Grab a drink!
Yea, it's a write-off season with the Canucks rebuilding/re-tooling or whatever you want to call it. Patience is required in this process, I know, especially with so many injuries, and with the Canucks letting their kids have a real shot for prolonged periods of time.
DEATH TO SCORING CHANCES
There was something that vancitydan brought up in the Blues-Canucks post game post that blew my skull apart (but really should not have):
I know it has been Death Valley as far as scoring goes this year, but I did not know that this was the 47th game where the Canucks have scored two or less goals.
This in their 74th game of the season. I guess they had better play 2007-esque Alain Vigneault style hockey to combat the lack of offence.....oh wait....we play a run and gun d-men pinching in style? Is there a stat for how many odd man rushes or breakaways given up? No??? There should be! I've seen it all season and this team has to be the MOST GIVING TEAM in both categories. Well, there is the giveaway stat but the Canucks are in the middle of the NHL pack in that category, according to NHL.com. I call BS. But what is believable is that the Canucks as a team have a 7.9% shooting percentage, which ties them with the Buffalo Sabres and is almost as bad as the NHL-worst Toronto Maple Leafs (7.7%).
OUTSHOT = GOOD!
Out of the 27 wins the Canucks have this season, 20 of those wins came when the team was outshot. (14th in the NHL). 7 of those wins came when outshooting their opponent (29th).
THE HELL THAT IS THE TEAM AND INDIVIDUALS' PLUS/MINUS
Sweet Enola Gay! Lots of treats here! Of course, this goes along with not scoring many goals and allowing too many against.
The Canucks have scored 169 goals (tied for worst in the NHL with New Jersey) and allowed 214 against . 8 teams have allowed more goals against in the NHL, so I am going to assure you that we need to applaud our two stellar goaltenders for this stat not being a hell of a lot worse. Anyway, the differential is a -45, which is easily the worst in the NHL. The next worse offender is Edmonton with a -37.
From an individual perspective, it gets really effing ugly. Here is a quick hellish intro image:
4 players in the bottom 6 of the worst in the NHL. 10 in the NHL's worst bottom 55 department. The other guilty guys not shown in the graphic above are Burrows (-13), Baertschi (-14), Dorsett (-12), Biega (-14), Higgins (-16), Weber (-13) and Vey (-15). Scary is Higgins' -16 in only 29 NHL games played this season. You're not so far behind, Mr. Vey.
THE DECLINE OF THE VETERANS?
-Not Henrik Sedin, really, see?
-Not Daniel Sedin either. He may get 30 goals again for the 5th time in his career. At 35 years of age. God bless the Sedins.
-Alex Burrows: Well, his stats don't paint a pretty picture. He is 34 years of age and is no longer getting time with the Twins. That is the coach's call. Jannik Hansen has taken over that spot now. To be honest with you, when Burr was banging it out of the park with the Sedins a few years ago I was hesitant. Know why? Because he'd put his head down and shoot to score. I thought in my head that he was not only skilled, but also extremely lucky. I don't think I am the only one to think this. Radim Vrbata was signed to replace him with the Sedins and it's been downhill ever since for Burr. 8 goals and 20 points and a -13 in 71 games this season suggests he WAS Mr. Everything and is no longer. Hell, he doesn't even agitate anymore, and he really doesn't have much choice. His era is over here.
-Radim Vrbata. Had a career year with the Sedins last season and this season gets bumped off the top line only to fail miserably. Injury mercifully ended his season. Vrbata's career has been marked with inconsistency though. See here. Unless he's playing with star studded players he's not a game-breaker. End of story. Not an elite player. He is about as elite as Brad Boyes.
-Alex Edler is not going to be a Norris Trophy candidate. At one point I thought he would be, but he just isn't that skilled.
-Derek Dorsett. 29 years old, had a career year last season with 25 points, got a $3.1 million contract this season only to be on pace for half the points he produced last season, with an equal amount of penalty minutes, which nobody cares about anymore. Decline. Hate this kind of sh*t. I knew it was coming.
-Dan Hamhuis. One cannot deny that he is on pace for his lowest points per game total in his NHL career. But hey, try having your jaw broken. Regardless, he is a solid defenceman if he stays at home. IF HE STAYS AT HOME.
So much decline with our vet players.
The Canucks have the lowest faceoff winning percentage in the NHL. Faceoffs are not everything though. But if you are a shitty team with shitty faceoff percentage....you are gonna hit rock bottom because you have a plethora of other issue with one of them being NOT SCORING!.
-The Canucks have a 16.7% power play efficiency this season, ranking then 24th in the NHL.
-Their penalty kill is ranked 9th in the League. Don't ever hang your hat on that stat. Not even on the power play stat for that matter.
-We sucked 5 on 5, scoring the 2nd worst goals-for at even strength. You can hang your hat on that stat.
Hey, hits are not everything in today's watered down NHL. But that shiz still matters to me, in context. The Canucks are 28th in that category, and as usual I don't trust the guy counting because this team looks like a a bunch of ballerinas. Of most importance to me is a player knocking a guy to the ice and taking the puck away. I see the Canucks getting pushed around all season long. Hey, finesse works in the regular season but it doesn't work in the playoffs. Of note though: the Blackhawks have the least registered amount of hits this season. Hmmmmmm....keep an eye on that.
As it stands, the Maple Leafs have the worst record in the NHL: 27-35-11: 65 points. Right behind them are:
Canucks: 27-34-13: 67 points
Oilers: 30-40-7: 67 points.
Keep dreaming, team tank. Reality may not be far away.