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The Statsies: Power play lets Canucks down again in loss to Jets

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
1 month ago
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That was a hell of a fun game to watch.
The Vancouver Canucks dropped a 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets in what was a chippy, emotion-fueled game. It felt like a playoff game between two really good teams, and unfortunately, the Canucks probably were drawn in a little too much which cost them in the end. The team played well, generally better than the Jets at 5v5 – but once again, special teams went missing, and this time it proved costly.
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

Vancouver did their work for the majority of the game. They didn’t finish with a single period below 54.00 CF%, out-chanced the Jets 22-17, and had a 2.20-1.00 xGF lead going into the third period. All of these are good things – the only problem was that it wasn’t converted upon. The Canucks generated a lot of expected goals and high-danger chances on the power play, which helped them push the flow trendline in their favour, and yet nothing was capitalized on. Expected goals are only as good as the number of which the team converts into actual goals, and despite finishing with a 4.5-2.34 xGF advantage across all situations, it was Vancouver that lost 4-2.

Heat Map

With how the expected goals tally stood, this heat map also makes sense. The Canucks were doing a lot of good things last night, limiting their opponent’s chances while creating plenty of their own. Connor Hellebuyck is a darn good goalie, which definitely helped the Jets stave off Canucks pressure. At the same time though, Vancouver has to do better when it comes to finishing especially on the power play. In total across all situations, the Canucks held a 36-24 scoring chance lead and an 18-12 advantage in high-danger shots. For them to only finish on two won’t be good enough to consistently win hockey games.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: JT Miller topped the Corsi charts last night, leading the team with a 78.26 CF%. It came playing against Winnipeg’s top 6, doing a fine job at 5v5 at controlling the puck and getting some good chances with it as well. In total, the Canucks out-shot the Jets 10-3 while Miller was on the ice, resulting in a goal for. He also was plenty involved in the theatrics last night, showing us just how well Mark Schiefele can act.
Corsi Chump: Noah Juulsen recorded his first goal as a Canuck last night but also finished as the worst Corsi man on the roster too, posting a 38.46 CF%. Him and Nikita Zadorov didn’t have a great time playing against Kyle Connor and his line, with Juulsen reverting back to his form from the start of the year as he hunted for the body more than making a play. Juulsen had the third-worst xGF% on the team with a 30.09, despite all of his shifts and faceoff starts coming in the offensive zone.

THE STATSIES PRESENTED BY BETWAY

xGF: Miller also topped the charts in xGF, recording an 88.55 xGF% with a team-best 0.17 xGA and 4th-best xGF (1.34). Vancouver out-chanced the Jets 9-1 during that span, a 4-1 high-danger chance advantage to go with that. Most of Miller’s shift starts came outside of the offensive zone, though two-thirds of his faceoffs were in the o-zone. He wasn’t able to put up any points on the board despite all these good things though, which still remains a little elusive as of late. Ian Cole led all Canucks in raw xGF with a 1.52.
GSAx: Almost entirely opposite to the game against Detroit, Thatcher Demko wasn’t the busier goalie of the night and still gave up more goals. Winnipeg only managed 2.34 xGF during the game, meaning that Demko would finish with a -1.66 GSAx. He wasn’t all bad, but definitely could’ve been better to help the Canucks win this one. All four goals were recorded as high-danger goals, so it wasn’t as if any of them were particularly weak. However, this isn’t the type of performance that Demko usually turns in, and when Noah Juulsen and Tyler Myers are your goal-scorers, it’s a sign of bigger things collapsing around the team.

Statistical Musings

The Swedes were not so sweet: This is a byproduct of playing against the best the opponents had to offer, but Hoglander-Lindholm-Pettersson weren’t nearly as effective as they were against Detroit. In fact, by the numbers, they were the worst forward line the Canucks had at 5v5, posting the lowest CF% (46.67), highest xGA (0.43), and lowest xGF% (30.72), all the while giving up three high-danger chances against without posting a single one for. Now again, it’s a very small sample size for the trio together, and this probably is just an anomaly. But when one of your top 6 lines performs the way that they did against the Jets, it’s not a good indication of winning hockey.
A lot of looks, not a lot of goals: The numbers for the Canucks power play look pretty darn good. They had a 12-2 shot edge, 11 scoring chances and 5 high-danger chances, all of them contributing to a 1.59-0.02 xGF advantage. This is all fine and well – but the Canucks didn’t score on the power play. For whatever reason, the special teams looks significantly less dynamic than what it was at the start of the year. It’s great that they’re generating that much xGF on the man-advantage, but they needed to capitalize on it for it to have meant anything. And in a game like this against a very strong Jets team, the power play just let them down.

As a team

CF% – 62.39% HDCF% – 60.00% xGF% – 65.78%
The Canucks were good last night. They did a lot of the right things, played hard, and battled to try and even up the game when they were down. But it wasn’t enough, and in a playoff-like atmosphere against the second-best team in the west, there were holes that proved too much to overcome in the end. The even-strength play was mostly fine, but it felt like the Canucks got drawn into the extracurriculars a little too much, getting ground down by Winnipeg between the whistles. With their power play unit going missing as well, it wasn’t to be for the Canucks.
Vancouver heads into the state of hockey, facing off against the Minnesota Wild at 11:00 am PST for a Family Day matinee.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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