After ending the longest home winning streak in NHL history on Thursday, the Vancouver Canucks turned it around instantly on Friday to visit another tough opponent in the New Jersey Devils. After withstanding a couple of early chances, the Canucks got a goal from an unlikely candidate—Aaron Rome—to open the scoring and then got the winner off of Mason Raymond’s stick in the second while goaltender Cory Schneider held the Canucks in it despite a barrage of quality shots off New Jersey sticks.
For a full recap and scoring chance numbers, click past the jump:
-We start tonight as usual with the basic numbers. It was a wild 21-7 chance differential for New Jersey tonight, taking it to the Canucks over the second and third periods. It was 18-6 for the Devils at even strength, putting puck after puck from close range on Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider. However, with the score tied at 5-on-5, the chance differential was an even 2-2. This probably wasn’t the blowout that the statistics say it was, but the Canucks are generally a good hockey team when up by one. Tonight wasn’t that night.
-Two of the three statistical stars were from the same line: Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise ran roughshod over the Canucks defense all night, running their totals over the ill-fated Alexander Edler-Andrew Alberts defensive pairing which didn’t have an answer. Kovalchuk had six shot attempts, five on goal, three of them scoring chances and set up three more. Parise had a wild night, with 12 shot attempts, seven of them on net, and an astounding eight of them counted for chances. He didn’t set up any, but he was a force all night.
-The third statistical star was a tie, but we gave the nod to Cory Schneider, who began the game with a stop off Ilya Kovalchuk 20 seconds in off a faceoff and robbed Kovalchuk again right up in close midway through the frame. The only puck that beat him was a horrible bounce off the skate of David Clarkson which wasn’t rung up as a scoring chance. He was tied on our spreadsheets with Adam Henrique who had the benefit of playing on a line with Parise and Kovalchuk, but it was apparent watching this game who really dominates the offense on that team. Henrique had a modest three shots at goal, but neither was recorded as a chance. He did, however, set up Kovalchuk once and Parise once, very Brendan Morrison-esque.
-The best Canuck skater? Chris Tanev, if you can believe it. He picked up his first point of the season and had his first two shots on goal. He was also given an assisted chance on the opportunity that directly preceded his actual assist on an Aaron Rome goal. In fact, Tanev and Rome were the second pairing used against Kovalchuk on this night. They played five shifts against New Jersey’s star forward at even strength and surrendered a single scoring chance against.
-There’s just something about Tanev. When he is on the ice, the play is pushed towards the other end.
-The Canucks shuffled their forward lines around a bunch during this game. Chris Higgins saw time again at Ryan Kesler’s wing, but this time Jannik Hansen spent some time on the other side. This left David Booth to play with Cody Hodgson and Mason Raymond. Higgins and Kesler were mildly effective, but they were helped by playing some perfect shorthanded minutes. In fact, Higgins nearly sealed it late in the second period with a shorthanded chance that rung off the cross bar and out.
-Martin Brodeur could have used the help of another post tonight. Mason Raymond’s goal was ugly, coming from well out without any significant bodies in front of the net. This one also wasn’t recorded as a chance, and Brodeur didn’t get a chance to redeem himself later in the game. In fact, just five Canuck scoring chances hit the net in this one, Brodeur managing to stop just four. He was about as busy as his backup Johan Hedberg in this one.
-Former Canuck Steve Bernier had a pretty good game, but his linemate Dainius Zubrus was also star-calibre in this one. Zubrus set up four scoring chances; two of them went to Steve Bernier, but Bernier was foiled by Schneider on both attempts.
-If you want a bit of a picture of the dominance by New Jersey in this one, in the first period, 10 draws were taken in the Canucks’ zone and 1 in the Devils’. In the second, that advantage jumped up to 19-2. The final tally was 25-5. If the Canucks didn’t win 69% of the draws tonight, that sort of sluggish play would have cost the Canucks a goal or two.
-But maybe not. Did I mention how good Schneider was in this one? Of the 17 scoring chances that Schneider had to stop, he got all of them.
STATISTICAL THREE STARS
- Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey (+9 scoring chances, 21:58 time on ice at EV)
- Zach Parise (+8 scoring chances, 12 shot attempts)
- Cory Schneider (30/31 on shots, 27/28 on shots at even strength, 17/17 scoring chances)
STATISTICAL THREE GOATS
- Alexander Edler, Vancouver (-7 scoring chances, 1 chance given up in :07 of PK time)
- Andrew Alberts, Vancouver (We find this goat to be self-evident)
- Kevin Bieksa, Vancouver (-6 scoring chances, beat in possession by David Clarkson)
A chance is counted any time a team directs a shot cleanly on-net from within home-plate. Shots on goal and misses are counted, but blocked shots are not (unless the player who blocks the shot is “acting like a goaltender”). Generally speaking, we are more generous with the boundaries of home-plate if there is dangerous puck movement immediately preceding the scoring chance, or if the scoring chance is screened. If you want to get a visual handle on home-plate, check this image. A big thank you to Vic Ferrari is in order, as his timeonice.com scripts enable the entire operation. Yes, there is an app for this.
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20908
|VAN||1||11:16||VAN G 1-0 Rome||8||14||17||20||29||35||8||12||18||21||30||32||5v5|
TOTALS (Vancouver on left, New Jersey on right)
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|