In the games only bright spot: Zack Kassian didn’t look out of place on the 2nd line.
Roberto Luongo had an awful start to this one, not bailing out the defense that had a shaky start as well, allowing five scoring chances in a little over five minutes. Ville Leino came out of the game swinging and potted a pair in the first four minutes and Brad Boyes got the clincher, a goal that wasn’t counted initially.
David Booth scored a pair and Zack Kassian scored one against his former team to make the score close late, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, as they say. Canucks drop the second game on this extended home stand.
The recap tonight won’t be too long, but we’ll still have the Canucks Army staples: Scoring Chances, the Statistical Three Stars, and, appropriately, the Statistical Three Goats.
-First, the important numbers, the Canucks won the chance battle 20-15, but it was only 15-15 at even strength. Buffalo had the only score-tied even strength chance, which was Ville Leino’s goal 55 seconds into the game. My theory was that Leino needed all the money put up by Christian Ehrhoff for the eventual winning goal, because he was an absolute beast in the game’s pre-natal minutes.
-Much of this game was, of course, score-effect driven. Down by three, the Canucks out-chanced the Sabres 19-8, but Buffalo had the only two chances that came after Kassian’s goal made it 4-3. I don’t count empty-net goals as chances for philosophical reasons (or any empty-net events)
-Winning goal in this much-hyped return of Cody Franchise to Vancouver? Christian Ehrhoff, who played 88 more games, scored 11 more goals, and had 59 more points than Franchise. However, his goal was a fluke bounce off the skate of Aaron Rome and thus wasn’t counted as a scoring chance.
-David Booth played a good second half. Kassian moved up to that line and they really got it going. As for Marc-André Gragnani, he saw some looks on the powerplay. He wasn’t particularly strong at even strength, but I thought that powerplay formation looked pretty good with Gragnani in the middle. The Sedins seemed to be passing across him but his presence made Buffalo think twice about pursuit, and the first unit created three scoring chances in only a small bit of PP time.
-Franchise’s line: 4 chances for, 4 against, 3 shots on goal, 0 chances created, 4 defensive zone starts, 1 in the offensive zone. He was a minus-8 Corsi, but his team was minus-11 thanks to the score, so it’s not bad on him. Vigneault didn’t seem too concerned with him, not giving him a matchup.
-Kassian’s line: 5 chances for, 5 against, 3 shots on goal, 0 chances created, 3 defensive zone starts, 2 offensive zone starts. He was a +3 Corsi, but his team was +11, so I can’t say that he played better than Hodgson in this one, despite the goal and the assist.
-Who am I kidding? Vancouver won the trade. We can obviously tell from here. Also, talking about the trade a lot wasn’t the worst decision that Kevin Weekes made…
What on earth is that?
-Finally, a note on the goaltending: Roberto Luongo had an off-night. Schneider came in and was very sturdy. I’m almost becoming a believer that he’s the guy to keep. Luongo’s contract term had a hand in keeping his cap number down, but I’ll have a hard time being convinced that he’s the guy through 2022 if Schneider keeps having these games.
Statistical Three Stars
- Cory Schneider
- Patrick Kaleta
- Ville Leino
Statistical Three Goats
- Roberto Luongo
- Derek Roy
- Jason Pominville
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 in all of those, because his timeonice.com scripts enable the entire operation.Yes there is an app for this.
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20971
|BUF||1||19:05||BUF G 1-0 Leino||1||5||9||27||29||40||10||23||30||36||42||52||5v5|
|BUF||1||16:16||BUF G 2-0 Leino||1||2||3||14||22||33||3||23||30||36||42||57||5v5|
|BUF||1||14:50||BUF G 3-0 Boyes||1||5||9||27||29||40||10||22||30||37||57||78||5v5|
|VAN||2||4:23||VAN G 1-3 Booth||3||6||7||14||21||35||6||9||10||29||30||5v4|
|VAN||3||16:17||VAN G 2-4 Booth||2||3||7||9||17||35||3||9||26||29||30||57||5v5|
|VAN||3||2:47||VAN G 3-4 Kassian||2||3||7||9||17||35||3||10||23||29||30||42||5v5|
TOTALS (VAN on left, BUF on right)
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|