Herein you will find a compendium of interesting statistics. Take from them what you will. Or, if you’re feeling particularly sluggish this Monday morning, take from them what I have taken from them. Whatever.
• The Canucks have 26 game-winning goals this season, and 13 of those have been scored by the first line trio of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Alex Burrows. They are, as some would say, clutch. But speaking of clutch, of the 202 minor penalties the Canucks have been assessed this season (3rd-most in the NHL), that same trio has accounted for 54. Someone may need to explain the difference between “clutch” and “clutching”. It’s possible this is an ESL issue.
• Cody Hodgson has 5 powerplay goals on the season. That puts him only 2 behind Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin, who are tied for the team lead with 7. Safe to say Cody’s not going to win the category, but the fact that he’s in striking distance is impressive. Also impressive: he’s the highest-scoring forward after the first line and Ryan Kesler, with 26 points. In short, he is well-deserving of the snuggle Kiss Huggins is giving him above.
• While no one would mistake Maxim Lapierre for a tough guy (especially the guys he’s fought), the pesky fourth line centre has has 5 goals and 5 fighting majors through 46 games. It would take a strong back half to the year, but it’s possible that he reaches the 10 goal, 10 fight plateau, which is about as rare a statline as scoring 40 goals. Only 7 guys did it last season. Lapierre also leads the Canucks’ in hits with 127, good for 11th in the NHL. Post-lockout, the only other Canuck to finish in the top 30 in the category was Matt Cooke.
• Though Ryan Kesler may be the reigning Selke winner, Alain Vigneault has been slowly siphoning off his defensive responsibilities for two seasons now, and this year, Kesler isn’t even a member of the top penalty-killing forward duo. Generally, Kesler and Burrows are first over the boards when the Canucks go down a man, but now it’s Manny Malhotra and Jannik Hansen, who average 2:43 and 2:25 a game of shorthanded icetime, respectively. That puts them one and two among Canuck forwards. When you factor in the defensemen — Hamhuis, Bieksa, Edler and Salo — Kesler falls all the way to 7th in usage rankings, which is worth noting because he hasn’t been outside the top 5 in shorthanded time on ice per game since 2006-07.
• Henrik Sedin, on how many All-Star games he’s attended: “1 more than Danny.” Or three, however you want to look at it. (And with that, Daniel Sedin is once again out for blood.)
• The Canucks are 1st on the powerplay at 23.8% and 4th on the penalty kill at 86.7%. No other team is in the top 5 of both categories. And, speaking of powerplays, remember all that business about how the Canucks don’t get the calls and the league is biased towards bad teams and keeping the games even? It’s a crock of crap. If you’re wondering why some bad teams are at the top of the league in total powerplay ice time, consider that, when your powerplays tend to last the full two minutes, you’ll have more time up a man. If you go simply by total 5-on-4 opportunities, the Canucks have seen 165, second in the NHL only to the Philadelphia Flyers’ 177.
• The Canucks are 1 of 5 teams undefeated when leading after 2 periods. In short, while we talk a lot about “winning da turd” in the Smylosphere, the home team would be better served to start winning the 2nd. But they tend to take the middle frame off. The Canucks have scored 51 times in 1st periods, tops in the NHL, but they have allowed 51 2nd period goals, 4th-worst.
• The Canucks have blocked 229 shots this season. The only team with fewer? The New Jersey Devils, who have gotten in the way of a staggeringly low 157. In other words, neither team would make for very good bodyguards.Tags: Big Numbers, Kiss Huggins, Statistics, Stats