Patterns. It’s as if my brain is programmed to pick up on patterns. In my professorial research, it is patterns in the crafting of narrative compositions. But it seems to happen in all areas of my life. . .especially in following the NHL. Consider, for example, the Canucks’ season to date:
L | L | W | W | L | L | W | W | W | W | W | W | L | L
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be anything in the way of patterns except, perhaps, their losses come in pairs. However, a closer look at the losses reveals this:
L | L(s-o)| W | W | L | L(s-o)| W | W | W | W | W | W | L | L(s-o)
A pattern now becomes apparent--"regulation loss" followed by "shoot-out loss" before coming up with a "win". This pattern suggests that after the Canucks suffer a bad loss, they don’t bounce back immediately, but rather, go through a process of recovery which involves losing again, but at least being able to pick up a point. Actually, the nature of this recovery process appears to be even more sophisticated, as revealed by a closer look at their wins. Here is the four-game cycle that opened the season:
Loss | Loss(s-o) | Win(s-o) | Win . . .
So, the recovery process continued passed just the shoot-out loss (3-2 to Edm) to not being able to put the Flames away in regulation time three nights later. And an even longer recovery is evident in the second cycle:
. . . Loss | Loss(s-o) | Win | Win(s-o) | Win(ot) | Win . . .
Setting aside the first win (the Canucks couldn’t help but beat a truly woeful Avs team that stumbled into town 0-4-0 on the road), there is a progression from a really bad loss (4-1 to SJ), to managing just a single point from LA who had only one win in their first four games, to the rather lifeless effort against the Hawks where they were extended to a shoot-out to pick up the win, to finishing off the Oilers a mere 20 seconds shy of having to go to another shoot-out, to finally getting their act together in a 4-1 win over Minnesota.
Their current cycle looks like this so far:
. . . Loss | Loss(s-o) . . .
So, for all the talk of the Canucks ruining the Hawks’ quest for the longest streak without a regulation loss to start a season, it looks like it ain’t gonna happen. Rather, it looks like the Canucks will win tonight, but not in regulation time. . .the stats don’t lie.