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The Statsies: Canucks struggle to generate high-danger chances in loss against Kraken

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
6 months ago
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That wasn’t the bounceback that we expected.
The Vancouver Canucks returned home only to fall 4-3 in regulation against the Seattle Kraken. The lethargic legs stayed with this hockey team from Calgary, unable to get much of anything going. Sure, it was a one-goal loss, but even that felt a little generous given what the product was on the ice. The stats behind the defeat weren’t exactly kind either with a lot of underperformances.
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

While Vancouver did strike first, they let the momentum of the game slip away from them after a decent first 10 minutes. Sure, the officiating was not the best, but even then it’s clear that the Kraken were seizing the initiative throughout the game. Most of their pressure came at even strength play, their powerplays helping but not doing too much for them. Only at the very end of the game did Vancouver finally switch on just as Seattle were buckling down to secure the game, causing that massive spike in xGF and CF in the final moments of the third. Unfortunately, that’s just too late, and teams don’t often win games by showing up for 13-15 minutes.

Heat Map

Vancouver was simply anemic when it came to chance generation. Credit to the Seattle defence, but at the same time, this just isn’t good enough from the Canucks’ perspective. While they did have a slight 30-29 edge in overall scoring chances, Vancouver only managed a measly 6 HDCF across all situations. That’s in comparison to Seattle’s 13, which is why they have such a strong hot spot right from down low in the slot area. Even in the third period, where the Canucks were allegedly pushing back, they were out high-danger chanced 7-2. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Seattle was well ahead, holding a 2.57-1.75 xGF lead.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Anthony Beauvillier walked away with this one with a team-leading CF% of 64.29 at both 5v5 and all situations. Though he once again came up empty on the scoresheet, the winger along with his line looked to be one of the only units with any jump in their step. While Beauvillier saw a 10-7 scoring chance differential in favour of the Canucks, he was on ice for a 2-4 difference in high-danger chances, thus leading to a 48.78 xGF%. Not awful, all things considered, but it’s not a great sign that Beauvillier had the best CF% on the team.
Corsi Chump: I mean is this really a surprise? Noah Juulsen’s rough run of form continues with a team-low 33.33 CF%. What’s hilarious is that he actually had a better CF% (100.00) during his 45 seconds on the penalty kill. The good news is that Juulsen wasn’t a direct liability, probably getting sheltered after everything that has been transpiring for the last couple of games. He only faced off against 5 scoring chances, with just 2 of them coming at high-danger. Clearly though, the Canucks are struggling to find anyone to step in the place of an injured Carson Soucy.

THE STATSIES PRESENTED BY BETWAY

xGF: Sliding his way into the lineup last night, Akito Hirose led the Canucks in xGF% across all situations with a 63.98. Much of that was thanks to his second-best 0.19 xGA, being on ice for a goal for and none against. Hirose was also one of only two Canucks with a positive high-danger chance differential, even if it was only a 2-1 split. In terms of raw xGF, JT Miller led the team with a 0.9 on the night, which gives an idea of just how poor Vancouver was when it came to generating high-quality chances.
GSAx: It was another tough game for Thatcher Demko. Sure, Vancouver didn’t do him any favours when it came to run support, but at the same time the GSAx was not the best last night. As the Kraken generated 2.57 xGF, that meant that Demko was firmly in the negatives with a -1.43 GSAx. To his credit, 3/4 of the tallies were high-danger goals, while the remaining one came at middle danger. It’s not terrible, but this is a marked departure from Demko’s numbers until this point in the season. He’s been in the negatives for his last two starts, and that’s something that he’ll be looking to rectify.

Statistical Musings

Targeting Hughes-Hronek: Speaking of another quiet night, Quinn Hughes and Filip Hronek didn’t look like their usual selves at 5v5. Though the pair of them held a healthy 52.78 CF% share, Seattle turned on the heat to score twice against them, resulting in a 23.19 xGF% as a pairing. Hronek was the worst Canuck in the xGA category at 5v5 (1.44) while Hughes was a close second (1.32). While being leaned on for heavy minutes as defencemen usually lead to higher xGA values in general, this one saw the pair of offensively-minded defencemen unable to do much of anything offensively. Their xGF values were middle of the pack, which is very off for the duo. Hopefully, they can figure it out, and hopefully, they won’t be too tired during this schedule crunch.
Pettersson’s struggles: It’s very interesting to see Elias Pettersson at the top of the NHL points leaderboards yet clearly not himself on the ice. At 5v5, he was actually the worst Canuck when it came to raw xGF, a total of 0.08 putting him below even Dakota Joshua. Pettersson’s inability to get much going offensively has seemingly impacted his wingers, to the point where Andrei Kuzmenko and Ilya Mikheyev were also dragged toward to bottom of the xGF department. In fact, the entire line was the worst-performing forward unit at 5v5 play for Vancouver against the Kraken.

As a team

CF% – 54.46% HDCF% – 31.58% xGF% – 40.46%
The Canucks simply were not good enough to win against the Kraken last night. Yes, they scored first, but vanished after that, not playing a full 60 minutes and missing a lot of the details that had made them so successful earlier in the season. Their inability to generate high-quality high-danger chances is finally coming back to haunt them after capitalizing on so many earlier in the season, and the challenge will be to find that gear to consistently get themselves high-probability looks from the best areas of the ice.
Vancouver welcomes the San Jose Sharks to Rogers Arena on Monday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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