Every now and then we like to take a break from all the words and just post some numbers. And some words describing the numbers, as otherwise it would just be a whole bunch of numbers with no context, which would be really weird. Big Numbers is a weekly feature on Pass it to Bulis in which we identify the numbers and statistics that really matter or, frequently, the ones that don’t matter at all but are still pretty interesting.
3 | The point gap between the Canucks and the third-in-the-Pacific Los Angeles Kings, whom the Canucks need to catch in order to be in a playoff spot. That’s really not too bad. Granted, catching the Kings is easier said than done, but considering the Canucks have been among the worst teams in hockey over their last 10 games (at least in terms of getting points), you’d think they’d be a little further back.
5 | The point gap the Canucks would face in the Central Division if they were trying to catch the third-place Colorado Avalanche, and it’s even worse than it looks. Colorado has four games in hand. Same goes for the St. Louis Blues, who are one point up on Colorado. In other words, for all this talk about how difficult the Pacific Division is, the Central might be even tougher, at least at the top. That’s a tough go for Minnesota, Nashville, Dallas and Winnipeg. It’s probably already time to start focusing on the Wild Card. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Canucks should be glad they’re in the Pacific.
5 | Outside of the San Jose Sharks, the most wins any team in the Pacific has collected in their past 10 games. Here’s why I bring this up: the Canucks are 3-4-3 in their last 10, which is pretty crummy, admittedly, but not uniquely so. It’s not that much worse than anyone else in the grouping. Anaheim is 3-4-3 as well. The LA Kings are 5-1-4. Phoenix is 4-4-2. In other words, the Canucks really haven’t lost that much ground at all because, despite what you’re hearing, they aren’t the only team in the NHL struggling right now.
1 | Again, outside of the San Jose Sharks, the longest winning streak in the Pacific Division. It belongs to the Canucks, Oilers, and Flames.
0 | Alex Burrows’ stunning goal total. It’s amazing. Chris Tanev has a goal. Jeremy Welsh has a goal. Dale Weise and Tom Sestito have 2 goals. David Booth has 3. Meanwhile, Burrows is now up to 49 shots on goal without scoring, and to show you how absurd that is, the average number of goals scored for the NHL’s 10 other 49-shot shooters is 5. Milan Lucic has taken 48 shots. He’s got 11 goals. Poor Burrows.
2 | The number of Canuck prospects invited to Team Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp, as Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk were named among Canada’s final 25.
1 | The number of Canucks still among the top 30 in NHL icetime. It’s Alex Edler, whose 24:03 a night is tops on the Canucks and 26th in the NHL. This is notable for two reasons: first, after causing an uproar with the big minutes he was handing to Ryan Kesler and the Sedins, John Tortorella has backed off a little on their icetime of late. Second, while Edler has become the new Canucks scapegoat after cameras caught him receiving a terrifying earful from the coach the other night, Tortorella still seems to prefer him on the ice rather than not.
-12 | The temperature in Calgary today (although it feels like -24), as well as Edler’s plus/minus on the year. That’s cursed frogurt bad. He’s 749th out of 755 NHLers. Now listen: plus/minus is a dumb stat. As Trevor Daley recently said, it’s the worst stat in hockey. After all, you can hop onto the ice at the same time a goal is scored in your own zone and get a minus. On a game-to-game basis especially, plus/minus is almost entirely useless. But when you’re the best or the worst in the league at something, it’s probably time to take heed, at least a little. Edler’s due for a run of good luck not unlike Dan Hamhuis was earlier in the year, but he also needs to tighten up his defensive game. We’ll suggest that’s what Tortorella was telling him the other night, albeit with more swears.
37.5 | Tom Sestito’s Corsi For percentage at even-strength. In other words, when Sestito is on the ice, the Canucks are attempting 37.5% of the shots. That’s league-worst among guys with at least 22 games played. No player in the entire NHL craters his team’s possession numbers on the regular quite like this guy. But nevermind that. He’s tied for the league-lead in fighting majors at 9, and he’s 6’5″. Gotta get that size on the ice from time to time, right?
Tags: Big Numbers