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The Statsies: Joshua-Blueger-Garland against the world in Canucks loss to Bruins

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Photo credit:© Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
4 months ago
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That sucked.
The Vancouver Canucks got absolutely smoked by the Boston Bruins 4-0, in a game where nearly every player failed to show up. Yes, the Bruins were hungry to prove something after losing to the Flames, but Vancouver did them a lot of favours by being completely flat throughout the game. Losses like these happen and the Canucks were probably due for a stinker like this one – but come on, did it really have to happen against Boston?
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

The game flow gives a generous picture to the Canucks, though the trend is clear. Vancouver was flat, unable to push when it counted to make any concrete difference in this one. Giving up two shorthanded goals suck, but that was only during the first period. The rest of the game, the Canucks just didn’t have anything going. In the third alone, Vancouver recorded a 43.75 CF% share and 29.09 xGF% share — numbers that aren’t good enough to win games, much less when trying to chase a comeback.

Heat Map

There weren’t many scoring chances to talk about in this one. The final scoring chance total stood at 23-19 in favour of the Bruins, with a 12-9 high-danger chance lead as well. Three high-danger chances might not sound like a big difference, but from the heat map above, Boston did a much better job generating repeated chances in the slot area. Their hot patch is larger and darker than the one the Canucks were able to create, and it should be no surprise that all four goals came from within that hot spot.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Dakota Joshua led the team in CF% last night with a 66.67, emblematic of the fact that he and his linemates didn’t take the night off. Sure, you could argue that Joshua wasn’t exactly playing against the top end of Boston’s lineup, but the fact remains that they were bought in. Joshua’s high CF% didn’t translate to the scoresheet, but his impact was felt through his physicality and chance generation.
Corsi Chump: Sam Lafferty followed up a weaker game in Carolina with another not-great effort. His CF% stood at 35.71, a team-low as well as a -19.22 CF% rel to the team’s average. He produced a staggering 3.75 xGF% last night alongside Nils Hoglander and Nils Aman, getting absolutely caved in their limited ice time with a 1-5 scoring chance differential in favour of Boston. It was not a good night for any line besides Joshua-Blueger-Garland, and the fourth line just seemed to underscore that point.

THE STATSIES PRESENTED BY BETWAY

xGF: Conor Garland features up next with a 73.57 xGF% against the Bruins to lead the team. The winger was on ice for a 10-6 scoring chance lead, 5-2 high-danger chance advantage while only allowing Boston to register 3 shots against. It should be no surprise that his xGA was pretty darn good as well, coming in second with a 0.32. Garland’s 0.89 xGF also put him into the third spot for that category, which is pretty concerning since Quinn Hughes led the team with just 1.04 xGF. There weren’t a lot of opportunities or chances generated, and the ones that did were at the hands of the ever-reliable third line.
GSAx: Vancouver did not give Thatcher Demko much run support, but the former Boston College man was not the greatest himself. Facing 2.27 xGF by the Bruins, the four goals against gave Demko a -1.72 GSAx on the night, firmly in the negatives in terms of game impact. The two short-handed goals probably factored into this one, but at the very least the positive that can be taken away is that Demko only yielded high-danger goals against last night. A bit of a thin positive, but one nonetheless.

Statistical Musings

Where one line carried the boats: It’s hard not to harp on this point, but looking at the stats posted by the Canucks’ forward lines at 5v5, it becomes painfully clear that Joshua-Blueger-Garland were setting the pace and the rest of the lines just failed to launch. Across the board, the third line led the team in CF%, xGF%, ice time, HDCF%, all of it showed that they played like a true first line against the Bruins. Suter-Miller-Boeser wasn’t awful, but realistically they shouldn’t be coming in second to Joshua-Blueger-Garland. As for Pettersson-Lindholm-Mikheyev, it was a very quiet game, one that they can’t be having against high-end competition if the Canucks expect to win hockey games.
Quinn Hughes’ off night: Talking about star players going missing, Quinn Hughes was nowhere near his usual self when it came to his impact on the ice. The defenceman didn’t post atrocious stats, but failed to generate anything of note. He split evenly for 4-4 shots, 6-6 scoring chances, and 3-3 high-danger chances — which, again, is not bad, but not the usual impact that Hughes has on games. Simply breaking even at 5v5 is not why he’s been a Norris contender this year, and hopefully this is just an anomaly in a game mired by misery.

As a team

CF% – 51.76% HDCF% – 42.86% xGF% – 48.92%
The best descriptor of this game is flat. Nothing the Canucks did really amounted to much, and it was just pure misery and dejection to lose to the Bruins by a familiar 4-0 scoreline. Again, they were probably due for a loss like this one, with very little going right for them, but it’s never easy to watch. Vancouver’s top 6 continues to be a little hit-or-miss, with consistency needing to be ironed out as the second half of the season gets going. The stars need to shine, and last night, they did not.
Vancouver heads into Detroit to take on the Red Wings in a matinee matchup on Saturday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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