Hello again, 'nucks fans. This being the post-season and all, we Alberta-based hockey buffs have to cast our eyes further afield to get our hockey fix.
As we did during last year's Stanley Cup Finals, we at the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey (David Staples, Jonathan Willis and myself) have decided to follow one playoff series per round in detail, with the Vancouver Canucks being the default choice as the only survivor from the weak Northwest Division to even get invited to the dance.
We'll be analyzing the Canucks as we normally do the Oilers, tracking scoring chances at both ends of the ice and assigning credit or blame as the case may be for those Canucks deemed involved/responsible in the sequence. These individual scoring chances, dubbed Neilson Numbers in honour of former Canucks bench boss Roger Neilson who invented a similar system back in the '70s, will be summarized for each game of the series.
It's an interesting experiment for us to try our methods on teams that are, you know, good at hockey. (We've only been working on the method for the last five or six years, after all!)
We'll follow the Canucks as long as they're alive in the playoffs, which based on last night's game against the Los Angeles Kings, might not be long. Likely just a bad game, but Game 1 Neilson Numbers corroborate what most eyes saw - the visitors were deserving winners.