(Image via CP)
The Vancouver Canucks got off to a terrific start, scoring a little under three minutes in against a potential playoff opponent in the Phoenix Coyotes, before Henrik Sedin broke his scoring slump on a Ryan Kesler powerplay goal a few minutes later. But the Coyotes clawed their way back, and, with the benefit of a bounce or two, eluded poor five-on-five play and a brutal penalty killing performance to win this game 5-4.
This was a fun game to watch, but probably not the result that you’re looking for if you’re a reader of this blog. For more analysis, the Statisical Three Stars, Statistical Three Goats, and scoring chance numbers you can’t get anywhere else, click past the jump…
-We had the chances at 23-15 for the Canucks in this one, though that’s a little deceiving because the Canucks also had 7 chances in 4:35 of powerplay time. At even strength, they were just 15-13, and with the score-tied at 5 on 5, they were 7-3, so this wasn’t too bad of a night for the team. As mentioned above, Phoenix got the benefit of two lucky ones.
-While the Canucks are generally the worse team in the second period, on Wednesday night it was the third period that was giving them fits. They were +7 in the 2nd as a team and -2 in the third as a team. Overall, the net at the zamboni end of the ice saw 22 of the 38 total chances in this one, giving the fans at that end of the ice their money’s worth.
-38 combined chances for the Canucks and Coyotes may seem high, but the last time these two teams met, it was 51. That may have just been Thom a little too high on caffeine pills prior to the start of that one.
-There’s lots to discuss in this one, but I’ll leave a lot of it to the general public in the comments section. I want to talk about First Statistical Star Alex Burrows, who had six shots on goal and eight attempts. He also had five attempts that I recorded as scoring chances and was a +2 playing on the third line, meaning that he didn’t see the prime offensive minutes for the Canucks.
-I need to partially discuss Roberto Luongo. I don’t think he was particularly bad in this one despite the notoriety as the First Statistical Goat. Two goals that went in weren’t recorded as chances, Gilbert Brule’s and Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s. The Larsson goal was a pretty effective screen by Raffi Torres (who had a terrific game, his first against the Canucks this season) that didn’t allow Luongo to see the shot away. Brule, on his goal, got the initial chance and Taylor Pyatt wildly swung at it and it just bounced in off Brule’s body. Pretty unlucky at any rate. He wasn’t as bad as the stats say, but the stats say he was awful. I’m all for giving Cory Schneider a string of starts at this point.
-The Canucks completely dominated puck possession in this one, with 79 shot attempts to Phoenix’s 46. They also had 28 offensive zone face-offs to Phoenix’s 8. The more research I do, shot attempts are very closely correlated with where a team finished its shift, as it indicates pretty solid pressure. In 5 on 5 situations, the Canucks had 64 shot attempts to the Coyotes 42, and got 22 face-offs to 6. Yeah, solid night possession-wise.
-With just six defensive zone draws, the Canucks didn’t really miss Manny Malhotra in this one, giving two to Ryan Kesler and four to Sammy Pahlsson, which is probably as expected.
-But one problem, as mentioned above, was missing the net. Holy moly, Vancouver missed the net on 7 of 23 scoring chance attempts, Phoenix on just 1 of 15. Considering you score a goal every 4 or 5 attempts, the Canucks probably left one out there on the ice tonight by not controlling their shots.
-Two chances created by Raffi Torres (Daymond Langkow and David Schlemko) were the only two for Phoenix. Vancouver moved the puck very well, with chances created from Henrik Sedin (3) Daniel Sedin (2), Marc-André Gragnani, David Booth, Chris Tanev, Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins, Mason Raymond, Dale Weise and Jannik Hansen for a total of 13, which is outrageous considering we normally see about 6 or 7 a game.
-You see that Dale Weise had a “chance created”. It was that tip forward to Kevin Bieksa at the end of the second period. He changed shortly thereafter so wasn’t credited with the “plus” on the play, which was funny.
-One of those chances created by Henrik Sedin was a thing of beauty to Ryan Kesler.
-They gave the first star to Ray Whitney in the building. Ray Whitney was not involved in a single scoring chance for Phoenix, but he did get three assists. In conclusion, the “official” Three Stars are pretty much Statistical Three Stars, they just use worse numbers. They got Burrows and Vermette right, however, who were 2 and 3.
-In closing, this doesn’t feel like a loss, but it was one. Just a couple of bad bounces that will even themselves out in the end. Process-wise, I wouldn’t worry too much if I’m a Canucks fan.
Statistical Three Stars
- Alexandre Burrows, Vancouver
- Antoine Vermette, Phoenix
- Raffi Torres, Phoenix
Statistical Three Goats
- Roberto Luongo, Vancouver
- Boyd Gordon, Phoenix
- Lauri Korpikoski, Phoenix
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 21050
|VAN||1||17:42||VAN G 1-0 Burrows||1||2||8||14||26||36||6||8||13||33||41||50||5v5|
|VAN||1||10:21||VAN G 2-0 Kesler||1||14||17||22||23||33||15||16||23||28||41||5v4|
|PHX||1||8:38||PHX G 1-2 Klesla||1||3||21||22||23||33||13||16||23||28||41||50||5v5|
|PHX||1||3:40||PHX G 2-2 Doan||1||2||3||9||22||33||3||13||19||32||41||50||5v5|
|VAN||2||7:38||VAN G 3-3 Booth||1||3||6||7||20||21||15||23||28||32||41||5v4|
|PHX||3||18:22||PHX G 5-3 Vermette||1||2||8||26||36||3||13||19||23||41||50||4v5|
|VAN||3||7:49||VAN G 4-5 Hamhuis||1||2||7||8||22||33||16||19||22||23||37||41||5v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|