The Statsies: Canucks stop playing hockey after the first period

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
1 month ago
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There’s losing Game 6, and then there’s whatever happened last night.
The Vancouver Canucks got smoked 5-1 by the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6. There was pretty much no redeeming qualities to this game – Vancouver simply didn’t want it, while Edmonton played like a team with their backs to the wall. The lack of fight and desire shone through after the first period, with the Oilers riding a second-period surge to a big home victory. Frankly, the Canucks looked terrible. They were slow, uninterested, and passive. It was a missed opportunity to see the series out as they head back home for a do-or-die Game 7.
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

The first period looked similar to all the other periods of the series. It was tight and competitive, and the Canucks actually found themselves with quite the edge in expected goals with a 72.70 xGF% and 1.22 xGF in the frame. Unfortunately, there was absolutely zero follow up to that. Edmonton dominated the second frame to the tune of 66.67 CF% and 81.46 xGF%, getting two goals during that span. But even in the middle of that, the Canucks got a massive 5-on-3 penalty kill, then got a chance for a 5-on-3 themselves. They had an opportunity to get within one again and let that chance slip by with just a mere whimper. That felt like the turning point in this one as the third saw Edmonton coast to the finish, adding two goals on top of a deflated Canucks group.

Heat Map

There weren’t a lot of scoring chances overall on both sides. The Oilers had a narrow edge in total scoring chances by a 21-18 margin and an even narrower 8-7 lead in high-danger chances. It certainly didn’t feel like the Canucks were that close to the home team last night, but they had good looks in the first and a couple late in the third. They didn’t do nearly enough to test a shaky Stuart Skinner though, while Edmonton was just burying chances left and right when they got them. There wasn’t so much of a hot spot on either team, and yet the clumps of goals for the Oilers came from their high-danger chances.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: This was a very weird night. Tyler Myers recorded the best CF% on the Canucks roster with a 64.86, once again primarily facing against McDavid and his line. This game they were obviously not as successful as Game 5, with the Oilers captain putting up 3 primary assists as his line scored thrice against the Soucy-Myers pairing. But hey, at least they had the puck possession advantage?
Corsi Chump: On the other end of the spectrum, Ian Cole finished worst on the team with his 22.22 CF%. That also came with a team-low 0.19 xGF and second-worst 22.20 xGF%, facing a 1-9 scoring chance deficit during his TOI. It wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been for Cole though, with just 3 high-danger chances against with one goal against in that same span. In a series that’s been a challenge for the veteran, it was one of the better performances that he’s had and that’s not really a good thing.


xGF: Yup, somehow Tyler Myers finds himself leading the Canucks in both xGF with a 1.58 and xGF% with a 70.71. The defenceman was on ice for a team-high 11 scoring chances for and a team-high 4 HDCF, as well as the only goal of the game with Nils Höglander’s tally. But the fact remains that despite all of these good things, Myers was on ice for three goals against. It really summed up the moniker Chaos Giraffe really well.
GSAx: A game like this was bound to happen, and you can’t really fault Arturs Silovs for being unable to hold the Oilers off forever. Facing 2.73 xGF, the Latvian netminder finished with a -2.27 GSAx, beat by 2 high-danger chances, 2 middle-danger chances, and 1 low-danger chance. Silovs wasn’t stealing any goals away from Edmonton last night and it showed, with the Oilers converting on pretty much anything and everything they got. He got left out to dry by a team that failed to show up in front of him, and if you’re only getting 1 goal as run support, it’s very hard to steal games.

Statistical Musings

Where only one line showed up: Elias Pettersson – Elias Lindholm – Nils Höglander did their jobs, and no one else seemed to follow it up. The Swedish trio was the only unit that were above 50.00 CF% with their 58.82, while their 0.75 xGF was miles ahead of Suter-Miller-Boeser’s 0.27 xGF in second place. This actually was remarkably similar in Game 5, with the major difference being the xGA that each line faced. Unfortunately, the Canucks did not take advantage of any of this, and when just one line is in the positives for their share metrics, chances are the team isn’t doing very well.
Getting away from the matchup: Looking through McDavid’s most commonly played against players, it was interesting to note that all the ice times were more or less evenly split. Yes, the Miller line did have a little more time against the Oilers’ captain, but it wasn’t by a lot. The benefit of having the last change at home is being able to deploy your preferred matchup, and Edmonton was doing that a lot last night. Hopefully, that’ll change as the Canucks return home for Game 7.

As a team

CF% – 45.22% HDCF% – 47.06% xGF% – 50.96%
The Canucks deserved to lose that game. There was no urgency, no fightback, and an overall sense of passiveness that set in from the second period onwards. The stats flattered the lack of effort that the Canucks put forward in a potentially clinching scenario. It was especially disappointing off the back of what was one of the best games they’ve played in the postseason. Hopefully, this is getting the stinker out of the way, because now it’s truly a test of this team’s resilience.
Vancouver returns home for a do-or-die Game 7 on Monday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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