"You stole those two points for your team, Antti."
Here’s the question if you’re a Canucks fan: would you rather see your team play a thrilling game in which they dominate, only to have them eventually lose, or would you prefer to see them squeek out a forgettable yawner and take home the two points?
For me, personally, it’s the former; every single day of the week, and twice on this particular night. Especially when you’re talking about a regular season game in March, shortened season or no shortened season.
The Vancouver Canucks wound up losing to the San Jose Sharks in a shootout on Tuesday night, yet it’s nearly impossible to fault the process that they put forth. They should have won this game, and if they continue to play like this, more often than not they will.
Read on Past the Jump for the Scoring Chance Data, and Analysis.
That was fun, wasn’t it? The two teams came out guns a’blazing, combining for 8 scoring chances in as many minutes to start the game. As you’ll notice if you scroll down to the bottom, the Canucks did in fact wind up out-chancing their opposition. But given the way they played, you would have figured that it would be by a wider margin. They out-shot them 38-30, and dominated in the puck possession game for large chunks of it. The result wasn’t necessarily there, but that’ll happen every once in a while. Playing the way that they did is a recipe for success if they can maintain it going forward.
I am loving what the Canucks currently have working up front. Obviously you know what you’ll get from the Sedins, but the Higgins-Raymond-Hansen line was once again a force. They generated 6 scoring chances, and buried the goal that wound up getting the Canucks a point on this night.
The combination of Zack Kassian and David Booth were not to be outdone, generating a few quality chances of their own. Booth was flying out there, and Kassian did a good job of getting him the puck. Now I’d just like to see what they’d be able to do with a legitimate center between them, like perhaps, a Ryan Kesler. I’m as big a Max Lapierre supporter as there is out there, but he’s out of his depth right now.
The biggest concern coming out has to be the team’s power play, which failed to get anything resembling dangerous action going on 4 of their 5 opportunities. And they gave up a shorthanded goal to Adam Burish of all people in the 2nd, to boot.
But at the end of the day almost none of that mattered as their man advantage late in the 3rd was a thing of beauty. They kept the Sharks hemmed in for the full two minutes, displayed tremendous puck movement, and peppered Antti Niemi with quality chances. I’m still not quite sure how they didn’t score, frankly. You’ve got to give it up to Niemi; he was clearly the 1st star, and was up to the task all night long.
Let’s finish off with a few rapid fire notes before we get to the chance totals:
-Dale Weise and Tom Sestito generated a 2-on-1, on which they failed to register a shot on net. Let’s just say no one will be mistaking them for the Sedins any time soon.
-Fans of the team are irrational about Alex Edler as is, but he nearly played an integral part in injuring both Henrik Sedin (with a slapshot from the point) and Chris Tanev (with a sloppy turnover which forced Tanev to block a shot that appeared to sting him).
-Speaking of the team’s defense, Jason Garrison and Dan Hamhuis were once again sparkling. Am I crazy or are the Garrison doubters getting less and less vocal? Now if he could just find his way back onto that top power play unit..
-Keith Ballard left the game with what was termed a "lower body injury". I’m no doctor, but I think this will make it even tougher for him to sneak out of Alain Vigneault’s doghouse.
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. 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||Overtime||Totals|
|Sharks (EV)||4 (3)||2 (0)||4 (4)||3 (3)||13 (10)|
|Canucks (EV)||6 (6)||5 (4)||7 (1)||1 (1)||19 (12)|
And here’s the individual chance data for the Canucks skaters:
|Individual||Chances Taken||Chances Assisted||Chances Total|