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Canucks Stats: The Bonino Drought

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports


36 GP, 8 goals, 13 assists, 21 points.

I think there is a lot of heat put on the 26 year-old American that was traded to Vancouver along with Luca Sbisa for the unhappy American Ryan Kesler.   I'm not picking on Americans here, I just had forgotten Bonino was from Connecticut. Seeing how frustrating Sbisa can be, even though Jim Benning projects him to be a top 4 defencemen someday, the deal looks more and more like a Kes-for-Boner trade or, may be reflected on as so.

Nick Bonino started strong with the Canucks. He scored 4 goals and 8 points in 10 games in October, 3 goals and 11 points in 14 games in November then the drought hit. He has 1 goal and 1 assist in his last 12 games since December 2. 23 shots in those 12 games. A -6 in those 12 games. He was a +11 before the drought hit.

It's not some big change in time on ice per game as that remains about the same (16-17 minutes per game average). But it does have some effects in context, see below.

All but 1 of his 21 points have come at even strength. Ironically, that 1 point was his only assist since November 28. NOVEMBER 28!! What the hell?

I DO like that almost all of his points have come 5 on 5 though.

Let's pick on Bonino a little more. Here are the Canucks leaders with faceoff percentage with guys that have taken more than 100 faceoffs this season:

1. Bo Horvat: 52.7%

2. Henrik Sedin: 49.5%

3. Brad Richardson: 48.0%

4. Nick Bonino: 47.9%

5. Linden Vey: 38.9%

OK, not one of his big strengths. More stats:

Hits: 19th on the team

Blocked Shots: 6th on the team (more blocked shots than any forward)

Giveaways: More than any forward.

Takeaways: More than any other Canuck

Even Strength Time On Ice: 4th amongst forwards behind the Sedins and Vrbata (no surprise there)

Shorthanded Time On Ice Per Game: 1:42 which is second amongst Canucks' forwards behind Brad Richardson.

Power Play TOI: 1:49, which is the 6th-highest amongst Canucks forwards behind the Sedins, Vrbadass, Linden Vey and Alex Burrows. Hmmm..... I know Willie likes to use Vey on the point at times but.... well this gets me to my main points.

1. Nick Bonino is so cold, damn, it's frigid and it's so obvious when you watch him play right now. It's obvious and I hate it. I want a 1-2 punch that doesn't exclude the second line, which has happened for so long now. The Canucks are 5-6-2 during Boner's cold spell. 5-6-2 with a futile 2nd scoring line. The Canucks are 13-3-0 when Boninophone registers at least 1 point. A fluke? I think not. OK, so the Canucks are 11-3-1 when Burrows registers at least a point. They are 9-4-0 when Higgins gets at least a point. So really, it's all about having a second line that works.

2. Bonino replaced Kesler as the #2 center. The #2 line CHECKING SELKE-WINNING CENTER which takes the heat off the top line. This is a very important position. No pressure, kid.

#2 point puts the rest into perspective. Who faces the highest quality of competition according advanced stats? Bonino (and Burrows and Higgins). He does rank 4th on the team with Quality Of Teammates, (duh! he's not the Sedins or Vrbata, and neither are his linemates). Higgins and Burrows have been his linemates for most of the young season. What do we expect from Bones? To make Higgins and Burrows better? Answer: YES. If not, then you don't belong on line 2. No, that responsibility does not fall solely on Bonino.  Lately, I have to give Burrows a lot of credit for being versatile and accepting roles on lines 2 and 4 and not bitching about it. He has less icetime lately but has 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 4 games, I believe...all on line 4. Isn't that beautiful?  He's stepping up to the plate at least with his excellent versatility. However, he was demoted from a futile LINE 2.

Personally, I look at Bonino's 22 goals and 49 points (and +14) in 77 games last season in Anaheim and expect some kind of the same here in Vancouver. Is he on pace to match that this season? Yes, actually he is, or just a bit under. He's playing a bit over the minutes per game average that he was in Anaheim. A big difference to put it in perspective? He has 1 power play point this season and had 20 power play points with the Ducks last season with over a minute per game MORE power play time. Huh...I guess I don't need any more advanced stats. Bonino is/was kicking ass 5 on 5 a lot more here in Vancouver with far less power play minutes. He has a bigger checking role in Vancouver than he did in Anaheim.


Well, then I guess he's just gonna have to adjust to his new role. He won't get the PP time here in Vancouver because the Sedins and Vrbata get all of that.

So I guess his team-leading points per 60 minutes played average being the tops on the team beyond Tom Sestito is something to be reckoned with.

Well shit.

Geez, Boner. You're not so bad! Well, in the grand scheme of things. You have a dry spell that has lasted THIS long yet you still lead the team in the points per 60 category?

Perhaps a little patience is required here, all things considered. Not too much patience though. We are already 36 games in.