In the wake of the Vancouver Canucks’ most recent loss Thursday to the Nashville Predators, you may see the same stat float around the Canucks blogosphere. Matt Sekeres’ Globe and Mail spot on Sunday first alluded to the Canucks’ concerns against teams with a low goals against average.
Nothing done against Nashville last night seems to alleviate those concerns.
The Top 5 defensive teams, going by goals against average, are as follows:
1 – Boston – 2.25
2 – Nashville – 2.29
3 – Vancouver – 2.29
4 – Los Angeles – 2.41
5 – NY Rangers – 2.44
Against the other four teams this season, the Canucks have racked up a 1-5-1 record and been outscored 16 to 6, shutout twice and have scored more than one goal just once.
I ran the numbers, and the Canucks seem to fold against top defensive clubs. While the team normally puts around 55-to-60 percent of their shots on net, in those seven games, they’ve only managed to get in that range twice, in the first two games against Nashville. Since they managed good on-net numbers before, it’s not a stretch to think that last night it wasn’t the solid perimeter play, just bad shots in close, that was the difference.
(G – Goals, S – Shots, A/B – Attempts Blocked, MS – Missed shots, OG – Opponent Goals, OS – Opponent Shots, O A/B – Opponent Attempts Blocked, O MS – Opponent Missed Shots, Team – Total Team Attempts, Total – Total Attempts, Net% – On-Net Percentage, Onet% – Opponent’s On-Net Percentage, Corsi – Percentage of Total Attempts, SOG – Percentage of total shots, Sh% – Shooting Percentage, Sv% – Save Percentage)
In these seven games, you can see Vancouver has held a shot percentage of 3%, which is amazingly low and won’t last. Even Tim Thomas and Pekka Rinne allow 6-7% of shots to go in and the Canucks have definitely held the edge of play, outshooting their opponents 209-193 in the seven games and managed to outshoot their opponents four of the seven times, being even once.
The combination of bad luck and having to force shots in close has been the issue in these games. I’ll be closely watching the team’s shooting numbers in tomorrow’s game against Los Angeles to see if they can bring that on-net percentage back up over 52%. Goals naturally come easier against Jonathan Quick than they do against Thomas or Rinne.