The Statsies: Breaking down Brock Boeser’s big night in Canucks win over Dallas

Photo credit:© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
1 year ago
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One of the hottest teams in the NHL stays hot — just not the one you would think in this matchup.
The Vancouver Canucks claimed their 6th win in a row against the Dallas Stars, coming out on top with a 3-1 win. It was a very solid effort by this group against one of the best teams in the western conference, and certainly one of their most disciplined games in a long while. Vancouver didn’t give up too many easy looks and was able to find the edge in a chance-filled game. In terms of developing structure, it’s a game you love to see.
Here’s the win, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

A large reason why the Canucks saw the puck possession and expected goals line shift into their favour was thanks to their powerplays. Chief among them was the amount of 5-on-3 time that they had in the second, allowing the team to build up a big gap to the Stars after a back-and-forth first period. This isn’t a bad thing, but it should give some context as to why the trendline generally favours the Canucks.
However, when looking at it period by period, the Stars had the lion’s share of possession in the first and third. They posted a 60.00 and 70.37 CF% respectively in those frames, totalling a 2.08 xGF. This isn’t a big surprise – Dallas had two powerplays in both those periods, which definitely helped them swing the momentum in their favour. It should also not be a surprise that the third period was their best statistically, a result of the Canucks protecting the lead and the Stars trying to chase them down.

Heat Map

In a game where the total scoring chances sat at 24-23 in favour of the Stars, it’s a smaller heat map spread than one might expect. What this suggests is that both teams found areas to exploit, places on the ice to focus their attempts in. With that in mind, it’s a solid outing by the Canucsk defensively to limit the Stars’ volume from in tight. Yes, they were able to establish a pretty deep hot spot, but it wasn’t as bad as it has been in the past. And, on top of that, no high-danger goals were given up at all.
Meanwhile offensively, the Canucks showed a pretty good heat map on that end as well. Edging out the Stars 12-10 in HDCF, their own hot spot might’ve been smaller but was a lot more concentrated. Two goals came from that area of the ice, with the third just a bit outside the main concentration of attempts. It’s good to see them working pucks into that area, getting attempts off and scoring goals efficiently in high-danger positions.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Brock Boeser continues a good run statistically, leading the Canucks last night with a 70.00 CF% and posting a 37.16 CF% rel. Vancouver out-shot Dallas 11-6 when Boeser was on the ice, with the winger contributing 11 scoring chances and 6 high-danger chances. His 1.55 xGF was the third-highest on the roster, and his 78.23 xGF% was the runner-up among last night’s Canucks. It’s good to see the numbers jump up for Boeser, who’s mired in a bit of a slump despite the points that are coming. Hopefully, he can find another gear again to be a contributing piece to this roster.
Corsi Chump: Eeesh. Vasily Podkolzin dropped the ball in this one, bringing up the rear with a 25.00 CF% despite being on a line with Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko. It doesn’t get much better down the stat line, with Podkolzin putting up an anemic 0.09 xGF (the worst on the team) along with contributing pretty much nothing defensively either. It sucks to see these sorts of numbers after a strong outing last time around, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Podkolzin was benched briefly in the second period. Not the best of follow-up performances, to say the very least. He just doesn’t seem to be quite ready for a top-6 role but has definitely outgrown a center like Sheldon Dries.


xGF: Conor Garland takes yet another expected goals title, leading Vancouver last night with a 84.82 xGF%. A large chunk of this number can probably be explained by the fact that 6 out of his 7 scoring chances were high-danger, while only 1 out of 6 scoring chances against were high-danger. Garland’s 0.16 xGA sits tied with Jack Rathbone as the best in the Canucks lineup, while a 0.91 xGF puts him 8th in that category. He didn’t crack the points against the Stars, but the impact of suppressing chances while helping create chances at the other end speaks a lot to Garland’s play away from the puck this season. The counting stats don’t always reflect what a player contributes to the team.
GSAx: Thatcher Demko turns in a strong performance for this one. The Stars weren’t without their chances, totaling a 2.22 xGF and thus giving Demko a 1.22 GSAx. Sure, Dallas didn’t get as many high-danger opportunities as Vancouver did, but all the same Demko stayed perfect through those. Technically speaking, the one goal that did get past him was categorized as a low-danger chance, which is probably why those numbers aren’t as high as one might expect. Still, Demko continued his dominance against the Stars with an excellent 0.962 SV% and just 1.01 GAA.

Statistical Musings

Tank Commander Tyler Myers: It is tough to see Tyler Myers play these days. Against the Stars, the defenceman split time between Filip Hronek and Quinn Hughes. Somehow, he managed to drag both their numbers down significantly with them. Myers was the worst defenceman the Canucks had in CF% (30.30), xGA (1.23, also the worst skater), xGF% (25.42), and HDCA 96). It was a meltdown pretty much every time he was on ice, with Hronek trying his best to even out the negative impact Myers was having. Together, Hronek-Myers had 35.00 CF%, 33.33 SF%, and 30.34 xGF%, while Hronek away from Myers posted 55.56 CF%, 66.67 SF%, and 80.42 xGF%. You know it’s bad when even Quinn Hughes can’t pull Myers out of trouble, the pair recording 0.00 CF%, 0.00 SF%, and 0.00 xGF%.
Rathbone’s return: The goal he potted in will be what most remember about Jack Rathbone last night, but there’s a whole game to unpack for the young defenceman. He saw very limited ice time, playing 9:13 last night which was only better than Podkolzin and Vitali Kravtsov. Of those 9:13 minutes, Rathbone split between Kyle Burroughs and Ethan Bear, both of which were decently serviceable pairings. They produced quite the xGF% clip (Rathbone-Burroughs, 75.47 xGF%; Rathbone-Bear, 66.47 xGF%) while keeping their noses clean defensively. It’s definitely a solid outing, especially when the minutes weren’t too sheltered either. Rathbone saw a good amount of action against the entire top 9 of the Stars, meaning that in his limited minutes he still saw good competition.
Nils Åman’s matchup: A very interesting note from last night was seeing that Nils Åman had the most time on ice of any forward against Robertson-Hintz-Pavelski, the Stars’ first line. It’s not exactly unfamiliar territory for the Swede, who earlier in the season had matched up against Conno McDavid with some good results in limited time. This one was a solid defensive outing as well. Though Åman did concede the CF% and xGF% battle, he actually limited Dallas’ top line to just 2 high-danger chances against. AS an example of his impacts, Robertson saw his 68.25 xGF% away from Åman drop to 58.34 xGF% against Åman. It might not sound like much, but margins matter especially at this level.

As a team

CF% – 44.33% HDCF% – 54.55% xGF% – 55.38%
Overall, it was a solid effort from top to bottom by the Canucks against the Stars. The victory was well earned and reflected the quality of play they put on the ice, showing in the stats as well. For whatever reason, this team always plays well against Dallas, in Dallas, regardless of how the teams are trending at that point. But, it’s a very encouraging win in terms of seeing identity and structure settling on in with this roster.
Vancouver instantly gets back on the road, heading to Chicago to face the Blackhawks for a 3 PM puck drop back-to-back.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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