Canucks-Bruins series recap

Since this is my first time tracking scoring chances for an entire series, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the data and see if it showed what happened in the series accurately. Some of the results surprised me.

This is what doesn’t surprise me. Both teams had relatively even chances 5v5 but the special teams played a huge factor. The Bruins powerplay got out the rut it’s been in all playoffs while the Canucks powerplay was terrible. Not terribly surprising to see the Bruins be outchanced in the third period because they were playing with a big lead in four games. The Bruins definitely got off to better starts in this series but some of the data might be bloated from the times that Vancouver was blown out in Boston.

Thought Chara and Seidenberg would have a higher percentage but the stats are skewed a bit from Game 7 when the Bruins sat on the 3-0 lead in the third period. These two played very well, I thought. Boychuk and Ference’s success is all thanks to Claude Julien’s ability to play matchups wisely. He was able to keep these two away from the Sedins and used them mainly in offensive situations and they thrived as a result. Also of note is that Tomas Kaberle had a great series for the same reason. The fact that no Bruins player has a rating worse than 45% (minus Shawn Thornton) indicates that almost everyone had a strong series. Krejci and Lucic were the driving force of their offense, though. Did a lot better after struggling for a good part of the Tampa Bay series. Take note of how well some of Boston’s penalty killers were. Campbell, Paille, Marchand and Bergeron were great.. Bergeron did great on the powerplay as well.

A lot of negativity was focus on the Sedins and while they didn’t finish their chances, I think a bigger problem was Ryan Kesler playing through an injury and the results show here. In fact, that entire line for Vancouver didn’t play well aside from Chris Higgins.  Also, Vancouver lost arguably their best defenseman in Dan Hamhuis as well as Aaron Rome so they had to dress a few players who didn’t see much time in the playoffs earlier. The Canucks have a lot of depth on the back-end but Ballard was abysmal in the game he played, Alberts got destroyed and Chris Tanev can only do so much as a rookie. Bieksa also struggled without Hamhuis despite what the numbers say here. He created a lot of chances but he sure as hell gave them back at the other end. Ehrhoff’s market value may have dropped here with how badly he performed on the powerplay. You can’t give up half of the chances that you create with the man advantage. Boston simply got more from their forward corps than Vancouver did. When the Sedins aren’t scoring, the others needs to pick up the slack and they didn’t. It doesn’t help that Allain Vingeault rides his top-six every single game and doesn’t use his 3rd and 4th line much. You can see why here. Hansen was the only one to produce consisently here. Everyone else aside from Raffi Torres was a liability.

 

MVPs of the Series:
1. Tim Thomas

Only allowed 8 goals in the whole final and posted a .940 save percentage in the playoffs. Completely deserved the Conn Smythe Trophy.

2. David Krejci

He was one of Boston’s best forwards in this series and posted the most scoring chances at even strength for any player in the series combined. Did even better on the powerplay. Here’s something to think about; he had 13 goals all season and 12 in the playoffs.

3. Brad Marchand

Two goals in game 7 and he had 5 in the series. Also was a huge factor in Boston’s penalty kill being as good as it was.

Goats of the Series:

1. Roberto Luongo

What in the world happened here? Always thought that his playoffs struggles were overblown but he was simply terrible.

2. Andrew Alberts

30% scoring chance rating for him and he actually managed to get top-4 minutes in a couple of these games. Also was plastered shorthanded.

3. Ryan Kesler

Hate to pick on an injured player and he did well in game 7 but it was clear that the Canucks were hoping to get A LOT more out of him this series.

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