The Los Angeles Kings celebrate their third period, game tying goal.
The Kings advanced in overtime, and will advanced to the second round for the first time in a decade.
(Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
"There’s always next year" Canucks fans.
Yes, it’s the worst day of the year – the day after Vancouver is eliminated from the postseason. For forty odd years, without fail, Canucks fans have mourned the passing of another season on some day in the Spring. We’ve gnashed our teeth, and hung our heads, and contemplated the grim possibility of slipping our mortal coils without seeing a Canucks captain hoist Lord Stanley’s Mug.
Last year, the Canucks lost in game seven of the Stanley Cup Final and expectations were high this year. The Canucks, however, down 3-1 in their preliminary round series, were unable to hold onto a one goal lead and were buried by the Kings over the final twenty-five minutes of play. The result? A longer summer than the Canucks and their fans have gone through since 2008.
Click past the jump for a thorough recap, analysis, scoring chance data and the statistical three stars!
– We’ll begin as always with the most important numbers. The Canucks were out-chanced by the Kings 30-21 overall, in game five. At even-strength, the Kings managed 26 scoring chances to the Canucks 16 and with the score-tied, the Kings handled proceedings, recording 15 scoring chances, to the Canucks 6. With their backs against the wall in game five, the Canucks were out-played by an LA Kings team that thoroughly deserved to advance.
– The game was extremely close in the opening twenty-minutes, with the Canucks holding a slight edge in play at five-on-five. The Kings got an early power-play and ran the same set play three times, feeding Drew Doughty on the edge of home-plate for three straight one timers. One was blocked, while the other two were scoring chances. The Kings puck movement eventually set up a scrambly scoring chance in the slot, but Schneider was equal to the task (as he was all evening.)
– The Canucks drew first blood on the power-play when Daniel Sedin sent a beauty saucer pass to his brother Henrik for the a tap-in into the empty net. The Sedins struggled mightily over the games final twenty minutes, but through the first two periods they looked excellent – especially with the man-advantage. The Canucks anemic power-play was a major reason the team found themselves down 3-0 in the series, and while the Kings penalty-killing is good, if games four and five are any indication: a healthy Daniel would’ve likely given Vancouver the edge in special teams in ths series. I’m still convinced that the Kings edge in possession play and in net would’ve triumphed, even had Daniel Sedin been available for every game in the series, but the Canucks needed their power-play to click to have any shot against a tough first round opponent. Without him, they were dead in the water.
– It’s the last goal the Canucks will score this season, so we might as well watch it again. Remember to curse Duncan Keith’s name under your breath as Henrik taps the gimme past Quick!
– Jeff Carter’s defensive zone coverage on that goal is pretty unbelievable/hilarious.
– In the second period, the Canucks had ample opportunity to build on their one goal lead, recording 14 chances in the frame. From an offensive perspective it was Vancouver’s best period of the series, and their inability to beat Jonathan Quick on any of their chances is the reason they’re no longer alive in the NHL playoffs. In particular, Quick made lovely saves off of Jannik Hansen on a two-on-one late in the period (Hansen then sent the rebound wide) and on Daniel Sedin on a breakaway with two minutes left in the second period. The Canucks needed to capitalize on one of those chances…
– In the third period, and overtime it was men among boys, as the Kings completely pulverized the Canucks. Over the final 24 and a half minutes, the Kings recorded 16 scoring chances to Vancouver’s 4. With the Canucks season on the line – the team blew a total flat. That’s a tough pill to swallow.
-Drew Doughty didn’t have the best series by the numbers, but what a beauty play he made on Brad Richardson’s game tying goal. He made Keith Ballard and Schneider look foolish with his slow developing rush wide, and made a picture perfect back-hander into the crease for the Richardson tap in. Lovely stuff.
– The Canucks top-line was brutal at even-strength last night, especially in the third period. It almost appears to me that Vigneault stopped line-matching, and while that’s assuredly not the case, he definitely didn’t hard-match against any Kings line. The hardest matchup looks to me to have been between the two fourth-lines and between Kesler and Stoll. The Kings fourth-line bested Vancouver’s and Kesler lost his matchup against the Stoll line. Meanwhile Henrik posted a -9 even-strength chance differential, Daniel was -5 and Booth was -6 playing primarily against Kopitar and Richards. Ouch.
– The success of Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis at turning pucks the other way, and controling the game against top-comp was an essential component in Vancouver’s run to the finals last season. Throughout this series, they didn’t look up to the task. There’s some scuttlebutt floating around about Kevin Bieksa playing through a broken foot, which, makes some sense – certainly he didn’t have a particularly good series. How oddly painful it is, as well, to have the club’s steadiest defenseman make such a bone-headed puckhandling error that directly resulted in Stoll’s eliminator tally…
– On the bright side, Samme Pahlsson’s checking line had their best game of the series. Also Maxim Lapierre was excellent against all odds. While the team was being out-chanced 4:1 over the final twenty-five minutes, Lapierre somehow managed to be on the ice for three of Vancouver’s four chances, and none of Los Angeles’. We’re left to wonder why he didn’t get a shot: as the teams third line center in this series…
Statistical Three Stars
- Jonathan Quick
- Cory Schneider
- Jordan Nolan
Statistical Three Goats
- Henrik Sedin
- Kevin Bieksa
- Dan Hamhuis
Scoring Chance Data
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.
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 30155
Chance Totals (Canucks on the left, Kings on the right).
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