The Statsies: How did the Vancouver Canucks lose this game?

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
1 month ago
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It’s hard to win games when you’re playing against two teams.
The Vancouver Canucks lost 4-3 in overtime to the Arizona Coyotes last night despite being the better team on paper. From the opening period, there wasn’t a single frame of action where the Canucks weren’t out-chancing the Coyotes. But being unable to capitalize on a good first period, a couple of lapses in the second, and with the refereeing tilting the ice, it all cumulated in the overtime defeat last night.
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

From the Y-axis of this game flow chart, it’s apparent that the Canucks should’ve been handily in control of this game. There wasn’t a single period where their CF% share dropped below 58.00, and the team maintained an xGF% of 71.81 on average in regulation. But clearly that wasn’t good enough with the result that was turned in, and giving up those two goals at the end of the second and start of the third did make a bit of a mountain for the Canucks to climb. They did tie it up and send it to overtime after killing off three power plays, which should be commended in and of itself.

Heat Map

Vancouver had pretty much the perfect heat map here. They stopped the Coyotes from establishing much of anything with a high concentration of attempts, while they themselves got a good hot patch right in the slot. In total, the Canucks held a 42-17 scoring chance advantage and a 19-7 high-danger chance lead. Those are some great margins, with Vancouver burying Arizona in chances throughout the night. Unfortunately, Arizona got a little fortunate on their end, while the Canucks couldn’t convert enough of their opportunities into goals.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Ian Cole led all Canucks last night with an 86.67 CF%, the only Canuck to be over 20.00 CF% rel to team average. He did a good job in limiting what the Coyotes were able to achieve last night statistically, a 5-1 shot difference in favour of the Canucks while holding a 6-1 scoring chance and 4-0 high-danger chance differential during his TOI. That resulted in a team-best 0.08 xGA, but unfortunately, Arizona defied the probabilities and scored once while Cole was on ice. Other than that, it was a solid night’s work alongside Nikita Zadorov.
Corsi Chump: Carson Soucy finds himself at the bottom of the team’s Corsi department, coming in at a 44.00 CF% on the night. Granted, this is from playing against Arizona’s first line for the majority of the game and not getting a single offensive zone shift start. Soucy was on ice for a goal against, but put up a 60.79 xGF% share, holding a 7-6 lead in scoring chances and a 3-2 high-danger chance edge. It wasn’t a spotless performance from the defenceman, but he wasn’t a big liability on the ice either.
xGF: Conor Garland was buzzing against his former team. Coming in with an 85.47 xGF% share, Garland’s 1.83 xGF paced the team due in large part to a 14-6 scoring chance differential and a big 8-1 high-danger chance advantage. While Garland was on the ice, the shots stood at 11-3 in favour of the Canucks. Potting in the 3-2 goal was a huge boost to the team, and is just yet another notch in what’s been a marked turnaround for the winger this season.
GSAx: This one is tough for Arturs Silovs. With the Coyotes unable to muster up much of anything and still scoring 4 goals on 1.78 xGF, the Latvian netminder finished last night with a -2.22 GSAx. Two of the goals came off high-danger attempts, with the other two goals at middle-danger and low-danger. It’s clear that while Silovs is a talented shot-stopper, there are still things that he needs to work on and is clearly not at the NHL level yet. At times last night, he looked stiff and unable to track pucks through traffic, while the lateral movement wasn’t quite there yet either. Silovs wasn’t entirely bad though, with a couple of nice stops in the game.

Statistical Musings

Lindholm’s return: Elias Lindholm returned to the Canucks lineup after an extended absence due to a wrist injury. Being slotted between Phil Di Giuseppe and Ilya Mikheyev, it made for an inauspicious return, to say the least. The trio recorded the worst CF% on the team with a 50.00, while their xGF% was an impressively bad 3.77. Yes, that’s 3% expected goals share, meaning that while these three were on the ice, Arizona had just under 97.00 xGF%. They only posted 0.01 xGF and gave up a goal against, which really isn’t the best thing against one of the worst teams in the league. Granted, it’s just Lindholm’s first game back in the lineup, but it wasn’t the prettiest numbers display last night. He looked much more effective on the penalty kill which shouldn’t be overlooked despite the 5v5 numbers.
Take the good and the bad: Tyler Myers has been polarizing throughout his Canucks tenure. Last night, it was yet another demonstration of the feast-or-famine approach with him. The big defender was on ice for two goals for and two goals against, recording the second-worst CF% amongst defencemen and the lowest xGF% in the d-corps. And yet, it was Tyler Myers that found himself as the 4th-best Canuck defenceman in xGF with a 0.91, while splitting an even 3-3 high-danger chance tally during his TOI. It’s not great that he’s on ice for two goals against, but at the same time, Myers is also contributing to goals for as well. Whether that cancels it out, is very much up for debate.

As a team

CF% – 66.37% HDCF% – 73.08% xGF% – 69.42%
When your team posts 4.04 xGF and the opponent only has 1.78 xGF, you’re usually winning hockey games. And yet, it was the Canucks that dropped the overtime decision, through the Coyotes getting fortunate with their chances and the refereeing helping them get into the lead in the first place. More often than not, the Canucks would be winning this type of game – but the result is the result, and a slow start offensively cost them. This team does need to be more clinical with their chances and it showed in the final score.
Vancouver heads into Edmonton for a big clash with the Oilers on Saturday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com
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