You might think that the Vancouver Canucks powerplay has looked awful to start the season. Why not? They've given up a shorthanded goal, have only recorded one on the powerplay, and are succeeding at a 14.3% clip, well below last season's scoring rate of 24.3%.
That's my prelude to the annoying: "the stats show that nothing is as bad or as good as it seems" and I think I'll do just that sort of thing. The stats show that the Canucks powerplay is not as bad as it seems. For one, the 14.3% rate is good for 13th in the NHL right now (I was sort of surprised too. There hasn't been a lot of powerplay scoring thus far) and they've managed 59.6 shots per 60 minutes up the extra man, which is the fifth best rate in the league.
I won't get too much into rates and measures because we're dealing with an absurd sample size here, indicative of the Canucks' .100 PDO when up the extra man. PDO is simply adding shooting percentage plus save percentage and it tends to regress to around 1.000 over the course of the season, and, on the powerplay, should end up slightly higher than that.
The most important in to why the Canucks powerplay has looked bad to start the season is that they've only had 10 minutes and 4 seconds to work with, which is fifth lowest in the NHL ahead of two teams who have played a single game thus far.
So how come the Canucks powerplay time is so low?
It's because of the massive conspiracy by Gary Bett Alexandre Burrows, who is a rarity on the ice with the extra man, has taken two minor penalties in his 5:07 of ice time. Hence the noon number: Alexandre Burrows has taken minor penalties at 5-on-4 at a rate of 23.5 per 60 minutes.
Again, rates and measures, but taking two offensive zone penalties is back-to-back games is always a problem and something that needs to be corrected. The two penalties (a holding call against Pittsburgh and the goalie interference call against Columbus) are correctible infractions. I'm not suggesting the Canucks take Burrows off the powerplay, but it's clear he needs to find some adjustment to minimize those penalties.
The penalties cost the Canucks 2:28 in powerplay time, which puts him on pace to cutting 94.5 powerplay shots on the season. (#samplesizes!!)