Smile, Tom, you silly man.
I kind of like the idea of a ‘Corsi Cup‘, now that I actually think about it. Maybe we should’ve made coming up with what that would entail/look like the task for our contest (you still have time to participate, and potentially win a pair of sweet tickets against the Blackhawks!).
But I’m sure the fact that the Canucks controlled the majority of the game against the Anaheim Ducks will do nothing to appease the fans of this blog, after their team lost for the second time in two nights to finish off a road trip that saw them go 1-2-1. It’s a long season, though – this particular game accounts for 1.2195122% of the season – and there were definitely some positives to take away from the performance, regardless of the result.
Read on past the jump for a look at what some of those were, if you’d like a little pick-me-up.
After his, for lack of a better term, "energetic" performance on Saturday night – where he ran around the ice throwing his body around and getting in a fight in the midst of a rather lethargic performance by his teammates – Tom Sestito was bumped up to the 3rd line on Sunday night.
Things didn’t start well for the newly instated trio of Sestito-Richardson-Kassian, as they looked largely unimpressive in the opening 20 minutes of the game (I think they were something like a -4 in shot differential). I was all set to tweet about how they were, for all intents and purposes, looking like they were basically the team’s 4th line. The trio of Dalpe, Welsh, and Archibald were buzzing on the other hand, creating a few legitimate chances in the offensive zone. The two units were going in different directions, and I was planning to be very snarky about it.. but then my wifi situation got a little shaky, and I could get the series of tweets through.
Guess that’s a good thing because Sestito went ahead and scored what would wind up being the team’s only goal in the latter half of the 2nd period:
For the record I still think that Tom Sestito is a relatively useless hockey player, and that he definitely shouldn’t really be playing 11+ minutes when guys like Dalpe, Archibald, and Welsh are all playing just barely over 6.. but good on him for shutting my mouth for the time being and doing something tangible to help the team’s cause.
Unfortunately, Frederik Andersen stopped 35 of the other 36 shots he faced, stymieing the Canucks. But it wasn’t for a lack (heh) of effort, as you’ll see in the numbers section below. So hang tight.
Eddie Lack stopped 20/22 pucks he faced in his 4th start of the season, and was the hard luck loser of sorts. The first goal came following a very weird bounce that went off of Corey Perry’s glove, behind his back, and then into the net after he had no idea where it was. The second goal came on a beautiful pass by Etem on a 2-on-1 after a poor change had the defensive pair of Hamhuis/Bieksa out of position. It happens, but it’s hard to blame Lack on either goal that he surrendered. He once again gave his team a chance to win and you can’t really ask for much more from your backup goalie.
And finally, it looks like Alex Burrows is doing his best Chris Higgins impersonation from earlier on in the season, as he can’t buy a goal to save his life at this point. 8 games, 26 shots on goal, and not a single one has gotten by a goalie (and actually counted). He could’ve easily had a couple on this night, and you have to figure it’s going to come eventually.
Let’s get to the numbers..
Image via Extra Skater
At 5v5 the Canucks had 42 unblocked shot attempts compared to just 28 for the Ducks. In "score close" situations, they held a favourable 29-19 differential.
Now, Ryan Getzlaf was out and that clearly weakened the Ducks substantially, but they’re still a good team – that remains undefeated at home – that the Canucks pretty handily outplayed on Sunday night. They got lucky on this night that the Canucks weren’t able to bury a few of those extra chances, and that they’re goaltender was very good, but considering that they’ve got the 2nd highest PDO in the league, I think they’re a little used to that by now.
On the special teams front they were shorthanded twice, and their penalty kill gave up just 1 shot attempt to a Ducks PP that may actually be worse than their own. They were only on the PP twice themselves, but generated 9 shot attempts in those 4 minutes (with 7 of them hitting the net).
They can generate all of the shots they want but 20 games is becoming a large enough sample size to suggest that something is wrong. 6/62 won’t cut it, and it sounds like they’re getting fed up with it themselves:
Torts: "Our power play sucked." Might be time to go with four defencemen instead of four forwards.
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacVanSun) November 11, 2013
Then there’s Brad Richards trolling us all:
#NYR Brad Richards on the difference with this year’s PP: "It actually feels like a power-play."
— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) November 11, 2013
I’m pretty ready for Dan Hamhuis to not be on the top unit anymore, but maybe that’s just me. I’d be fine with either Edler or Garrison – even though he admittedly didn’t pan out like I figured he would at the start of the year – in his stead on the point.
Finally, the Sedins were split up for what seems like the bajillionth time this season in the 3rd period, as we saw Tortorella and Co. utilize Higgins-Henrik-Burrows, and Daniel-Santorelli-Kesler in an attempt to spark the team. This is now 3 games in a row that the Sedins have failed to register a point, and Daniel had the following things to say following the game:
“Little things are costing us now — especially when Hank and myself aren’t playing the way we should. If we play the way we can, we should win this game. We should create way more than we have the last few games. Our third and fourth lines have played well the last few games. We haven’t.”
These guys spoil us with their perpetual consistency.