That’s what you get for wearing a hockey uniform that includes khaki shorts, I guess.
Photo credit: Jeff Vinnick via Getty/NHLI
On Saturday night the Canucks wore their new Millionaires jerseys in a much anticipated game against the Red Wings. While Pavel Bure’s number wasn’t retired as some in the media reported it might be, this was still the signature game of the regular season for the Canucks and they came prepared scoring just six seconds into the game and putting together probably their best single period of the year in the first period.
It all fell apart from there, especially in the first ten minutes of the third period as the Canucks ultimately lost 5-2 to the Red Wings.
Read on past the jump.
Let’s start with the most important data, shall we? The Canucks out-chanced the Red Wings 15-9 overall on Saturday night and 14-8 at even-strength. Those numbers look excellent but the Canucks did most of their damage in the first period in which they recorded seven scoring chances while limiting the winged wheel to a single measley scoring chance. So the rest of the way the Red Wings narrowly out-chanced the Canucks 8-7.
Roberto Luongo had a pretty rough night, again, against the Red Wings. The Red Wings have now scored three goals on Roberto Luongo that deflected off of skates this season. They’ve also shot nearly 20% at even-strenght against Vancouver’s
starting backup goaltender. Tough to win games that way.
The difference in this one really was the goaltending – Jimmy Howard owned, Roberto Luongo had a forgettable outing – though puck luck and the officiating deserve a tip of the hat as well. Some of those second period penalties that went against the Canucks were crazy soft, though that’s not a compelling excuse since the Canucks also had their opportunities on the man-advantage and couldn’t capitalize. Anyway, Vancouver’s five-on-three penalty-killing was excellent and Detroit’s power-play goal came off of a lovely play from Pavel Datsyuk. If Vancouver’s power-play personnel had managed to manufacture some offense, this would’ve been a totally different game.
Let’s go over Vancouver’s rough puck luck in this game. First of all Jimmy Howard got beat early, but then made a couple of nice saves on some point blank chances from Bieksa and Burrows a couple of shifts later. Then, with a delayed Detroit penalty called and Luongo on the bench, Henrik Sedin sent a crazy cross-crease pass to Alex Burrows from behind the net and Jimmy Howard just completely robbed the Canucks sniper with an acrobatic glove save.
Later in the first period, Jason Garrison skated into a slap-shot while Jimmy Howard was prone, but the puck grazed Jakub Kindl’s arm and glanced just wide. In the second period Jannik Hansen hit the post on a penalty-shot and in the third period Daniel Sedin made a lovely play to get a shot off in the slot, only to have the puck go the other way, as Detroit sealed the game on a Dan Cleary softy…
Meanwhile Detroit had two ridiculous Abdelkadder goals that were hilariously flukey, a soft Dan Cleary goal and two nice goals. The hockey gods clearly weren’t impressed with the Millionaires jerseys. I’m thinking they thought the khaki shorts were a bit much.
The Canucks played pretty well on Saturday, but sometimes a game doesn’t go your way. Yes, the team lost the plot in the second and early in the third period, but they deserved a better result than they got on Saturday. Once again, this Canucks appear to be better than their results, which has become something of a theme lately. If the results don’t begin to catch up to the teams quality – which, is particularly possible in a shortened season – I might begin to look pretty silly.
Alex Edler and Kevin Bieksa had a +5 and a +6 scoring chance differential respectively on Saturday night. But they were on the ice for three goals against at even-strength. That’s pretty much the same story as last season, for whatever reason a pairing with Bieksa and Edler controls play absurdly well but bleeds goals against. I can’t figure it out beyond "luck," really. After all, Edler worked well with Christian Ehrhoff as a defensive partner in the past. While Ehrhoff was more careful with the puck than Bieksa is (generally speaking), he’s not as good a defensive player overall. Why doesn’t this pairing work?
In addition to being second in the NHL in power-play goals from a defenseman a year ago, Jason Garrison scored three goals in five-on-three situations. He’s pretty much a specialist and needs to be used there. That’s power-play malpractice in my book.
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|
|Detroit (EV)||1 (1)||4 (3)||4 (4)||9 (8)|
|Vancouver (EV)||7 (7)||3 (2)||5 (5)||15 (14)|
Individual Scoring Chance Contributions:
Skater Scoring Chance Differential
|EV F – A||SH F – A||PP F – A||Total F – A|
|Dan Hamhuis||4 – 5||0 – 1||1 – 0||5 – 6|
|Kevin Bieksa||9 – 3||0 – 0||0 – 0||9 – 3|
|Jason Garrison||1 – 5||0 – 1||0 – 0||1 – 6|
|David Booth||2 – 1||0 – 0||0 – 0||2 – 1|
|Chris Tanev||2 – 1||0 – 1||0 – 0||2 – 1|
|Steve Pinizzotto||1 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||1 – 0|
|Alex Burrows||8 – 6||0 – 1||1 – 0||9 – 7|
|Chris Higgins||3 – 1||0 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 1|
|Mason Raymond||1 – 1||0 – 0||0 – 0||1 – 1|
|Daniel Sedin||8 – 6||0 – 0||1 – 0||9 – 6|
|Alex Edler||7 – 2||0 – 0||1 – 0||8 – 2|
|Andrew Ebbett||0 – 1||0 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 1|
|Tom Sestito||1 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||1 – 0|
|Dale Weise||3 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 0|
|Henrik Sedin||7 – 6||0 – 0||1 – 0||8 – 6|
|Jannik Hansen||3 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 0|
|Maxim Lapierre||3 – 0||0 – 1||0 – 0||3 – 1|
|Andrew Alberts||2 – 1||0 – 0||0 – 0||2 – 1|