Philadelphia Flyers 2 at Vancouver Canucks 6 – 2023-02-18 recap

Stats sometimes lie.

Moneypuck had the 5v5 expected goals at 2.69 to 1.56 for Philly. Natural Stat Trick had them at 3.18 to 1.78.

I’m coming away from this game thinking the Canucks were basically at full value for that win, if Philly weren’t full value for that loss.

The Flyers certainly out-shot the Canucks in this game. Arturs Silovs had to be sharp on a lot of long range efforts, but so much of what the Flyers did was throw the puck at the net, seemingly at random, from outside the scoring area. They got a few tips and rebounds in there, but I thought the Canucks generally did a good job covering the crease and preventing much chaos from occurring around Silovs. He got his first NHL win, good for him, and he had to work for it, but he didn’t have to be particularly outstanding. I had the Flyers taking 69 shot attempts, to Vancouver’s 39, but the Canucks actually put more chances on net, 8-7.

Outside of Travis Konecny, who had a very fine game in all aspects (during play, at least, I saw the cheap shot), no Flyer appeared particularly dangerous to me. Scott Laughton did some good things, but I had multiple shots by all of the Flyers defensive unit, including 8 attempts from DeAngelo, and none of his were scoring chances. I also had just 5 scoring chances from the Flyers set up by any sort of puck movement, so they weren’t allowed to pass the puck around.

I don’t know if it’s quality of opposition, or if the Canucks are starting to turn a corner with regard to defence. There are still a lot of problems, but there weren’t many Flyers left open in the offensive zone Saturday night. The goals were a deflection with a lot of bodies in front of the net, and a rebound sequence on the powerplay.

The problems we will get into next time I do a full update, which, if I look at 10 games since the trade deadline, would be six days from today (mark your calendars for Monday the 27th). The rush offence still isn’t here, the zone exits are bad, and frankly, Phil di Giuseppe looks too good on this team, when he SHOULD be a depth player on any other team.

Some of you (well, most of you) probably want the Canucks to lose a lot of games and chase down a good lottery spot. I know wins can feel like a setback sometimes, but don’t worry: every team gets them, and the Canucks won’t get many of them. Enjoy Elias Pettersson’s career season while we’re in the middle of it. You may not have a chance to appreciate another.

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