Canucks Get Down on One Knee, Chug Sugary Vodka Based Beverage

Mason Raymond takes a penalty. I guess the refs didn’t realize that all Ducks must get iced in Vancouver.
Photograph by Jeff Vinnick NHLI/Getty

You know when you’re looking for the good frying pan in the cupboard, but instead you find a 500 mililitre jug of Smirnoff Ice that your bro hid, and so you have to chug it while everyone laughs? Odds are you don’t live in a frat house and haven’t actually experienced the rather specific situation I’m referring too, but it sucks, and it’s old hat, and in that way a lot like Thursday night’s Canucks game.

The Canucks were listless through forty minutes, with Ryan Kesler going so far as to call the club’s effort in the first two periods "embarrassing." I wouldn’t call it embarrassing because, who really cares? It was game forty-seven, there’s really nothing for the Canucks to play for, they lost a one goal game that was decided by a softy and no one got hurt. So it was a crummy effort and a really dull game, but lets approach it the same way both teams did: it’s just not a big deal.

Read past the jump.

– By the scoring chance data, not to mention the final score, the Canucks didn’t measure up against an Anaheim team that played pretty much none of their good players except for Corey Perry, Andrew Cogliano, Francois Beauchemin and Daniel Winnik. Sure the Canucks out-chanced the Ducks twelve to eleven overall, and the two teams recorded ten scoring chances each at even-strength, but with the score tied Anaheim handled the Canucks with eight scoring chances to just three for the Canucks. In other words, the result was never really in doubt.

– The Andrew Ebbett, Zack Kassian, Keith Ballard franken-line put together, quite possibly, the worst single game from any Canucks line all season. Granted that group spent about five minutes of ice-time against the Cogliano, Winnik line and started a vast majority of their shifts in the defensive end of the rink but there’s really no excuse for how poorly they played. Ebbett, for example, finished a -15 in attempted scoring chances (Ballard was a -16, Kassian a Sedin-shift inflated -10) while all three skaters finished a -3 in even-strength scoring chances. Worse yet, all three of the scoring chances against that fourth line came in a score-close situation…

– In a game being billed as Roberto Luongo’s final start in Vancouver (I’ll believe it when I see it at this point, though I hope for him and for Schneider that, that is in fact the case) Luongo turned in an alright performance. Sure there’s was the softy game-winner he surrendered to Brad Staubitz, but the Canucks played poorly overall and Luongo stopped ten of eleven difficult shots he faced. In other words it would be a stretch to pin the loss on Luongo, but perhaps we should do so anyway for old time’s sake!

– In his second NHL game Frank Corrado played over twenty minutes of hockey with the vast majority of those minutes coming at even-strength. Corrado’s matchups appear to have been carefully managed with the majority of his ice-time coming against the Nick Bonino line, but when you play twenty minutes at even-strength there’s only so much "protection" you can get from your coaches. So in addition to battling the bottom end of Anaheim’s roster, Corrado also spent nearly four minutes matched up against Perry’s group, and over five minutes matched up against the Cogliano line. He recieved some territorial protection too and started twelve shifts in the offensive end and despite the relatively soft competition and deployment Corrado finished slightly under-water by the chance and possession data. Basically Frank Corrado was asked to take a big bite out of Thursday night’s contest, and it proved to be a bit more than he was able to competently chew. That said he showed some flashes and in no way looked out of place despite logging top-pairing minutes against NHL caliber players.

– Derek Joslin and Andrew Alberts were okay against really soft third pairing competition. Joslin had a rough first shift to the game, but settled in and by the third period looked reliable (albeit in a limited roll against a depleted Ducks team). As for Alberts, I think he should probably be in the lineup on the third pairing on day one of the postseason.

– You might look at the boxscore and think to yourself "whoa the Sedins played nearly eighteen minutes, what the hell is Alain Vigneault doing?" Well over four minutes of that ice-time came on the power-play, and nearly all of it right at the end of the third period. At even-strength the twins spent fourteen minutes on the ice, or roughly three minutes more than the Ebbett line recieved, and right at par with the amount of ice-time Ryan Kesler got. Vigneault did pretty well to manage the team’s minutes in what was essentially an exhibition contest, I thought, and in fact pretty much played the Joslin-Alberts pairing exactly as often as he played the Jason Garrison – Dan Hamhuis pairing.

– People will criticize Alain Vigneault for anything these days. I disagree with a lot of what he’s done this season too, like Jordan Schroeder not being in the lineup at this point is downright negligent, but the things he’s getting criticized for at this point are just hot nonsense. People were saying that he shouldn’t have dressed his stars, even though the club hasn’t had much practice time all season and if the likes of Henrik and Daniel were to rest now they’d potentially have eight days to gather rust between Monday night’s Blackhawks game and next Monday or Tuesday’s first game of the postseason. Vigneault needed to have his stars in the lineup and just limit their ice-time. He did that and it was the right call.

– When you pull your goaltender you don’t replace him with a defenceman. That would be extraordinarily stupid actually, but Vigneault was criticized for it post game. If you think that Jason Garrison should be on the first unit power-play that’s one thing (and one thing I completely agree with), but if you think Vigneault should’ve tapped Garrison when he pulled Roberto Luongo, I don’t know what to tell you…

– Jason Garrison point blasts own. On Thursday night, in limited ice-time he hurt Ducks forward Nick Bonino and also scored a power-play goal. If only Jason Garrison had managed to engage someone in a stimulating conversation about his fixie, he would’ve completed a Jason Garrison hattrick.

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 Chance Totals:

Scoring Chance Totals 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Anaheim (EV) 6 (6) 3 (2) 2 (2) 11 (10)
Vancouver (EV) 2 (2) 3 (3) 7 (5) 12 (10)

Individual Scoring Chance Contributions:

Individual Scoring Chance Contributions Taken Created Total
Chris Higgins 3 2 5
Ryan Kesler 2 2 4
Henrik Sedin 1 2 3
Derek Roy 1 1 2
Daniel Sedin 1 1 2
Dan Hamhuis 1 0 1
Derek Joslin 1 0 1
Jannik Hansen 1 0 1
Alex Burrows 0 1 1
Mason Raymond 0 1 1

Individual Scoring Chance Differential:

Scoring Chance Diff. EV F – A SH F – A PP F – A Total F – A
Dan Hamhuis 2 – 2 0 – 0 0 – 0 2 – 2
Keith Ballard 0 – 3 0 – 0 0 – 0 0 – 3
Jason Garrison 3 – 2 0 – 1 0 – 0 3 – 3
Zack Kassian 0 – 3 0 – 0 0 – 0 0 – 3
Alex Burrows 2 – 1 0 – 1 2 – 0 4 – 2
Derek Roy 6 – 5 0 – 0 0 – 0 6 – 5
Ryan Kesler 6 – 5 0 – 1 2 – 0 8 – 5
Chris Higgins 7 – 5 0 – 0 0 – 0 7 – 5
Mason Raymond 1 – 1 0 – 0 0 – 0 1 – 1
Daniel Sedin 2 – 1 0 – 0 2 – 0 4 -1
Alex Edler 3 – 5 0 – 0 2 – 0 5 – 5
Andrew Ebbett 0 – 3 0 – 0 0 – 0 0 – 3
Frank Corrado 2 – 5 0 – 0 0 – 0 2 – 5
Henrik Sedin 1 – 1 0 – 0 2 – 0 3 – 1
Jannik Hansen 5 – 2 0 – 0 0 – 0 5 – 2
Derek Joslin 5 – 3 0 – 0 0 – 0 5 – 3
Maxim Lapierre 1 – 0 0 – 0 0 – 0 1 – 0
Andrew Alberts 5 – 2 0 – 1 0 – 0 5 – 3
  • Brent

    Well I didn’t watch this game, but listened to it while working. I guess you could say that it didn’t matter, but the team needs to be playing at peak efficiency when they get to the playoffs. We all remember last year when they just backed into the playoffs and they really didn’t start playing until after game 2, and by then it was pretty well too late. On the up side, I was happy they dominated in the third, that is a good sign. And yes, bring Schroder back, where is he?

    So who do we want to play in the first round? I would hope for San Jose, let LA and SL beat the crap out of each other, but what do the numbers say?

  • Brent

    Great analysis, as usual

    Just curious if anyone out there knows where Raymond is? Did aliens kidnap him? Is he locked in Tom Thomas bunker? Where art thou Mason Raymond?

  • Brent


    I don’t have numbers to back it up (except those that Cam Charron posts at nhlnumbers for Fenwick), but I’m also rooting for the SJ match up. LA is dominant possession wise, and StL is better than SJ, with 3 complete lines. I guess it’ll come down to the LA – SJ game.

  • Fred-65

    I thinkRaymond knows he’s on the way out and has given up on the team. The problem is he’s not doing himself much good either.

    Raymonds gone at the draft IMO

  • Fred-65

    RE: The first unit PP

    Is a logjam possibly the reason why Garrison isn’t out there?

    Assuming you don’t want Kesler in front of the net (I’m not entirely sure I do) with Garrison on the point, then that could be the case.

    You can’t take Kesler off the ice. He’s too good on it.

    You can’t take Edler off, he’s your neutral zone wizard.

    You can’t take the Sedins off, they’re the Sedins.

    You need someone in front of the net, who is the fifth guy. I guess if you made this guy Daniel, you could have Garrison on the point?

    Not sure you want Daniel there either…he has that net-front ability, but the concern would be the same as Kesler in front with Garrison on the point…

  • Fred-65

    The Canucks don’t have enough pride to put out the same effort as a visiting team in front of their home fans.

    Oh, sorry, I forgot, the game was meaningless. And probably only the people who had to pay for tickets care so that makes it okay.