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6 Notable Stats Through 6 Canucks Games

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A closer look at Elias Pettersson’s brilliance, Anders Nilsson’s resurgence and the Canucks compared to the Pacific

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Pittsburgh Penguins
Oct 16, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Vancouver Canucks goaltender Anders Nilsson (31) prepares to play the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

You can debate amongst yourselves if this stats is notable for you: The Canucks are 4-2-0 to start the season.

We should have predicted that the Canucks would pull that off, considering that they rep arguable the most weed-friendly city in the league. Is it all downhill from here, or will they keep it up like they did through the first two months last season?

Most fans in this city would argue that the record doesn’t matter too much, and that this season is about development and the draft. Still, it’s nice to see the Canucks start off strong, and here are some numbers behind their strong start.

4.54

  • Pettersson’s Primary Points-Per-60 (Fifth in NHL)

The wunderkid, Dekey Pete, Pornhub Pete if you will, has been absolutely electrifying to start the season. Everyone around Vancouver isn’t surprised considering that his comparables based on SHL production were Nicklas Backstrom and Peter Forsberg, but now the league is starting to take notice.

Half of Pettersson’s points (three goals, one assist) have come at even-strength. His 4.54 primary points-per-60 at even strength place him fifth overall in the NHL, behind David Pastrnak (4.6), Phil Kessel (4.61), Kasperi Kapanen (5.05) and Jonathan Toews (5.39).

He might not be at this lofty total anymore, but it’s been a roaring success nonetheless.

16

  • Games before Bure hit eight career points.

It took Pavel Bure until game 16 for the Russian rocket to match Pettersson’s stat line of five goals and three assists. Bure started his career slower (if you can call it that), before exploding in the latter half of the year. In Bure’s last 25 games, he scored 22 goals and put up 35 points.

Damn, imagine if Pettersson cranks it up a notch like Bure in the latter half of this season.

25.9%

  • Edler’s league-worst Corsi percentage.

I think most people are past the point of taking Corsi at face value, if that was ever a thing. Still, it’s eyebrow-raising to see that Edler has the worst Corsi percentage in the league through two weeks of action.

Of course, he’s been stapled in his own end alongside Chris Tanev, facing the best competition in the league night after night. Despite playing such rigorous minutes, it’s hard to say that Edler has had a poor start to the season.

In fact, you’d be wrong.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers
Look at Edler keep McDavid to the outside last season. #EdlerforNorris2019.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

His Corsi suggest that he’s been getting shelled, but on the ice he’s been making great plays in his own zone. That includes a game-saving stick check on Jake Guentzel from Tuesday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Oh, and he has five assists in six games.

2.91

  • Rush Attempts Against Per/60 on Anders Nilsson (2nd worst in NHL)

Found this stat interesting, as it brought me back to the game-tying goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins from Tuesday night. A bad read by Ben Hutton resulted in a two-on-one the other direction, and a goal against for Anders Nilsson.

Through his first three starts, Nilsson has faced six odd-man rushes. That results in 2.91 rushed faced per-60, second-highest in the NHL.

Chalk one up for the “this isn’t sustainable” club.

2.44

  • Goals-Per Game at five-on-five (17th in NHL)

Here’s the good: the Canucks have scored 3.67 goals-per-game to start the season, placing them seventh overall in the league. That’s far and away better than anyone expected, and you could argue that their 17th overall ranking in five-on-five goals is also better than anyone expected.

Compared to the rest of the division, the Canucks look even better. Calgary and San Jose are tied for 15th with 2.47 five-on-five goals per 60, and every other team in the division trails the Canucks.

  • Los Angeles: 2.3 (18th)
  • Anaheim: 2.19 (19th)
  • Vegas: 1.58 (28th)
  • Edmonton: 1.51 (29th)
  • Arizona: 0 (31st)

Early in the season the West is scoring less than the East, with 11 of the top 14 teams coming from the Eastern Conference.

42.3%

  • Corsi percentage in close situations at five-on-five. (25th in NHL)

Goals from teams in the Pacific have been lacking early on, but that should change.

Based on Corsi in close situations, at least half of the teams in this division should be scoring more. San Jose ranks first (64.1%), while Calgary ranks second (60.6%) and Vegas (60.3%) ranks third.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames have been the 15th most productive team at even-strength, yet they lead the snakebitten Pacific Division in five-on-five scoring.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona, who’s still without an even-strength goal through five games, sits sixth at 55.3%. All of these teams (excluding Calgary perhaps) have been snakebitten early, but that should change in the coming weeks.

The same can’t be said for the other four teams in this division, who all sit near the bottom of the league. The Canucks actually lead this pack at 25th overall, tied with the Edmonton Oilers. Los Angeles ranks 28th (41.4%) and Anaheim sits at 29th (40.8%).

Based on the Cancks even-strength performance, their success is unlikely to keep up unless Nilsson keeps stealing games. However, everyone predicted that the Canucks would be a bottom feeder at even-strength. Take solace, Canucks fans, in the fact that there are other teams in this division with more glaring issues early in the season.