The best thing that can happen for a hockey team on any given shift is a goal. The second best thing that can happen is probably an offensive zone faceoff.
Remember Game Seven against Chicago, when the Canucks absolutely dominated a shift at the conclusion of the second period? It was started by a Chris Campoli giveaway, and then the third line then of Maxim Lapierre, Jannik Hansen and Chris Higgins worked to keep the puck in and got a bevy of shots on Corey Crawford (5 on net out of 10 attempts). Unfortunately, the puck was turned the other way and Patrick Sharp forced Roberto Luongo to smother the puck.
Such a great shift. The crowd was cheering, the team looked pumped and the Sedins came over the boards. But they didn't get anything done in the next stages of the game. The momentum didn't carry over to the next shift. This is because puck position is so crucial in today's game, and it's way easier to get a shot when you start 30 feet from your opponent's net as opposed to 170. If you have a great shift but fail to get a goal or an offensive zone faceoff, it's almost like the great shift never happened.
The Canucks had a few of these last night in Detroit. They had some wonderful chances, some excellent outlets, rushes, but failed to capitalize. They didn't score, and they forced just five offensive zone faceoffs at 5-on-5 compared to 13 against. That's a brutal start-to-finish ratio.
Looking at the numbers, you can tell a few things... the Red Wings got 56% of the Corsi events, 61.2% of the Fenwick events, and 59.6% of the scoring chances last night. A lot of that is due to the fact that Detroit is a pretty good hockey team, but the Canucks failed to reciprocate the goodness that the Red Wings offered, and got hemmed into their own end a lot. That needs to be fixed, along with the whole goal-scoring problem.