The Statsies: Elias Lindholm debuts in a matchup role against Canes in Canucks win

Photo credit:© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
2 months ago
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Nothing like coming out of the all star break with a gritty road win.
The Vancouver Canucks beat the Carolina Hurricanes by a 3-2 scoreline in a game that featured special teams action. Vancouver did well to start the game off strong, translating that momentum into the second period with some good aggressive forechecking. When they got into the lead, they were able to stave off a Canes surge, the Canucks defending hard to secure the two points as the other games around the NHL fell in their favour. Not a bad way to get a result on the road at all.
Here’s the win, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

Playing against the Hurricanes is always a challenge with how defensively sound they are. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that even though the Canucks managed to get a slight CF% and xGF% advantage, it wasn’t anything too significant. Vancouver only managed a total of 4 HDCF at 5v5 play during the first two periods, with Carolina managing 6 HDCF in that same span. It’s reflected in the trendlines not really deviating too much away from the middle. That spike in the third period in favour of the Canes shows the pressure that they were cranking on the Canucks, dominating possession to the tune of 88.46 CF% in the frame. However, despite that, Vancouver only conceded 2 HDCA, showing that they were generally able to keep the Hurricanes to the perimeter despite the puck possession.

Heat Map

In total across all situations, the high-danger chances stood at 12-8 in favour of the Hurricanes. That much is shown through the heat map, with the larger and thicker patch coming right in front of Thatcher Demko’s crease. Considering that Carolina had a total of 23 scoring chances, the Canucks could do with making sure that the ratio of high-danger chances is a little lower. At the same time, they only gave up 23 scoring chances total throughout the game, which is solid in and of itself. All of Vancouver’s goals came from their little hot spot in front, thanks to two tips from Elias Lindholm and Pyotr Anatolevich Kochetkov’s controller disconnecting.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Filip Hronek led the team in CF% last night with a 62.50, a cherry on top of a strong outing from him and Quinn Hughes. The Czech defender did well for himself in the face of Carolina’s top 6, managing to stop them from generating much while getting the Canucks some good chances and looks as well. The scoring chances stood at 8-4 at 5v5 whenever Hronek was on the ice, which is more impressive considering the context of his deployment.
Corsi Chump: Sam Lafferty brought up the rear in the Corsi department, tallying a 22.22 CF% on the night. He saw limited ice time given how the game played out, only playing 7:40 in total last night. Even then, Lafferty’s rate metrics weren’t the kindest to him as he gave up a 6.43 xGF% share (yes, that’s six percent) with the Hurricanes producing 14 shot attempts against him. Jesperi Kotkaniemi was the player that he faced off against the most, with Jalen Chatfield and Dimitry Orlov second and third.


xGF: This one goes to JT Miller and his absurd 92.86 xGF% at 5v5 last night. He and his linemates in Brock Boeser and Pius Suter were all clicking at similar rates, with Miller’s numbers just being slightly better. His xGA was a team-low as well, only conceding 0.06 against the Canes, while a 0.79 xGF was a team-high. Miller was not on ice for a single high-danger chance against, while putting 3 high-danger chances toward the Carolina net. Not a bad outing from him at all, taking full advantage of being able to go against weaker competition.
GSAx: The All-Star goalie was clearly not feeling the effects of the break. Thatcher Demko was stellar when he needed to be, putting together a 0.56 GSAx after facing 2.56 xGF from the Canes. The only real blemish on his stat line from last night was the one low-danger goal that he gave up, the other one coming from a high-danger chance. Other than that, Demko was a big reason for the Canucks grabbing the result, backstopping them any time the defence needed him to. It wasn’t as if the team in front of him was bleeding chances, generally letting him see the puck pretty well, but Demko was reliable as they came regardless.

Statistical Musings

Elias Lindholm’s debut with big assignments: All eyes were on the Canucks’ new acquisition last night as Elias Lindholm donned Vancouver’s colours for the first time. He did well for himself too, sliding in between Elias Pettersson and Ilya Mikheyev at 5v5, potting in two goals on the power play while seeing some important penalty kill minutes. Their line didn’t produce the best results statistically, with a 35.00 CF% and 17.02 xGF%, but something important to note is what they were being used for. The players that Pettersson-Lindholm-Mikheyev faced the most were Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, and Jordan Martinook, who are the Canes’ top offensive unit. They did a good job in keeping them off the scoresheet, eating up the 5v5 minutes against them with low-event hockey despite giving up lots of puck possession. While neutralizing them was important, another key impact that can’t be overlooked is how playing a matchup role allowed the Miller line to be deployed against much weaker competition – the player that Miller faced off against the most was the fossilised remains of Jordan Staal.

As a team

CF% – 40.57% HDCF% – 40.00% xGF% – 47.60%
The points just keep coming for the Canucks. Yes, this might not have been domination, but this is a very good Carolina Hurricanes that they just went up against on the road and took home a win. That isn’t easy to do, and despite not everything going their way, the Canucks were sticking to the good things that habits that had gotten them this far. With the second half promising some intense stretch runs before the playoffs, it will be interesting to see just how this team fares against some of the Eastern Conference’s best.
Vancouver heads into Boston tomorrow for a big test as they take on the Bruins.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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