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The Statsies: Canucks limit Oilers’ high-danger chances on Arturs Silovs in Game 3 victory

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
1 month ago
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Thanks, Mr. Silovs.
The Vancouver Canucks surged to a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 thanks to a pair of two-goal performances from Brock Boeser and Elias Lindholm, along with stellar netminding from Arturs Silovs. While the Oilers were intent on riding their best players for as much as possible in Game 3, the Canucks were able to find systematic answers to fending them off at 5v5 play. For all the advantages that Edmonton had on paper, they weren’t nearly as effective as they needed to be at even strength, and in the end, that was the biggest difference between the two teams as Vancouver reclaimed home-ice advantage.
Here’s the win, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

The first period was the only period where the Canucks weren’t in a territorial hole. With an even 50.00 CF% split, Vancouver produced a 4-2 edge in high-danger chances and generated a 60.11 xGF% share. They made full use of that too, striking thrice for a 3-1 lead. However, the second was pretty much all Oilers by the numbers. Edmonton held an 80.00 CF% share which translated to an 83.18 xGF%. That being said though, with all that possession, they only managed 4 high-danger chances in that frame and still needed a power play to score. The third period was more indication of their inefficiencies at even strength, where the Oilers still held 80.00 CF% but only had 2 high-danger chances to their name.

Heat Map

Given the territorial disadvantage the Canucks were in all night, this heat map represents some excellent work at even strength. Despite Edmonton having a 25-14 lead in scoring chances at 5v5, the high-danger chances only stood at 8-6 in favour of the Oilers. They didn’t manage to establish a big hot spot in the crease area, with the only notable patch coming from inside the left faceoff circle. This lack of high-danger chances at even strength for the Oilers becomes only more jarring when noting that across all situations, they had 18 HDCF. Vancouver limited the quality of Edmonton’s looks extremely well, and should be part of their recipe for success in the rest of the series.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: If only he could score. Ilya Mikheyev found himself leading the Canucks with a 50.00 CF%, a sign of just how significantly Vancouver was out-possessed. It’s hard to find any glaring flaws in Mikheyev’s game that cost the Canucks – he missed a big chance but other than that kept his nose clean on the defensive side of things. He was on ice for a team-low 0.18 xGA while not facing a single high-danger chance against. Mikheyev just continues to be snakebitten at this point with hands of pure stone.
Corsi Chump: Carson Soucy was a man that the Oilers tried to take advantage of on their matchups, facing down McDavid the most of any Canuck defenceman last night. That shows in the Corsi, with the defender being a team-worst 15.38 CF%. The shots stood at 1-11 for the Oilers, but Soucy did a darn good job in defending against Edmonton’s big guns. Out of the 7 scoring chances that he faced at 5v5, only 2 were high-danger, showing just how inefficient Edmonton was once more in chance generation despite the big Corsi lead. Soucy also only posted a 0.45 xGA, which was the 7th-best tally on the team. He’s probably going to get suspended for a game because of McDavid being whiny (which is complete BS), but Soucy’s contributions to frustrating the Oilers in Game 3 shouldn’t be overlooked.

THE STATSIES PRESENTED BY BETWAY

xGF: Quinn Hughes. With a team-high 0.91 xGF and posting a 46.33 xGF%, the Canucks defenceman has been dragging an ineffective Filip Hronek alongside him all playoffs. Last night wasn’t his most dynamic effort (because we’re used to seeing some incredible things), but Hughes still put up 2 assists and indirectly setting up the 3-1 goal while doing his fair share on the back end. He impressively managed to split a 5-5 high-danger chance differential despite being out-chances 8-10 in total. There were goal-saving efforts baked into that, too.
GSAx: The Canucks can go three goalies deep and the Oilers can’t even have one. Arturs Silovs played like a seasoned veteran last night, stopping 42 of 45 as Edmonton poured it on in front of him. The Latvian netminder turned a 5.24 xGF by the Oilers into a 2.24 GSAx, with one high-danger goal and two low-danger goals against. Silovs looked remarkably calm and composed in the net, never being too far out of position, never giving up anything easy either. He battled and stymied the Oilers at every twist and turn, ensuring that the Canucks were going to win this game. If you’re getting goaltending that’s stopping over two expected goals per game, you’re laughing your way to the bank.

Statistical Musings

A collective effort: With the Oilers having the last change at Rogers Place, it was clear that they were trying to get McDavid away from the JT Miller matchup all the time. That meant that the duties of containing the best player in the NHL were spread amongst the entirety of the Canucks forward corps, and truth be told they did a solid job. The only forward that faced more than 3 high-danger chances from McDavid was Elias Pettersson with 4, while the only player to face those 3 high-danger chances was Brock Boeser. Miller was the most effective forward defensively once again, allowing McDavid only 0.34 xGF at 5v5 play while no other forward sat above 0.50 xGF besides Boeser and Pettersson. The defencemen were key too, with Tyler Myers and Carson Soucy stepping up and limiting what McDavid got as well. Myers only faced 0.29 xGF despite being the defenceman who played the most against the Oilers’ captain, with Soucy following that up with a 0.34 xGF. It’s telling of a well-structured team defence that’s been limiting these opportunities from such a dynamic player and a big key to the Canucks’ current run of success at 5v5 play.
How about Linus Karlsson?: Throwing in an AHL call-up in a big Game 3 was quite the move from Rick Tocchet, but it looked like a solid call. Linus Karlsson drew into the lineup for a struggling Nils Höglander and did a solid job. Alongside Elias Pettersson and Ilya Mikheyev, Karlsson finished 4th on the team in CF% (44.44) and xGF% (43.79), making some smart reads to make up for his lack of foot speed. What stood out was how strong the Swede was on the puck, protecting it through all three zones and buying some very much-needed time for the Canucks in those situations. It’ll be interesting to see where he slots in for the rest of the series – and if this has a motivating factor on Höglander.

As a team

CF% – 27.50% HDCF% – 33.33% xGF% – 31.44%
Despite these numbers, despite facing 30 minutes last night from McDavid and Draisaitl, the Canucks played a solid game. They limited the high-danger looks Edmonton got at 5v5 and continued to frustrate them at evens, while capitalizing against the shaky netminding of Stuart Skinner. Maximizing their opportunities is key especially when the Oilers are pressing, and Vancouver has been doing a good job in burying pucks when given the chance. Even their power play has shown signs of life, helping offset the lethal special teams on the other side. Hopefully, the Canucks can get a bit more of a territorial advantage in the next game – but other than that, they’ve done darn well in shutting down the only offensive weapons that the Oilers have at 5v5. It also helps when you’re getting some lights-out netminding courtesy of Arturs Silovs.
Vancouver returns to action for Game 4 in Edmonton on Tuesday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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