How Good Are the Canucks? - Interim Report #1

Rich Lam

A summary of the team and players' advanced stats so far this season. Team scoring chances, and individual on-ice scoring chances are featured.

The Canucks have posted 9-5-1 record thus far, good for 19 pts from their first 15 games. They are on pace for 104 pts. This is despite a grueling travel schedule, a new coach and injuries. The team appears to have made a quick successful transition to coach John Torterella's aggressive forechecking system. From a fans' perspective, this style is definitely more entertaining to watch. (This is especially true while watching games 2 or 3 times like I do!). The teams' key forwards, the Twins & Kesler, are thriving with increased ice time. The team has scored slightly more than expected, (they currently rank 15th in goals for.) and are getting goals from unlikely sources. (i.e. Mike Santorelli and Brad Richardson). However, the team is also giving up slightly more goals than in recent memory (they currently rank 13th in goals against). Still, there is cautious optimism in town that the team's window may still in fact be open.

Let's look "Behind The Numbers" to get a better picture of the team and individual players performances so far and to see what we can expect moving forward.

  • 5 ON 5 PLAY

(5 on 5) Goal Diff.

(5 on 5) Chance Diff.

(GF)

(GA)

(CF)

(CA)

30

28

160 (~10.5/g)

168 (~11/g)

( 5 on 5)

(5 on 5)

Gm. Tied

Gm. Close

52% (Goals)

49% (Chances)

50% (Shots Att.)

52% (Shots Att.)

  • The Canucks' scoring is slightly higher than expected, as their chance differential is slightly less than their goal and shot ratios.
  • LEAGUE COMPARISON

STAT

(NHL)

(CONF.)

(DIV.)

GF (5 on 5)

11th

7th

4th

GA (5 on 5)

19th

10th

5th

Pos. Tied*

15th

9th

4th

Pos. Close*

8th

7th

4th

5 on 5 Save %

21th

10th

5th

5 on 5 Sh %

11th

7th

4th

PDO*

12th

7th

4th

{*PDO is calculated by adding (5 on 5) sve. % and sh%. It can indicate a team that has been very lucky or unlucky}. {all stats from extraskater.com unless stated}.

  • The Canucks have moved from the easiest division to the toughest.
  • The Canucks would rank 2nd in the Eastern Conference using adv. stats.
  • Despite their strong start, the Canucks look like they will be in a battle all year to make the playoffs.
  • For the record, I predicted the team would get 94 pts (rank ~12th) and grab a wildcard position.
  • SPECIAL TEAMS

PP*

PPA*

PP*

PPA*

(GF)

(GA)

(CF)

(CA)

3

6

38

37

{all numbers at 5-4 only}

  • The Canucks have managed to create as many PP chances as their opponents.
  • However, this is impressive when you check these numbers:

PP's

PP's A.

40

49

~2.6/gm.

~3.2/gm

44%

56%

  • Vancouver have received below average power play opportunities.
  • Vancouver ranks 3rd in (5 on 4) PP SF/60. and 9th in (4 on 5) SH SA/60.
  • Using chances & shots, the Canucks are actually winning the special teams battle.
  • Advanced metrics predicts the Canucks should start getting rewarded with goals on the PP.
  • INDIVIDUAL ON-ICE CHANCE DATA (EVEN STRENGTH)

FORWARD

CF

CA

CD%

KASSIAN*

26

19

58%

HANSEN

40

32

56%

HIGGINS

60

47

56%

SANTORELLI

57

53

52%

H. SEDIN

65

64

50%

KESLER

65

64

50%

D. SEDIN

64

63

50%

BOOTH

29

29

50%

WEISE

10

21

32%

RICHARDSON

16

39

30%

WELSCH

9

19

30%

SESITO

8

22

27%

SCHROEDER

6

2

75%

WEBER

1

5

16%

DALPHE

0

6

0%

DEFENCENMEN

CF

CA

CD%

HAMHUIS

68

56

55%

BIEKSA

63

57

53%

STANTON

36

33

52%

TANEV

53

50

51%

GARRISON

63

69

48%

EDLER

38

64

36%

  • In a small sample size, Zac Kassian's numbers are encouraging.
  • He has looked better but has played vs. easy competition (see deployment section below).
  • The Twins and Kesler are even in chance differential.
  • This is admirable considering they play against the toughest competition (see below).
  • Is Alex Edler really such a defensive liability? A -26 in SCD to date is hard to believe.
  • I would be interested in reading others feedback on his play.
  • I have double checked these numbers, as this is a real outlier.
  • Edler has a decent Pos Close of 50.5 but he also has a significant number of turnovers.
  • {I plan to watch all the games again to fully confirm this result when time allows}.
  • Although, I have been saying he is quite overrated for the past two seasons.
  • In any event, it will be interesting to chart Edler's SCD throughout the year.
  • The SCD's of Richardson, Weise & Sesitio are somewhat skewed by their lower ozone starts (see below).
  • DEPLOYMENT

An additional consideration when evaluating a players' performance is, 'how the players are used?' Some of these factors include: Ice Time Rates, Quality of Competition and Ozone Starts.

  • ICE TIME (Even Strength)

FORWARDS

TOI (ES)

Henrik Sedin

18.5

Daniel Sedin

18.2

Ryan Kesler

17.5

Mike Santorelli

16.3

Chris Higgins

15.9

Jannik Hansen

14.5

Alexander Burrows

13.1

Zack Kassian

12

David Booth

12

Brad Richardson

11.3

Jordan Schroeder

9.6

Jeremy Welsh

9

Dale Weise

7.7

Tom Sestito

5.4

DEFENCEMEN

TOI (ES)

Alexander Edler

19.7

Kevin Bieksa

19

Jason Garrison

18

Dan Hamhuis

17.3

Christopher Tanev

16.4

Ryan Stanton

13.5

Yannick Weber

5.6

Andrew Alberts

4.3

  • Perhaps Edler is playing too much at even strength, given his poor SCD.
  • Coach Torterella sure loves Mike Santorelli.
  • ICE TIME (Power Play)

FORWARDS

TOI (PP)

Daniel Sedin

3

Henrik Sedin

3

Ryan Kesler

3

Chris Higgins

1.5

Jannik Hansen

1.1

Mike Santorelli

1.1

David Booth

0.7

Zack Kassian

0.4

DEFENCEMEN

TOI (PP)

Jason Garrison

3

Alexander Edler

3

Dan Hamhuis

2

Kevin Bieksa

1.5

Yannick Weber

0.2

Christopher Tanev

0.1

  • The Canucks have been using Hamhuis not Edler, on the first PP most recently.
  • I am surprised Zac Kassian hasn't been used in front of the net on the 2nd unit.
  • The Canucks lack a playmaker on the 2nd unit, Should Schroeder (when healthy) be given an opportunity?.
  • ICE TIME (Penalty Kill)

FORWARDS

TOI (PK)

Kesler

2.3

Richardson

2.0

Higgins

2

Santorelli

1.8

H. Sedin

1.0

D. Sedin

1.0

Hansen

0.4



DEFENCEMEN

TOI (PK)

Tanev

2.6

Edler

2.4

Bieksa

2.3

Hamhuis

2.3

Garrison

1.6

Stanton

0.5

{(TOI) Stats from NHL.com}

{Quality of Opponents measures the average playing time of your opponent. The theory is simple - the better the player the more the coach will play him}..

QUALITY OF OPPONENTS





FORWARD

AVE. TOI OPP.

PERCENTILE

H.Sedin

30%

88th

Kesler

30%

80th

D. Sedin

30%

80th

Hansen

29%

45th

Higgins

29%

42nd

Booth

28%

30th

Santorelli

28%

28th

Richardson

27%

11th

Kassian

27%

11th

Weise

27%

7th

Sestito

26%

5th




DEFENCEMEN


Edler

29%

62nd

Garrison

29%

43rd

Bieksa

29%

38th

Hamhuis

29%

38th

Tanev

28%

33rd

Stanton

27%

10th

  • This is how Percentile's work.
  • 88% of full-time forwards play easier competition than Henrik Sedin.
  • 90% of full-time defencemen play more difficult competition than Ryan Stanton.

FORWARD

OZONE %

PERCENTILE

H. Sedin

61%

90th

D. Sedin

61%

90th

Kesler

54%

68th

Hansen

51%

53rd

Booth

46%

31st

Kassian

44%

25th

Santorelli

43%

23rd

Higgins

38%

10th

Weise

38%

10th

Richardson

35%

4th

Sestito

30%

2nd

DEFENCEMEN


Edler

54%

77th

Hamhuis

50%

59th

Tanev

49%

52nd

Bieksa

47%

37th

Garrison

47%

35th

Stanton

40%

6th

{Ozone% is the ratio of starts in the offensive zone to starts in the defence zone. The theory is it is easier to get chances when you start the ozone.}

  • As usual, the Twins have received more Ozone Starts than 90% of full-time forwards.
  • Ryan Stanton has a Ozone % lower than 94% of full-time defencemen.
  • THE GOALIES

GOALIE

CHANCES A.

CH. A / GM.

CH. A / GOAL %





ROBERTO LUONGO

161

~ 13.4/gm.

19%

EDDIE LACK

50

~ 17/gm.

16%

  • Luongo currently ranks 22nd in Sve% (amongst starters).
  • In a small sample size his ES sve% is currently .914.
  • This is well below his career average of .929 and the league average of .920.

PLAYER INTERIM REPORT

    THE CORE

    MARKS

    COMMENTS

    H. Sedin

    A+

    The clear MVP. The main ‘chance creator' while playing tough minutes.

    Kesler

    B+

    A strong start by the ‘beast'. A player who plays top min. on all 3 units.

    D.Sedin

    B

    His finishing % has dipped. Is it a blip or a real concern?

    Bieksa

    B

    The quintessential riverboat gambler. With a +9 he's on a roll so far ...

    Hamhuis

    B

    Has played better than reported. However, He needs to limit turnovers.

    Garrison

    B-

    A solid start. However, he is on the ice for too many scoring chances.

    Luongo

    C+

    Rebound control is an issue. Will he return to his elite form?

    Edler

    C-

    If the numbers are correct, he's the weakest link defensively on the team

    Burrows

    I

    Not enough data. However, it will be interesting to see where ‘Torts' plays him.

      SUPPORTING CAST

      MARKS

      COMMENTS

      Higgins

      A+

      Exceeded expectations. Terrific at forcing steals on the forecheck .

      Hansen

      A

      An undervalued versatile player. He will be missed while injured!

      Santorelli

      A

      The hardest worker and most determined. Can he keep it up?

      Tanev

      A

      Emerging as a Top 4 defencemen -Great on PK and in shot blocking.

      Stanton

      A

      A steady low event player. Just what you want from a depth D-man.

      Kassian

      C+

      Making progress but consistency an issue. Will he get a chance with twins?

      Richardson

      C

      Yes, he starts most of the time in the DZone but team needs more if he's a third line center.

      Booth

      C-

      Decent chance totals but his shot totals are down, and he is paid to score!

      Schroeder

      B*

      A useful depth player. His playmaking skill stands out on a team without much.

      Lack

      A*

      A small sample size but raw rookie ‘Steady Eddie' has been great so far.

      Weber

      C-*

      Unimpressive performance even from a fringe player.

      Dalphe

      D*

      Unimpressive performance even from a fringe player.

      Welsch

      D*

      Small sample size but not as good as reported. Weak on defensive play so far.

      Alberts

      I

      Not enough data.

      Team Remarks

      It is clear that the Canucks are competing harder and are more entertaining. They have changed their coaching staff and their style of play dramatically BUT are they any better? Since 2012 the team has relied on excellent goaltending and timely scoring. They also have struggled to score against better opposition. After reviewing the numbers it's clear to me that the team needs improvement. In my opinion, they lack three players to realistically compete for the cup. -Another scoring forward, a shutdown 3rd center and ideally another defensive depth defensemen. David Booth and Frank Corrado might fill two of these spots but GM Mike Gillis must address the third center position so the team can match up versus the Sharks incredible depth at center - including Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. The Canucks are also giving up too many scoring chances and without their goaltending returning to an elite level or their power play returning to 2011 production, they will be in a battle to make the playoffs in the very difficult western conference.

      What are your thoughts? And, make sure to cast your vote after the jump!

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