootout. At this point, you are reaching.
-Johan Franzen was probably the best Detroit Red Wing tonight. He tied teammate Ian White with a game-high 9 shot attempts, registering 3 scoring chances and 4 shots on net. He also set up a few on Detroit’s side but I gave up counting created chances by the opposition about halfway through the first when I realized that I’m too blind to see jersey numbers on Detroit’s side, and the hometown broadcast was more interested in talking about cheddar cheese and showing old photos of John Shorthouse instead of calling the game.
-This was a historic night in hockey, by the way. I’d be remiss to note that Sam Gagner tied an Edmonton Oilers record for points in a game with 8. With four goals and four assists, he moves alongside Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey as the only Oilers to ever do that. Also, this was the worst broadcasted game in the history of hockey. Impressive feat from both Gagner and the home town broadcasters on what’s-that-station.
-To the eye, Ryan Kesler was the best Canuck skater. He had 7 shot attempts, tied with Edler for the team lead, but got 4 of them on goal, 5 individual scoring chances, and a goal. A close second was Christopher Higgins, who sat this one out.
-Midway through the second period, the Canucks had drawn just 1 offensive zone start against 10 for Detroit. This led to Manny Malhotra taking defensive zone faceoffs in the stead of Daniel Sedin, who sat those ones out. In a stunning twist of fate, late in the game, Vancouver’s top line consisted of Henrik Sedin-Alex Burrows-Cody Hodgson, effectively meaning that Hodgson took Malhotra’s job as the Canucks’ first line right wing.
-Overall, Detroit won the offensive faceoff battle 20-9. The only Canuck who finished with more offensive than defensive starts? David Booth. Henrik and Burrows were forced to take a bunch early on, and there just weren’t enough starts around to shelter Daniel well enough. Even Cody Hodgson, who hasn’t been so much sheltered lately as he has been under a social housing plan, had to register three defensive zone starts.
-Alain Vigneault matched his top defensive pairing of Kevin Bieksa-Dan Hamhuis up against Detroit’s top scoring line centred by Henrik Zetterberg, learning from his folly after sending Alex Edler-Sami Salo to the wolves against Jonathan Toews 48 hours before. The pair finished minus-1 and minus-2 respectively, which isn’t so bad, especially after they both had minus-3 deficits (scoring chance-wise) after the opening 20.
-Salo and Edler got killed on the penalty kill in that first shift of the third period. Malhotra and Jannik Hansen were unfortunate to be out for that one, too. Hamhuis and Bieksa were perfect a man down.
-Wait, Jannik Hansen was a minus-17 in Corsi? Ouch.
-I don’t know what else to take away from this game. This was a pretty bum effort all around.
STATISTICAL THREE STARS
1 – Roberto Luongo – Duh
2 – Henrik Sedin – Apparently. He kept a very low-event game playing some defensive situations. Probably his best defensive game in quite some time.
3 – Dan Hamhuis – I didn’t notice this at first until I ran the numbers, but Hamhuis played 3:35 on the PK without allowing a scoring chance against. He was also minus-1 against very tough competition.
A scoring chance is counted anytime a team directs a puck clearly on-net from within home-plate. Generally speaking, we are more generous with the boundaries of home-plate based on dangerous puck movement if it immediately precedes the scoring chance, or if the scoring chance is screened. If you want to get a visual handle on home-plate, check this image. Big thanks to Vic Ferrari whose timeonice.com scripts enable this entire operation.
NHL Game Number 20760
|DET||1||14:34||DET G 1-0 Cleary||1||2||3||9||14||27||11||18||20||35||43||52||5v5|
|VAN||1||3:48||VAN G 1-1 Kesler||1||6||7||17||21||23||13||23||35||44||55||93||5v5|
|DET||2||6:09||DET G 2-1 Hudler||1||6||9||23||27||36||23||26||35||40||51||55||5v5|
|VAN||3||9:51||VAN G 2-2 Burrows||1||2||14||29||36||40||4||11||20||35||43||52||5v5|
|DET||3||7:56||DET G 3-2 Miller||1||2||9||21||29||40||4||11||20||35||43||52||5v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|