The Pittsburgh Penguins emerged from a rough stretch of games last night. In their five games prior to beating the Ducks, they were 1-4, scoring only one goal in each.
“They can’t buy a goal” and “their offense has dried up” were phrases uttered about the Pens.
Being a logical hockey fan, you looked at their line-up – Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang… – and you knew it was only a matter of time until they started scoring again. Especially if you noticed they outshot their opponents in four out of those five games.
They were doing the right things, just not seeing the results.
Canucks fans, you know where I’m going with this.
Vancouver is 1-3-2 in their last six games, scoring eight goals – only 1 in each of the last four – and some are wondering if this team has any offensive abilities.
They do. The Canucks are doing the right things, and, like the Penguins, it’s only a matter of time until they see the results.
A quick review of the last few games might help:
The Canucks outshot the Sharks 35-27 in regulation last Thursday. They held a 1-0 lead in the final minute, when Dan Boyle wound up for a point blank slap shot which Luongo was poised and ready to save.
But Boyle fanned, and he missed so perfectly that the puck landed on Tomas Hertl’s stick at the side of the net, giving the lucky rookie nothing but net to shoot at. They dominated the game, but they lost.
In hockey, sometimes the bounces, or the calls don’t go your way. Sometimes one of your best scorers misses by a fraction of an inch, and it costs you the game.
The Canucks were also better against Dallas, outworking, outplaying and outchancing their opponents leading to a final shot count of 43-23. Henrik Sedin had a goal waived off and then saw his beautiful feed to Alex Burrows hit the post in the second period.
Some members of the media are trumpeting Burrows’ goal-scoring slump, saying his timing is off since returning from injury. In reality, one of the best set of hands on the Canucks was aiming just inside the post, and he only just missed. If anything, that incredible redirection shows his timing and confidence are back. The luck – not so much.
Vancouver outshot and outplayed Phoenix and Anaheim as well.
If you’re still a believer that the score is all that matters at the end of the day, or if you want to read more about shots, chances and advanced statistics like CORSI and Fenwick, you can check out CanucksArmy for an in-depth statistical breakdown of every game.
And if you don’t want to become a “stats nerd,” as Alex Burrows would say about CORSI subscribers, just know that the Canucks have been doing the right things for a while now, and when you do the right things, the results follow. There’s a reason coaches focus on “the process” more than the final score.
The Canucks are about to start scoring a lot more and winning a lot of games. Get on the wagon before it fills up.