Did Cody Hodgson take Manny Malhotra’s job? Mark Spector thinks so; Jonathan Willis does not

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you’ve likely figured out by now that Daniel is far more of an advanced stats guy than I am. That said, while I may not be a massive fan of tables and math, I’m still of the mind that it’s absolutely vital to pay attention to a few of the underlying numbers, especially in regards to the Canucks. Otherwise, you run the risk of coming to some spotty conclusions.

If you’re not following Alain Vigneault’s deployment strategies, for instance, you’re simply not getting the full picture. No NHL head coach pays more attention to zone starts, and it informs every aspect of his players’ statistical production. In Manny Malhotra’s case especially, if you understand his role, you’ll discover that his scoring and plus/minus stats border on completely irrelevant.

If you were only looking at Malhotra’s basic numbers, it would be reasonable to make the conclusion that Sportnet’s Mark Spector made on Friday, when he wrote the following:

“You have to believe GM Mike Gillis would move Manny Malhotra, whose job has been claimed by Cody Hodgson. But with 13 points and a minus-7 this season, we are sad to come to the accepted conclusion that Malhotra’s game has simply not returned in whole after the serious eye injury he suffered last season.”

While there are elements of this paragraph with which I agree (I’ll get to that), there are also elements that show a misunderstanding of how Hodgson and Malhotra are deployed.

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Video: Five minutes of Jim Hughson freaking out over Roberto Luongo saves

Jim Hughson can get a bad rap out East, what for a seeming proclivity towards Vancouver, but if you share that proclivity, he’s pretty enjoyable. Say what you will about his passion for Hockey Night in Canada’s fiftieth consecutive Battle of Ontatio; Hughson is at his best when he calls the Canucks and few complain when CBC taps him to do so.

Some of his finest calls come after Roberto Luongo makes a big save. Immediately followed by “Great save Luongo!” or “Oh what a stop by Luongo!”, it’s typically a highlight of the telecast (provided you can overlook the fact that the desperation stop was likely necessitated by a massive defensive lapse).

With that in mind, Youtuber HockeyFans101 has created this five-minute video. What separates it from other highlight videos? It isn’t just full of amazing Roberto Luongo saves — it’s full of Jim Hughson calling them.

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