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The Statsies: Elite Swedes and Noah Juulsen help Canucks top Red Wings

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
2 months ago
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Talk about emoting on someone.
The Vancouver Canucks got their revenge at home, topping the Detroit Red Wings by a 4-1 scoreline. It was a solid win at home, showing off all sides of the Canucks game, from great offence to stingy defending. They responded with physicality and chippiness, befitting of a playoff team in a very complete win. There wasn’t much that could be picked apart at 5v5 with this team, though the power play will probably need a deeper dive to figure out why it isn’t clicking.
Here’s the win, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

It wasn’t domination by the Canucks at any point last night, but they did more than enough to get themselves in the lead and keep it that way. Through the first two periods at 5v5, Vancouver held the majority of the CF% share while nullifying anything that Detroit tried to get going. The Red Wings didn’t record a single high-danger chance in the first period at 5v5, and were out-high-danger-chanced 5-4 by the Canucks in the second at even strength. That was enough for Vancouver to secure the 3-1 lead, and that was the lead they went into the third defending. Make no mistake, the Red Wings pushed hard, generating 8 high-danger chances across all situations, but at even strength, it stood even at 2-2 apiece. Vancouver did a great job at limiting the quality chances that Detroit got at 5v5 play, and that went a long way in stifling any comeback hopes.

Heat Map

The heat map paints the picture of Detroit generally out-chancing Vancouver. In total, the scoring chances stood at 34-27 for the Red Wings, a 12-9 lead in high-danger chances as well. It was relatively low-event, reflected by the hot patches not being exactly dark and deep on either side. Yes, the Canucks were out-chanced and did give up more opportunities in front than they created on the other end, but in terms of raw numbers, it isn’t that bad. One thing that should be pointed out is that most of the goals Vancouver scored were relatively “low-percentage,” from areas of the ice that don’t usually result in goals. Not inherently a bad thing, but it doesn’t lead well to repeatable success.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Top 6 Nils Höglander is a different beast. Getting the deployment that he deserves after long last, Höglander led the Canucks in CF% last night with a 76.00. While he only picked up one assist last night, the Swede was all over the ice doing good things alongside Elias Pettersson and Elias Lindholm. Höglander would finish the night with the second-best xGA on the roster (0.22) along with second-best xGF% (74.63). There’s been a lot to like with his game since the start of the season, and this extended run in the top 6 is showcasing why Höglander is an indispensable option to have for the Canucks.
Corsi Chump: On the flip side, the fourth line has been struggling pretty darn mightily as of late. Phil Di Giuseppe is the casualty here, tacking on 20.00 CF% as the worst Canuck in that category last night. Impressively bad was the fact that PDG didn’t manage to create anything in the xGF department, meaning that he gave up a 0.45 xGA to finish with a 0.00 xGF% at 5v5 play. While he was on the ice, the Red Wings out-shot the Canucks 7-0 in that span. Overall, not a good night in a run of very subpar games from him and the fourth line of the Canucks.

THE STATSIES PRESENTED BY BETWAY

xGF: While the Swede line got all the attention last night (as it should), it was JT Miller that led the Canucks in xGF% with a 76.75. Getting the scoring started with the first goal of the game, Miller also recorded the best xGA (0.19) last night, which makes sense since he was on ice for zero high-danger chances against. In terms of raw xGF, Quinn Hughes led all players with a 1.39 to his name. The stars were definitely stepping up to the plate after some lacklustre efforts on the road.
GSAx: Thatcher Demko was sparkling once more. The Red Wings managed to get quite the chances last night, particularly in the third, giving them 3.16 xGF on the night. That also meant that Demko finished with a 2.16 GSAx which is absolutely outstanding. The only blemish was a high-danger goal against, but other than that the netminder was a brick wall in front of any chances that the Red Wings managed to generate. Nothing was getting past Demko last night and he absolutely looks rock solid in his return home.

Statistical Musings

Juulsen uprising: Who would’ve thought that Noah Juulsen would be one of the Canucks most reliable defence options given the start to the season that he had? Last night against the Red Wings, he had a masterclass of a game playing alongside Nikita Zadorov. Juulsen finished as the third-best Canuck in CF% (70.83), fourth-best in xGF% (66.13), and second-best in xGF (0.77). That’s across the entire lineup, not just for defencemen. Juulsen was on ice for an 11-3 lead in scoring chances, a further 3-1 high-danger chance differential while only allowing three shots against during his TOI. It’s a remarkable turnaround for the former whipping boy on the back end since the 2023-24 season got underway, and it’s come at a very necessary time for the Canucks as well.
How Swede it is: Do y’all think Höglander-Lindholm-Pettersson communicate in Swedish? Against the Red Wings last night, the trio were absolutely dominant, leading all forward lines in CF% (71.43), SF% (72.73), and SCF% (70.00). Their 62.10 xGF% put them in third place for that stat, but they also were the ones that converted on their opportunities the most to bury three goals. It should be noted that this is the second-consecutive game that they’ve posted some of the best xGA numbers on the roster, further supporting the idea that this line could be the two-way force that the Canucks were looking for when they swung the trade for Lindholm.
Where Mikheyev dragged down the Corolla: It was interesting to see the impacts of slotting Ilya Mikheyev alongside Conor Garland and Teddy Blueger last night in the place of an injured Dakota Joshua. Yes, they didn’t have a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but it was clear that the Russian was the odd piece out. They were on the ice together for the only goal that the Canucks would concede, while Garland and Blueger went from being the Canucks’ best or second-best CF% men to being the third-best. Not a massive dropoff, but one nonetheless, missing the chemistry that Joshua brought to that unit.

As a team

CF% – 44.35% HDCF% – 42.86% xGF% – 39.99%
It was a fun game to watch in the Canucks’ return home after the All-Star break. They got their revenge on a team that beat them in overtime on the road, and fans were treated to an absolute spectacle of Jake Walman losing his mind as Nikita Zadorov griddied him off into the night. They looked dialled when they needed to be, playing hard and fast in the Tocchet style. The special teams once again went AWOL, but besides that smidge, it was fantastic to see the star players finding the scoresheet as the depth continued to step up their play.
Next up, Vancouver hosts the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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