The Statsies: Elias Pettersson’s line and the Canucks get destroyed at 5v5 by Avs in 4-3 OT loss

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
3 months ago
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Yeah, that wasn’t the prettiest game to watch.
The Vancouver Canucks blew a 3-0 lead, letting the Colorado Avalanche steal the win by a 4-3 overtime result. But the thing is, the Avs probably deserved to get the victory in the first place. Vancouver’s big lead was some smoke and mirrors, the underlying stats behind each period getting more and more shocking. They never established any authority in the lead and some bad officiating didn’t help matters. But that isn’t the reason why they lost last night. Vancouver let the Avs establish momentum throughout the entire game and couldn’t find a response or composure.
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

The game flow is interesting to look at. For much of last night, everything was in the balance, with the Canucks never really surging despite getting into the lead early. The CF% numbers are pretty bad for the first two periods – Vancouver only held a 36.00% share, which also saw Colorado record a 73.35 xGF% share in the first period. Now, the second was slightly better in that regard, with the Canucks finding themselves with a 58.87 xGF%, but the third period was where they fell off the side of a cliff. At 5v5, Vancouver’s CF% plunged to 12.50, and their xGF% fell to 7.76. It’s no wonder that Colorado had a 6-0 edge in high-danger chances for that period and a 10-1 scoring chance differential in total.

Heat Map

That’s an ugly heat map. Not only did the Canucks bleed chances from high-danger areas last night, but they flat-out didn’t get any offence going either. Two of the three goals came from outside high-danger areas, which are nice to get but generally unsustainable kinds of offence. Colorado heavily out-chanced Vancouver by a 37-16 margin, the high-danger chances standing at 21-7 to show just how many of their opportunities were high-quality ones. Not often does a team give up 21 high-danger chances and come out completely unscathed.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: With the Canucks being out-possessed badly in this one, Quinn Hughes’ team-leading 43.90 CF% might not look too impressive. But, the defender still was standing at 24.55 CF% rel above team average, so it goes to show just what kind of night the rest of the team was having from a possession standpoint. The shots stood at 11-11 while Hughes was on ice, seeing a 10-12 scoring chance differential and a 6-7 high-danger chance difference. That’s honestly not bad at all, given the sheer amount of chances that Colorado had vs Vancouver, with Hughes generally stemming some of the bleeding while he was on the ice.
Corsi Chump: This might be one of the lowest values on the season thus far. Nikita Zadorov finished the night as the worst Corsi man, tallying 11.11 CF% with a -24.42 CF% rel. While the big Russian put up some points and provided a Gordie Howe hat trick, he was a net negative defensively in this point. The Avs outshot the Canucks 11-3 while Zadorov was on the ice, scoring twice and racking up 2.4 xGF, making Zadorov the second-worst Canuck in that regard. The scoring chances stood at 2-15 for Colorado against Zadorov, a 1-11 difference in high-danger chances. It simply wasn’t good enough at the back end for the Russian – but then again, most of the team was awful too.
xGF: The numbers aren’t going to look too great here. Phil Di Giuseppe led the Canucks in xGF% with a 73.73, which is great for him – but when PDG is doing that, something has gone terribly wrong. This is with the team’s best xGA of 0.16, due in large part to him not having to face the Avs’ big guns and generally lining up against their middle 6. There wasn’t much else to it, with PDG posting a 3-2 scoring chance advantage and 2-1 high-danger chance lead. Raw xGF saw Quinn Hughes take it with a 1.2, but that was pretty much all she wrote for the Canucks there.
GSAx: You kind of have to feel for Casey DeSmith here. He did his best against an onslaught of offence from the Avalanche with the team in front of him not doing many favours defensively. Colorado threw a total of 4.57 xGF against DeSmith here, meaning that even after giving up four goals his GSAx is 0.57. DeSmith gave the Canucks a chance to win here, and unfortunately the team couldn’t do much in getting it down. Three of the four goals came from high-danger chances, with just one being from middle-danger. Not a bad night for him – but not a great night for the team.

Statistical Musings

Where the top end talent wasn’t good enough: Two lines in particular last night struggled, and they are two lines that should be clicking if the Canucks stand any chance of making it deep in the postseason. Hoglander-Pettersson-Suter was pretty much invisible last night and if they were apparent, it was not for the right reasons. They recorded the worst CF% of any line with a 25.00, their xGF% a measly 3.28%. This trio should not be recording 0.02 xGF at any point in time, but yet that’s exactly what they did as they ran up against a brick wall. Pairing that with a 0.5 xGA, it’s not a pretty recipe at all for a line centred by Pettersson.
The thing is, that isn’t even the worst of it. After doing a lot of great things in the last three games, the Podkolzin-Lindholm-Garland line came completely undone. They were unplayable against Colorado, tallying up 33.33 CF% and 7.47 xGF%. They bled chances, a 2-8 scoring chance deficit with a further 107 high-danger chance hole. It’s no wonder that they had the worst xGA on the team (1.44), and for a line that has good defensive pedigree, that’s simply just not good enough.

As a team

CF% – 29.13% HDCF% – 30.00% xGF% – 28.77%
The Canucks just got outplayed. The advanced stats showed that despite getting the early lead, the bottom fell out, the team unable to build on the early advantage and instead letting the Avalanche take control of the game. Sure, it hung in the balance for a bit, but the numbers show that Colorado just dominated the Canucks as some of their best players were ineffective at best. It’s never fun to blow a lead, and it’s not fun to lose the way the Canucks just did last night. But, that doesn’t erase the good work they did in the three games prior, and hey, at leas they still have a point after turning in that kind of performance.
Vancouver gets to lick their wounds and rest up before welcoming the Washington Capitals to town on Saturday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com
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