The Statsies: Teddy Blueger leads the Canucks in xGF% in chippy win over Coyotes

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
4 months ago
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It’s good to be home.
The Vancouver Canucks beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 in a tight affair, where the chances at 5v5 were hard to come by. That isn’t to say the team didn’t play well – rather, it was a game where neither team really found themselves dominating at any point in time. A one-goal win makes sense with how much this game spent in the balance between the two teams. Obviously, it wasn’t the win that attracted most of the headlines, and we’ll get to the numbers behind them soon enough.
Here’s the win, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

From the game flow, it is apparent just how influential the powerplays were to the Canucks’ possession and expected goals trendlines. Across all situations, Vancouver finished the game with 57.3 CF%, 72.22 HDCF%, and 67.13 xGF%, all of which suggest that the Canucks were dominating this game. But, when looking at the 5v5 game flow chart, it shows a much more accurate representation of this game’s pace.
It’s interesting to note that Arizona actually had a 71.43 CF% share in the second. That didn’t translate to much of anything for them, with only an 8-5 scoring chance advantage, but still was a little blip in the Canucks’ focus at even strength.

Heat Map

The Canucks were the only team in the matchup that consistently generated chances, and even then it wasn’t their usual amount. Vancouver finished the night with a 24-17 lead in scoring chances, a further 13-5 advantage in HDCF reflected by that hot spot right in the low slot area. Arizona didn’t have a single hot patch to speak of, which is backed up by the numbers. While it’s not the volume that the Canucks might’ve wanted, they did enough to consistently get good opportunities, and they only needed two of them to take home the win.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Nils Åman didn’t have a noticeable game, but that wasn’t the worst thing to happen for a depth forward. In his limited minutes, the Swede finished with a team-high 61.11 CF%, keeping his nose clean for the majority of the game. Åman held a 56.73 xGF% during the same span, the Canucks having a 3-1 HDCF differential when he was on the ice. It wasn’t as if he was a game-breaker by any means, but staying above evens is definitely a good thing for Åman.
Corsi Chump: Here’s some interesting brain food. JT Miller, at 5v5, finished with a team-worst 25.00 CF%. Not only that, but the center also recorded a 20.99 xGF% while only being on ice for a 3-4 scoring chance advantage for the Coyotes. This doesn’t seem to track well with the results that the Lotto Line has been putting up – but if anyone’s been paying attention to the underlying stats of Pettersson-Miller-Boeser, this isn’t really a surprise. A lot of this is because they’ve been put up against the best that the opponent has to offer, and in this one, it was no different. Miller was given a lot of defensive responsibility and deployment with only 25% of his shifts starting in the offensive zone. Naturally, his Corsi numbers aren’t going to look the best when he’s placed in such situations.


xGF: Teddy Blueger was the team’s leader in xGF%, coming in at 83.47 on the night. His 0.15 xGA tied him for third on the team and his 0.75 xGF was the third-best at 5v5, all the while holding the Coyotes to just 1 HDCA. Blueger also picked up an assist on the eventual game-winning goal, which made sense with how he and his line were buzzing once more. Across all situations, Quinn Hughes racked up the most xGF with 2.58, as per usual.
GSAx: Thatcher Demko wasn’t the busiest man last night but nearly was perfect against Arizona. The Coyotes only managed 1.63 xGF in the game, which meant that Demko finished with a 0.63 GSAx. By no means stealing the game, but more than good enough for the Canucks to give him run support. The only goal that got past Demko was chalked up to a middle-danger chance, which may have driven down that GSAx of his. Regardless, it was a quiet but solid night between the pipes, and as a team you can’t ask for much more than that regularly.

Statistical Musings

Focusing on the Lottery: So what’s the deal with the Lotto Line? They’ve been overwhelming their opponents offensively during their TOI, but their underlying numbers have suggested that they are performing at an unsustainable level. Against the Yotes at 5v5, the trio recorded 25.00 CF%, were outshot 1-4, generated 25.95 xGF%, and only had one high-danger chance. That doesn’t sound like elite numbers because they aren’t – but that also isn’t inherently a bad thing. Vancouver’s recipe for success this season has been getting in front early and defending from the lead, something that the Lotto Line has played a big part in. What that could also mean is that once the score effects settle in, Pettersson-Miller-Boeser usually is trusted with defending in key situations, resulting in their advanced stats getting depressed. It’s definitely good to be able to get top-end offensive production from the Lotto Line, but it’s even better to get top-end defence against opponents trying to match up against them. So far, that’s been the case.
What to do with Kuzy: In previous games, it was defensible to say that Andrei Kuzmenko was just getting unlucky alongside a very snakebitten Ilya Mikheyev. Their underlying numbers on the road were decent together and it seemed that they just lacked a finish. But at home, Kuzmenko-Suter-Mikheyev just unraveled. It was genuinely a horrendous outing from them, having a 25.00 CF% share and recording a terrible 14.61 xGF%. They only saw 3:57 of action, which just shows how poor of an impact they were making. Kuzmenko was noticeably benched for nearly half the game, and just makes all the trade speculation even stronger surrounding him.

As a team

CF% – 57.30% HDCF% – 72.22% xGF% – 67.13%
The Canucks generated most of their momentum and offensive pressure on the man advantage last night, duking it out at 5v5 against a scrappy Coyotes team. It wasn’t as if the team was particularly sloppy though – some details were missed in glaring fashion, but overall just a chippy affair between the two teams. Vancouver will look to recapture some of that goal-scoring form in their next matchups, but a win is a win, and banking those points is never a bad thing, especially at this point in the season.
Next up, Vancouver has their annual 4 PM matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at home on Saturday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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