The Statsies: Noah Juulsen was the best Canuck at 5v5 in win over Preds
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Michael Liu9 months ago
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A late puck drop didn’t mean a lack of action for a Monday night nightcap.
The Vancouver Canucks almost blew another multi-goal lead, but pulled out a 4-3 shootout victory against the Nashville Predators. Both teams didn’t look like they particularly wanted to take the two points, but the Canucks’ big guns did a good job of stepping up to take this team to a win. Plus, a couple of depth pieces shone in their roles last night too. It’s not the best result for better lottery odds, but that doesn’t mean that a game like this isn’t important to the future of this team.
Here’s the win, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.
Most of the Canucks’ success last night came from rush chances or forcing the Predators to turn it over in their own zone. The game flow shows how this team struggled at times to retain the puck, even with a 3-1 power play advantage over the visitors. What that also lead to was a disparity in scoring chances and high-danger chances in favour of Nashville, evidenced by how most of the expected goals trendline stayed in their half.
5v5 was much of the same story, if even a bit worse for Vancouver as well. They posted a 35.56 CF% 36.84 HDCF%, and 31.65 xGF%, which implies that the Predators pretty much had their way with the Canucks at even-strength play. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Nashville came back into this game with the advanced stats in their favour, able to whittle away at a Vancouver lead to send the game to overtime.
One of the more interesting aspects of this heat map is the hotspot from the point of the Predators. It’s not usually a spot that seems a high density of attempts, but for a team with Roman Josi, it makes sense why there’s a patch of deep blue there. Other than that, all of Nashville’s goals came from in front of the net, which makes sense given the 13-11 HDCF advantage they held across all situations.
As for the offensive end for the Canucks, it doesn’t look awful considering that they were out-chanced 31-25 over the course of the game. However, their power play does boost their numbers, with the heat map at 5v5 a lot less flattering of what this team was able to achieve. Vancouver didn’t manage to establish a single hotspot, got out-chanced 29-14, and conceded a 7-12 HDCF battle. Not the greatest effort at even strength last night.
Individual Advanced Stats
Corsi Champ: Andrei Kuzmenko returns to a familiar spot, leading the Canucks with a 57.58 CF%. When the Russian was on ice, Vancouver out-shot the Predators 10-8, with Kuzmenko chipping in the second-highest xGF (1.23) and creating 11 scoring chances. The winger wasn’t awful defensively either, only yielding 3 HDCA and a 0.79 xGA, but unfortunately saw himself on ice for two goals against. Kuzmenko did get a little unlucky on that front in what was otherwise a decently solid game. There were a couple of moments in the second where he seemed to lose focus, actually getting benched for a stretch after a couple of mishaps. Maybe Kuzmenko needs a Pepsi to go along with the pre-game banana too.
Corsi Chump: While Phil Di Giuseppe posted the worst CF% of any Canuck last night (26.92), this chump award is going to Tyler Myers. His Corsi% was the second worst (28.89), but thanks to his minutes played, his CF% rel of -24.96 was a team-worst. Guillaume Brisebois once again did his best to try and pull Myers’ numbers up, but it didn’t amount to much. Myers recorded a 7-14 shot differential when he was on ice, yielding 1.15 xGA and a 7-15 SCF differential. That disparity only grew when looking at the high-danger chances category, where Myers only managed a single HDCF with 6 HDCA coming the other way. His 900th NHL game comes amidst a tough run of form, with last night being no exception.
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xGF: JT Miller deserves a shoutout here, leading the Canucks with a 75.02 xGF% last night. He’s definitely seen an uptick in his play since Tocchet took over, looking far more engaged and contributing positively to this team. While he might not have scored a goal or recorded a point, it’s another game in an upward trend for him recently. What stands out the most isn’t Miller’s 1.17 xGF, but his team-low 0.39 xGA. Miller’s expected goals percentage is as high as it is thanks to the defensive work he put in, limiting the Predators to only 2 HDCA when he was on the ice. Not bad for a day’s work.
GSAx: Arturs Silovs might’ve been recalled on an emergency basis, but he certainly didn’t play like it was an emergency in front of him. The Latvian was cool and collected in this game against Nashville, where the Predators generated a total of 3.29 xGF. While a 0.24 GSAx might not sound like much, consider the dominance that the Predators showed at 5v5 play, with Silovs pretty much giving the Canucks the opportunity to win this game. All three goals against came from high-danger areas, with Silovs remaining perfect from all other areas. He’ll get reassigned to Abbotsford as soon as Delia is healthy, but don’t be surprised if Silovs gets an extended look next season with the excellent play he’s showing now.
Noah Juulsen’s impact: In the Statsies against the Wild, I wasn’t the kindest to Noah Juulsen. Last night against the Predators, he showed that he could definitely produce some results in an NHL top 4. His impact at 5v5 shouldn’t be underlooked, leading the Canucks in CF% (47.62), xGF% (45.90), all the while holding Nashville to without a single high-danger chance when he was on ice. Sure, playing with Quinn Hughes can make anyone look good, but Hughes actually recorded worse numbers playing away from Juulsen than with. It might be an outlier of a game, but credit where credit is due for a call up asked to step into a larger role.
Vasily Podkolzin’s play-driving ability: The best forward on the Vitali Kravtsov-Sheldon Dries-Vasily Podkolzin line was the right winger. That isn’t a controversial statement. After a game in which they struggled to do much, this line was buzzing against the Preds. They led the Canucks in CF% 45.45, coming in a close second with a 39.27 xGF% while only getting a single start in the offensive end. Podkolzin did much of the lifting in this one, his puck hounding on the forecheck forcing space to open up for his teammates. Though Podkolzin’s numbers might not jump out off the stat sheet, they were definitely pulling up Kravtsov and Dries, who both posted worse numbers without the Russian on the flank. It’s encouraging to see him continue to take steps in his development, and it feels as if the dam will break for Podkolzin in the point production department.
As a team
CF% – 43.64% HDCF% – 45.83% xGF% – 42.44%
The Canucks probably didn’t deserve to win this one. Sure, they raced out to a 3-1 lead, but at the same time, they were out-possessed, out-chanced, and gave up a lot of quality opportunities to the Predators. It’s fortunate that Nashville was more wasteful than them in terms of finishing, but they can’t count on that being true for every single opponent that they face. Still, there were some building blocks put into place for future consideration, with a couple of standout performances taking the spotlight. Who knows, perhaps this stretch until the end of the season can make for some interesting developments for the future.
Vancouver will play host to the Ducks tomorrow for a 7:00 PM puck drop.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com
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