You just felt like you were being punched in the face while watching this game; Dale Weise actually did.
In what was the first game back home following an uneven road trip, the Vancouver Canucks fell to the Phoenix Coyotes by a score of 4-2. We all know what type of game the Yotes like to play; a low-event, risk-free brand of hockey. Given the way their roster is assembled, it’s a necessity for them if they have any hope of succeeding.
What we saw on Tuesday night was what will often happen when the other team obliges them in playing that sort of game, succumbing to their style. I’ll give you a hint: it’s not pretty.
Read on Past the Jump for Scoring Chance Data, and Analysis.
Let me start off by saying that while there’s no doubting the fact that this game made for terrible television, I am in no way complaining about having "had" to watch it. It’s a big pet peeve of mine when I look at my Twitter timeline and see beat writers throwing themselves a pity party (though Minnesota Wild-Calgary Flames games usually justify it). I view it as a pretty darn awesome privilege that we get to watch hockey, write about it, and hopefully have our work spark an intelligent discussion amongst our readers. I’m never going to be genuinely bitter about spending a few hours watching a hockey game. I may make a joke about it, but I won’t actually mean it.
With all that being said, this was quite the snoozer. In total there were 19 scoring chances, and only 10 of those came in the final 40 minutes. I had a fellow Army compadre of mine – fine, it was Patrick Johnston, now stop badgering me! – message me during the 1st intermission wondering if there were even 5 total chances in the opening 20. He said he was bored. And somehow, as it progressed, the game went downhill from there.
The Canucks got lucky on an early Coyotes man advantage, as Cory Schneider (along with his trusty friend, the post) foiled what were two grade-A for the opposition. Unfortunately, when you keep sending Andrew Alberts out onto the ice, you tend to push your luck. The first goal of the game came on a play where a combination of matador defense by Alberts and Ballard, and a beautifully executed pick and roll by
Steve Nash and A’mare Stoudemire Phoenix freed Kyle Chipchura up for the easiest goal of his life (other than, you know, his empty netter that sealed it).
Andrew Alberts was really bad tonight. I’m not trying to make him into the scapegoat with the usual casualty currently on the shelf, but man, he’s not good. However, he did have 2 blocked shots and 2 hits, so hey, he must be gritty.
Speaking of grit, toughness, and heart, how about that Shane Doan? He logged 16:43, was on the ice for a goal against, and had no points or shots on goal to his name. I actually forgot that he was playing in this game, until I looked on my timeline and was reminded of that dreadful #doaner hashtag. I’m sure he’s not too upset about not being that all that good anymore, though, because he has 21.2 million reasons to smile.
I thought that the Canucks outplayed the Coyotes rather thoroughly in the 2nd frame, even if the chance totals didn’t necessarily reflect it. They were dangerous, and they were clearly the better team. Yet sometimes in hockey, the puck takes funny bounces and weird things happen as a result. That was the case on the Yotes 2nd goal, as a ridiculous bounce off of Max Lapierre went right to Mikkel Boedker. To be fair, the wicked wrister that followed was worthy of a goal.
I thought that Jason Garrison played one of his better games of the season in this one. It’s probably not a coincidence that it came with his move to the right-side, where he found so much success last season. He still seems a little gun shy occasionally, and that split second of hesitation is getting him into trouble. But I was a big fan of the patience he showed on his 3rd goal of the season; instead of putting his head down and firing the puck as hard as he could into a defender’s shin pads, he waited for the shooting lane to open before releasing. And while he’s known for his cannon from the point, this time around he took a little something off of the shot to ensure it got through. It was a nice adjustment from the bearded one, who clearly showed that the confidence gained from winning an Oscar translates onto the ice, too.
The following are my notes on the goal that made it 3-1, and you’ll notice that they are fairly succint: "Edler.. ugh." Hard to blame him though, because stopping someone from waltzing right around you en route to a goal is so last year. Get with the times, guys.
My final note on this game will be on the referees, who weren’t very good. The Canucks were hurt on a few different occasions by the decision-making that came from the zebras. The "diving" penalty on Daniel in the 2nd period was horrendous, and simply wrong. I don’t know what else to say except that it wasn’t the right call. The same goes for seemingly everything that had to do with Alex Burrows, as I marked down two different instances where he was clearly interfered with, and that’s not including the time he was punched in the face.
I thought the Canucks were the better team (even if just by a small margin) on this night, so they definitely could have won, but I don’t think that the reason they lost was because of the officiating. That’s such a lame excuse. Maybe they should have played a little bit better.
There are some positives to be taken from this, though, because at least the Canucks get three full days off now. This will allow us to dissect the team to death in a misguided attempt to figure out what’s wrong with them. Oh, wait. That’s not a positive at all..
Scoring Chance Data
A reminder for those of you new to reading our site: a scoring chance is counted any time a team directs a shot cleanly on-net from within home-plate (here’s an image of "home-plate"; so you can get a visual definition). 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.
Here’s the total scoring chance data:
|1st Period||2nd Period||3rd Period||Totals|
|Coyotes (EV)||5 (3)||2 (2)||2 (2)||9 (7)|
|Canucks (EV)||4 (3)||3 (3)||3 (3)||10 (9)|
And here’s the individual chance data for the Canucks skaters:
|Individual||Chances Taken||Chances Assisted||Chances Total|