(This photo can’t be from this game, because it assumes there was some sort of action going on)
The title is in vague reference to the four goals that former Vancouver Canuck backup Jason Labarbera allowed in the shootout, beaten on all corners of the map: a shot five-hole, a deke stick side, a deke glove side and a shot stick side. His opposite Roberto Luongo fared only slightly better, who looked good on both of his shootout saves and terribly out of place on the three he allowed along with one that fell off the stick of (former Kamloops Blazer) Shane Doan.
Anyway, we care about more than the shootout. Canucks Army readers care about process, not results. Click past the jump for analysis, the Statistical Three Stars, Three Goats, and Scoring Chance data…
-First, the important bits. Vancouver was outchanced 4-2 with the score-tied at 5 vs. 5, 12-7 overall and, more of a pressing concern, 12-4 at even strength. This game was marred by Dave Tippett’s brutal coaching style which, while successful in leading Phoenix to consecutive seasons in the playoffs without doing a damn thing, is probably the reason why nobody in Arizona, or outside of Arizona, gives a damn about the Phoenix Coyotes.
-This game was awful to watch, which is a pain, because Phoenix has some good players who could succeed in a more up-tempo game. Radim Vrbata, Lauri Korpikoski, Gilbert Brule, Mikkael Boedker, Ray Whitney and Martin Hanzal can skate with the best of them.
-I guess if the system is good enough for Dave Tippett’s mother (who may be the only person to actually watch the Coyotes) it’s good enough for the National Hockey League.
-The Canucks were awful at even strength. The Sedin twins got run over by the dreaded Rostislav Klesla and Oliver Ekman-Larsson defensive pairing, finishing at 1 chance for, 5 against (0 for, 6 against for Alex Burrows) which is their worst performance in quite some time. They also got their sheltering help from Alain Vigneault after an off-game against Calgary, starting 7 shifts in the offensive end versus two in the defensive.
-The sheltering work was done, unsurprisingly, by Manny Malhotra, who managed another offensive zone start (but this time, it was also accompanied by six defensive starts). It looks like Vigneault may tone down a little on his wild deployment methods which may have factored into the Canucks’ horrible run at possession in the past month. He tempered it a lot against Calgary, a possession game the Canucks won, and tempered it a little more tonight, and while the Canucks didn’t win the out-right battle, it was better, because at least they weren’t getting kicked around on defense.
-It was offense the Canucks were having trouble generating. David Booth did his part, barreling through Phoenix defenders on three occasions and scored a goal. After a quick start, taking both Canuck scoring chances in the first period, Cody Hodgson tailed off, despite ex-Canuck-turned-analyst Garry Valk being convinced that Cody Hodgson had moved up to the Canucks’ second line. Really, there would have been no reason for this.
Cody moved up to second line.It’s about time coach v
— Garry Valk (@gvalksportsnet) February 14, 2012
It’s not like Vigneault hasn’t shuffled around his lines a whole bunch lately trying to find the right fit. Whatever Vigneault found, it wasn’t enough. I still don’t understand why people want Hodgson to play more. As good as he’s been in his limited minutes, he has his worst games when he plays the most minutes. So does Alex Edler, and so does Ryan Kesler.
-If we tallied QualCLUTCH for process points, Dan Hamhuis would have racked some up tonight. He took the shot on Vancouver’s last two scoring chances. Hansen took one and set another up, those being the two quick shorthanded chances the Canucks had.
-Oh, yeah, Vancouver’s penalty killing was definitely on a roll tonight, setting up a rush and being flawless defensively. The powerplay for once left a lot to be desired, getting just a single chance.
-Vancouver had only 18 shots at even strength in this one, versus 23 for Phoenix.
-Alexander Edler blocked four shots, apparently, which can be miscontrued as a good thing. He was a minus-three on scoring chance differential.
-After watching the replay of the Phoenix goal in regulation, I determined that the puck hit Bitz and sort of took a change-up through the air. It didn’t hit Sami Salo’s stick or the ice, but bobbled in a way that made it tough for Roberto Luongo to handle.
-Roberto Luongo has to make that save. Other than that miscue and the shootout, he was otherwise rock solid. It also helps that Phoenix missed the net on four of their chances. Vancouver was much less forgiving to LaBarbera, putting 87.5% of their chances on the net to just 66% of Phoenix chances.
-The Yandle goal doesn’t count as a scoring chance, but somehow, somebody will blame Mason Raymond for the minus-one rating he had on the night.
-You’ll note that Radim Vrbata is the second statistical star on the night. There is a reason for this. He’s a fantastic hockey player who has put up a lot of shots in anonymous markets over his career. He’s been rewarded this season with a 16% shooting rate, allowing him 26 goals on the season. He’s well on pace to break the 200-shot barrier again this season, his only time missing it since 2007 was when he played only 18 games in the 2009 season. If you pace out his career stats over 82 games, he’s a 20-goal scorer, which is practically perfect for an anonymous second liner who makes $3M a year.
-Among the three goats who I haven’t discussed, I suppose Raffi Torres’ tenure as a Vancouver Canuck speaks for itself. Also, Taylor Pyatt had a very nice start but was knocked out of the game early on a pair of Aaron Rome collisions. Recent former Canucks were 2/3 on the night, while Adrian Aucoin was nothing special in this one. Neither was Gilbert Brule, another guy that Garry Valk seemed to love.
Statistical Three Stars
- Rostislav Klesla, Phoenix
- Radim Vrbata, Phoenix
- Dan Hamhuis, Vancouver
Statistical Three Goats
- Daniel Sedin, Vancouver
- Henrik Sedin, Vancouver
- Raffi Torres, Phoenix
A scoring chance is any puck clearly directed on-net from within home-plate. Generally speaking, we are willing to be 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.
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20944
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|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|