Shootouts are boring and gimmicky, but Vancouver clearly outplayed an opponent and, despite being not rewarded, they got some good performances in a 3-2 defeat to the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome on Saturday night.
For a full recap, with the Statistical Three Stars, Statistical Three Goats (New Feature!!!) and a Scoring Chance Summary, follow me after the jump…
-Basics, here. The chances tonight were grabbed by Kent Wilson over at Flames Nation, but we made a couple of modifications, so our count differs slightly from the one you’d see at FN. 6-5 were the scoring chances at score-tied 5 vs. 5 in favour of the Canucks, and they took it 16-8 at even strength and 20-10 overall, with some heavy scoring effects coming into play after the Canucks fell down by two before the game was three beers old.
-Let’s start with the shootout. As we learned Thursday, Alain Vigneault made the right decision to go with the Two Alexes Burrows and Edler in the first two rounds of the shootout. The two performed and delivered a goal to send the shootout into the later round. From there, Vigneault chose Mason Raymond (career 30% shooter, essentially replacement level) over Cody Hodgson, a career 33% shooter and Maxim Lapierre, a career 43%. Small samples for those two, sure, but over 20 shots a good amount to judge, we know that Raymond isn’t any better than a replacement player on the shootout.
-That said, Raymond played a terrific game. Who knows if that’s the criteria Vigneault uses for the shootout (although he’s definitely a Canucks Army reader. On Thursday we suggested that the Canucks need to go with Edler and Burrows first in the shootout) but Raymond earned a spot, although since the odds are stacked against the shooter, you’re more likely providing cannon fodder for fans. Raymond did not take to the ice for a single Calgary scoring chance, but was on for seven for. He looked dangerous shooting and was the only player who looked comfortable during the brief 3-on-3 overtime situation.
-Alain Vigneault really mixed up his zone opportunities in this game. For the first time in a while, Manny Malhotra was sent out onto the ice for more offensive zone face-offs than defensive zone face-offs. This threw us all for a loop, but the strategy appeared to work out, as no Canuck was buried on the shot clock.
-However, not many Canucks saw extra defensive zone time. The Canucks controlled possession, creating a lot of offensive zone draws: 20-to-10 was the final score in that department, with only Cody Hodgson, Maxim Lapierre and Mike Duco earning more defensive than offensive starts. Hm. Maybe Hodgson is taking Malhotra’s job after all. Hodgson played very well in a sheltering role, keeping a +5 Corsi rating, scoring a goal, and keeping the top forward he faced, Krys Kolanos, off the scoreboard (okay, that’s a stretch).
-I started watching this one about halfway through. I don’t think I saw Luongo make a save for at least a period’s worth of time. Luongo was dispensably average Saturday, stopping just 16 of 18 shots, which earns him a quality start somehow, but he probably cost the Canucks a point in this one, looking bleak in the shootout. Maybe the Canucks’ reliance on him for the last few weeks is over and he’s about to slump, or maybe this is just a two-game slide, because the Canucks outplayed Nashville on Tuesday, but they also only made it to the shootout in that one.
-Luongo may not have “lost” the game, but Miikka Kiprusoff at the other end certainly won it. When was the last time a Calgary goalie out-duelled a Vancouver goalie? He robbed Henrik Sedin of the go-ahead goal just after David Booth had tied it and made 29 saves off of 31 shots, and 12 of the 14 Canuck scoring chances that hit the net.
-The busier Canuck shooters from inside the perimeter? Henrik Sedin (four chances) and David Booth (three chances, and the tying goal). Calgary’s Tanguay also took three on his own, and had a beauty flip pass to Jarome Iginla with 2:08 on the clock, forcing Luongo to make his toughest save on the night.
-Finally, the little Bitz of magic the Canucks had from their fourth line cult hero was not there Saturday night.
Statistical Three Stars
- Mason Raymond, Vancouver
- Alexander Edler, Vancouver
- Ryan Kesler, Vancouver
Statistical Three Goats
- Jay Bouwmeester, Calgary
- Chris Butler, Calgary
- Tom Kostopoulos, Calgary
Scoring Chance Summary
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20826
|CGY||1||2:37||CGY G 1-0 Cammalleri||1||3||7||14||17||23||5||10||11||23||34||93||5v5|
|VAN||2||2:05||VAN G 2-1 Hodgson||1||9||23||29||40||79||6||7||16||18||34||57||5v5|
|VAN||3||11:56||VAN G 2-2 Booth||1||2||3||7||17||21||10||23||34||44||51||93||5v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|