The Statsies: Pius Suter spurs a dominant third in Canucks’ OT loss to Blues

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
4 months ago
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Hopefully the metallic domes aren’t jinxed too.
The Vancouver Canucks fought furiously in a 4-3 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues, producing an admirable effort to come from behind to secure at least one point. It wasn’t like previous contests, the Canucks finding themselves on the back foot early and unable to really get much going. But, they stuck with it, and thanks once more to the depth stepping up offensively, they were able to pull it to the extra frame. That being said, Vancouver’s top talent found themselves muted last night, which proved costly in the end.
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

Despite going down 2-0 early, Vancouver wasn’t having that bad of a game through the first two periods. They had a good chunk of the CF% share, 52.63% in the first and 58.97% in the second, while they were able to up their xGF% from 43.66 in the first to 58.71 in the second. The final frame was where they really turned it up though, putting together a 79.55 CF%, 23-4 scoring chance lead, 12-2 high-danger chance differential, 2.64 xGF, and 91.04 xGF% in the period alone. That was enough to give the Canucks a total of 5 xGF on the game, doing a great job of pushing to equalize.

Heat Map

Vancouver, by the numbers, had a tone of scoring chances. Their total on the game stood at 45-23, while the high-danger chances were 24-13 in favour of the Canucks. But, from the heat map, that dominance isn’t fully reflected. While yes, Vancouver’s hot spot in front of the crease was larger and darker, it’s not as dark as one might expect given that they nearly doubled the Blues’ high-danger chances. Vancouver also struggled a little to create 5v5 chances relative to St. Louis – 16/24 of their high-danger chances were at even strength, while 11/13 high-danger chances were at 5v5 for the Blues.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: The Lotto Line was broken up, and somehow that also meant that Brock Boeser’s underlying stats shot up. He led the team with a 77.78 CF% last night, chipping in with two assists as Pius Suter replaced Elias Pettersson alongside Boeser and Miller. Boeser produced a very solid 82.57 xGF% at even strength, tallying the third-best xGF (1.47) while being on ice for a 16-6 lead in scoring chances. The high-danger chances weren’t as nice though, as the winger found himself with a 6-4 lead – again, good, but relative to how many chances there were in total, it’s not the most efficient—still, it was a good game from him and his line in that comeback effort.
Corsi Chump: Teddy Blueger finds himself at the bottom of the team in CF% with a 47.06. The thing is, this isn’t even bad, because he and the rest of his line decided to be absolute menaces defensively. Blueger finished a team-high 97.42 xGF% simply because of a team-leading 0.02 xGA, snuffing out the Blues entirely and not letting them get anything going. This was also in minutes against the top 6 of St. Louis, so a solid effort all around.


xGF: As mentioned, Blueger led the team’s xGF% at 5v5, so I’ll be highlighting a couple of others in this category. Brock Boeser led the Canucks across all situations, producing a 91.74 xGF% while being on ice for an absurd 25-6 scoring chance differential, the high-danger chances standing at 12-4. JT Miller tallied the most raw xGF across all situations with a 3.11, while at even strength Filip Hronek led the team with a 1.79.
GSAx: Casey DeSmith wasn’t the reason why the Canucks lost this game, but it was not the best showing he’s had. The Blues only managed a 2.45 xGF in total for the game, meaning that the netminder finished with a -1.55 GSAx on the night. DeSmith only faced 18 shots, and three of the four goals he gave up were high-danger. Not obviously the worst, but it isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination. DeSmith wasn’t going to steal the Canucks games and he definitely didn’t do so in this one.

Statistical Musings

St Petersburg line looking more like the Leningrad line: This is the alter-ego to the league’s best forward line from just last season. Elias Pettersson was tucked between Andrei Kuzmenko and Ilya Mikheyev last night as Tocchet looked to shake things up. They weren’t horrific, but at the same time, they didn’t really accomplish too much either. The unit posted the second-worst CF% of any forward line (56.52), while their xGF% was also the second-worst (51.96). Granted, they produced the most raw xGF (0.88) but also gave up the most xGA (0.82). Pettersson did not look good last night, especially in the overtime where he turned the puck over twice (and yes, he did get cross-checked). The thing is, you’re expecting that Pettersson can drive that line, especially since Kuzmenko and Mikheyev aren’t exactly plugs despite the slumps that they’re in. It just isn’t the results that you want from him when given favourable deployment against the bottom half of the Blues’ lineup at even strength.
Suter slotting in: Pius Suter decided to become the entirety of the Canucks’ offence as soon as he slotted in with Miller and Boeser. His hat trick was supported by some pretty solid advanced stats, a 71.43 CF% and 81.56 xGF% while tallying up 2.2 xGF. It was definitely helped by the deployment that he received alongside Miller-Boeser, and playing alongside high-end talent usually leads to some form of production. But, to be able to play alongside them and score a hat trick showed that Suter wasn’t just along for the ride, finishing whatever his linemates were able to create. Vancouver needed his offence in the dearth of production from other sources.
Zadorov’s benching: The defence shifted back to its usual pairs, with Nikita Zadorov finding himself next to Tyler Myers once more. But that only lasted until the third period, as Zadorov had one of his poorer games in a Canucks uniform last night. Statistically, he was the worst Canuck defender, a 48.00 CF% and 36.59 xGF% coming in just 11:19 TOI. Zadorov only saw 21 seconds of action in the final period, which just so happened to lead to the Blues’ 3-1 marker. Not great.

As a team

CF% – 63.20% HDCF% – 64.86% xGF% – 67.11%
The Blues continue to be the Canucks’ kryptonite. It wasn’t a terrible game and the team showed an admirable effort playing from behind to tie the game up and send it to overtime. They probably deserve better than the result they produced. But at the same time, it’s extremely difficult to win hockey games when the top talent on the roster doesn’t show up at even strength, and Pettersson continues to struggle to be the game-breaker that he can be in the last 3-4 games. Hopefully, the tides can shift as the Canucks test out new forward combinations.
Vancouver has a bit of a break before taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets when they come to town on Saturday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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