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The Statsies: The 2023-24 Vancouver Canucks’ season ends as the magic finally runs dry in game seven

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
1 month ago
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It was fun while it lasted.
The Vancouver Canucks’ 2023-24 season came to an end at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, dropping Game 7 by a 3-2 scoreline. They probably did deserve to lose, considering the complete lack of jump they had through the first two periods. No one showed up besides Arturs Silovs, Conor Garland, and maybe some of Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov. It took an inhuman effort between the pipes just to keep this game within reach, and by the third, it looked all but over. Vancouver did make it interesting late, but unfortunately, that push wasn’t enough to get the game knotted up.
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

As was the case previously in the series, a big turning point in Game 7 was the Canucks’ inability to capitalize on a 4-minute power play. Until that point in the first, Vancouver was getting absolutely caved in, tallying 33.33 CF% and 37.39 xGF%. The only consolation was that the high-danger chances stood at 2-2 at 5v5 – but missing on a chance to steal the lead going into the second proved costly. By the numbers, Vancouver had a better second period – but that was primarily after the Oilers went up 2-0 and the Canucks finally decided to generate some momentum. The CF% stood at 71.43, with an xGF% share of 64.48 for the Canucks, but that was cut short thanks to Nils Höglander taking a tripping call. Entering the third down 3-0, it was all but over, so of course Vancouver decided to push the hardest they had all night. They finished the final frame with an 85.00 CF% and 68.99 xGF%, putting up two goals and making it interesting late – but unfortunately, the team ran out of time to complete the comeback.

Heat Map

Despite being badly outshot in the first and second, the Canucks surprisingly didn’t give up that many high-danger looks. At 5v5, the HDCF stood at 11-6 in favour of Vancouver out of a total of 27-18 scoring chances. The Canucks primarily got most of their chances in the second and third, to no one’s surprise, but even when factoring the power play, Edmonton only totaled up 10 HDCF on the night. That feels low given Arturs Silovs standing on his head was the only reason why Vancouver wasn’t down by more, but regardless, there just weren’t enough chances going the other way for the Canucks.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: JT Miller tried. Last night was once again a great display of shutting down Connor McDavid, holding him to zero points on the night. Miller led the team with an 82.76 CF%, on ice for a goal for while producing the second-highest xGF of 0.93 and xGF% of 75.25. He was also on ice for a 14-4 scoring chance differential, a 6-0 advantage in high-danger chances. Miller couldn’t bury on them last night, but he did his job in neutralizing McDavid to the best of his ability, as he did throughout the season and series. Unfortunately, the Canucks couldn’t capitalize on his workhorse minutes away from the Oilers’ top guns.
Corsi Chump: On the flip side, Teddy Blueger finished as the team’s worst Corsi man with a 26.67 CF%, standing at -41.90 CF% rel to team average. Straight up, it wasn’t a good night for him either, being outshot 0-5 and on ice for a goal against during his 8:09 TOI. Blueger had a team-low 0.14 xGF and 20.87 xGF%, giving up 3 high-danger chances off of 4 total scoring chances. It didn’t feel like he and his line had any jump last night, and in a Game 7 where it’s do-or-die, that’s just not good enough especially considering that they were better than their matchup opposition.

THE STATSIES PRESENTED BY BETWAY

xGF: Elias Pettersson finished last night with a team-high 76.36 xGF%, having tied with Miller for the second-best xGF of 0.93 while tying for third-best with a 0.29 xGA. The Swede was on ice for a 13-5 scoring chance differential with a further 6-1 advantage in high-danger chances, which one did manage to get by Skinner at the end. It was one of Pettersson’s better games of the 2024 Playoffs – but the thing is, he needed to be much, much better for the percentage of cap that he accounts for. Leading the way in raw xGF was Nikita Zadorov with a 1.13.
GSAx: This feels low for the performance that Arturs Silovs put up, but makes sense when you think about the kinds of goals that he gave up last night. The Oilers racked up a total of 2.57 xGF on the night against Silovs, meaning that the Latvian netminder finished with a -0.43 GSAx in which he denied a good number of grade-A chances. Of the goals that got past him, one came from high-danger areas, while the other two were low-danger chances from the points. His natural athleticism helps him make those incredible stops, and Silovs has shown that he can be an NHL shot-stopper. The thing is, he likely wasn’t used to peering around NHL-level screens, and that proved to be how a good chunk of goals got past him in this series. Nothing on Silovs though, as he more than did his part throughout this playoff run.

Statistical Musings

Where Quinn Hughes looked gassed: There’s no getting around the fact that Quinn Hughes did not look nearly as dynamic as he should’ve in this series. The Canucks missed their captain’s game-breaking presence on the back end, and he was good where Vancouver needed him to be great. The stats had Hughes as the second-worst Canuck defender by CF% and third-worst by xGF%, which is territory that he simply isn’t in. He played and managed to split at evens through most of his statistical categories, but the Canucks needed a lot more than that if they were to stand a chance at moving on. Clearly, the toll of the Nashville series caught up to him, and Hughes could do with a good offseason to rest and recover for the next run.

As a team

CF% – 57.41% HDCF% – 58.33% xGF% – 49.88%
The Canucks didn’t play to win the game. They came out flat and weren’t able to turn the momentum around, getting swept up by the Oilers. They were able to push back and make it interesting, but unfortunately it was too little, too late. The loss of Brock Boeser, the team running out of gas, everything was all stacking up, and it proved too much for this group to overcome. But, putting this result into the context of the season, it was just such a fun ride. Compared to where this group was at the end of last year, how they were predicted to be a bubble team that probably wouldn’t even make the playoffs – to be one win away from the Western Conference finals, to take a “contending” team to the brink – it was refreshing.
And, to see the city of Vancouver fall in love with its hockey team again was a privilege. Hopefully, this is only the start.
Thank you for reading this season.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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