The Statsies: Vancouver Canucks struggle to out-chance Anaheim Ducks in win

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
3 months ago
Hey, that’s 100 points on the season.
The Vancouver Canucks beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 at home to close out the homestand, though the manner of victory was a little unconvincing. Against a team that got flattened just the night before, the Canucks played down to their opposition, unable to convincingly seize control of the game and letting the Ducks hang around and make it interesting in the third. Now, when Vancouver showed urgency, they looked like a great team. But that was only for perhaps 10 minutes of the game – and they’re lucky that the Ducks are just inept.
Here’s the win, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

At the very least, the Canucks were slightly better on the man advantage against the Ducks. They were able to generate the differences in puck possession and expected goals that should be anticipated from being on the man advantage, for two of the four powerplays. Aside from the first period, the Canucks held the majority of the CF% share for the game, while leading in xGF% across all three periods. That being said, Vancouver only managed to generate 2.33 xGF, while conceding 1.7 xGA. Not the finest displays at either end.

Heat Map

The fact that both hot spots look comparable does not reflect kindly upon the effort that the Canucks turned in. In total, Vancouver barely out-chanced Anaheim 29-27, while the high-danger chances were a little more separated to the tune of 16-11. That being said, the Ducks still were able to get a good concentration of chances from in tight against Arturs Silovs, making their hot spot look similarly dense as the Canucks’ on the other end. Vancouver was better at converting their high-danger looks into goals – but they can’t be giving up that many opportunities to better teams than Anaheim.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Conor Garland was buzzing against the Ducks. He led all Canucks skaters with a 67.65 CF%, in which during his TOI the team out-shot Anaheim 15-5. Garland also led all Canucks in raw xGF, generating 1.40 at 5v5 play with a 64.64 xGF% share to show for it. The winger has been consistently one of the Canucks’ best options through the month of March, and now that he’s been reunited with Dakota Joshua, the points are flooding back in.
Corsi Chump: Pius Suter got dropped down to the defacto fourth line against the Ducks, centering a line with Sam Lafferty and Ilya Mikheyev on his flanks. Couple that with the fact that the trio faced Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish, and Ryan Strome for the majority of the game, and it does make sense why Suter finished with the team’s worst CF% of 23.53. Along with the worst CF% came the team’s worst xGF%, with Suter recording a 10.19 while giving up a 2-6 scoring chance differential and a 0-3 high-danger chance deficit. Again, makes sense given the quality of competition and his linemates.
xGF: While not producing overwhelming raw numbers, there’s no denying that Brock Boeser had his impact in this one offensively. The winger led the Canucks in xGF% with a 72.41, potting in a goal on the power play while also tallying the best xGA on the team (0.18). Vancouver held a 9-3 edge in scoring chances and 3-0 lead in high-danger chances while Boeser was on ice.
GSAx: In his season debut, Arturs Silovs was pretty darn solid. Anaheim generated 2.53 xGF in total for the game, meaning that the Latvian finished comfortably in the positives with a 0.53 GSAx. The only blemish in his performance was that low-danger goal given up as the Ducks’ first tally of the game, with the other goal coming off a high-danger chance. Other than that though, Silovs was pretty darn solid and looks set for more action in the final couple of games of the season.

Statistical Musings

Taking the consistency of a Corolla and mixing it with the performance of a Mustang: I love the move to put Joshua-Miller-Garland together. The numbers back it up too, with the three of them being overwhelming at 5v5 against Anaheim. They would finish third-best on the team with a 67.74 CF% and 64.50 xGF% – but looking at the raw numbers that they were generating it rapidly becomes apparent that they were carrying the Canucks’ offence. During Joshua-Miller-Garland’s 10:40 TOI, they held a 21-10 CF lead, with the next closest being Hoglander-Pettersson-Boeser’s 13-6. They had a 14-4 shot differential, 10 more shots than the next closest line, and their 1.19 xGF was by far the team’s best, ahead of Bains-Blueger-Podkolzin’s 0.46. While as a whole, the Canucks weren’t their sharpest, this unit definitely was driving play at every given opportunity to deliver the victory in the end.
Soucy continuing a good run: Flying under the radar as of late is Carson Soucy, who has really stabilized the Canucks’ top 4 when he’s in the lineup. Against the Ducks, he led all defencemen in CF%, while his 61.82 xGF% was just behind Quinn Hughes to rank him second amongst defencemen. Not only does Soucy add a physical presence to the backend, but he generally keeps things pretty low-key, making the right play a large majority of the time. It’s been noticeable when he isn’t in the lineup, and it seems that Soucy has been playing up to the expectations that management had for him when he signed in the offseason.

As a team

CF% – 54.39% HDCF% – 59.26% xGF% – 55.63%
It wasn’t a convincing margin or manner of victory, but the Canucks were able to get it done. The points were big, especially with Edmonton coming into the fold in the rearview mirror, but the Canucks need to find a way to get hot before the playoffs. They’ve been decent defensively, but with their 5v5 offence lacking a little and their powerplay going nearly entirely missing, they’ll have to rediscover the scoring touch that made them one of the best teams in the league offensively. Luckily, there’s still a little bit of time, and hopefully getting on the road after a long homestand can spark some change within the team.
Vancouver heads into Vegas to square off against the Golden Knights on Tuesday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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