Big Numbers: Chris Tanev is pretty great, but not as good as Dan Hamhuis

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.

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1 | Number of Canucks losses in regulation over their last 11 games. The Canucks are an impressive 9-1-1 in December, though this is still the greatest 9-1-1 ever.

3 | Games in hand for the San Jose Sharks, who are tied with the Canucks in points. Even after their great run in December, the Canucks are still in fourth place in the Pacific division. The Western Conference is stupid: Canucks have the 8th best record in the NHL, but still sit in a wild card spot.

89.4% | The Canucks penalty kill has given up two goals in the last four games, but it’s still the best in the NHL.

73 | Chris Tanev’s blocked shots, tied for 16th in the NHL. While a large number of blocked shots can frequently be a bad sign, as it indicates that the puck is in your own end a lot when you’re on the ice, in Tanev’s case it’s because he is the Canucks’ best penalty killer and one of the best in the entire NHL. Tanev leads the Canucks in shorthanded time-on-ice, but has an even goal differential  at 4-on-5.

52.6% | Tanev’s Corsi% — the percentage of shots when Tanev is on the ice that are taken by the Canucks, which is evidence that his high number of blocked shots are not an issue of puck possession. That’s the 6th highest Corsi on the team, but it’s worth noting that it’s the second highest from a defenceman. Ahead of him is Dan Hamhuis and Tanev is greatly benefitting from being his defence partner. With Hamhuis, Tanev’s Corsi% is 53.5%; without Hamhuis, Tanev is at 49.5%.

21:21 | Tanev’s average ice time in the month of December, over two minutes higher than his average for the season.

26:11 | Hamhuis’s average ice time in the month of December. Hamhuis has had some noticeable blunders this season, but part of the reason is because he’s getting so much ice time within which to blunder. Hamhuis actually leads all Canucks’ defencemen in Corsi% and the Canucks have out-shot the opposition by 75 shots when he has been on the ice this season. While we’re fully on board with praising Tanev, a big reason he’s been so good is that he’s spending a lot of time alongside the Canucks’ best defenceman.

4 | The number of goals Jason Garrison has scored this season. Also, it’s the number of goals Chris Tanev has scored this season. Wait, what?

.928 | Eddie Lack’s save percentage, 8th in the NHL. Lack has been a superb backup this season and, though it’s a bit unfair to make the comparison, has two more wins than Cory Schneider this season, despite Schneider starting more than twice as many games. Considering Schneider has allowed just 0.1 more goals per game than Lack, it’s got a lot more to do with goal support than Schneider’s performance.

33 | Henrik Sedin’s number and the point totals for both him and his brother. After an early imbalance that had some questioning whether Henrik’s game is more suited for John Tortorella’s system, Daniel has caught up in points. Now that they’re identical again, maybe they’ll be more in-sync on the ice as well.

2 | Bo Horvat’s goals in 3 pre-tournament games for Team Canada. His line with 16-year-old wunderkind Connor McDavid and top-ranked prospect for the 2014 draft, Sam Reinhart, is the only line that stayed intact during Canada’s 4-1 win over Switzerland and could be counted on to provide a lot of offence. Horvat scored a shorthanded goal against Switzerland and was 13-for-14 on faceoffs.

.950 | Joacim Eriksson’s save percentage for the Utica Comets over his last four games, all victories. In his last start, Eriksson shutout the Abbotsford Heat, one of the top-scoring teams in the AHL. Eriksson hasn’t had the best start to his first professional season in North America, partly due to the overall lousiness of the Comets, but he’s been lights out of late.

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7 comments

  1. Amor de Cosmos
    December 23, 2013

    What’s the reason for the rich seam of goaltenders we’ve hit in recent years? Scouting, coaching, or serendipity?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      December 23, 2013

      All those things, and good team play.

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  2. Amor de Cosmos
    December 23, 2013

    Well yeah, but there are other good teams, maybe better, that don’t seem to have the depth we do? From the little I know the Canucks scouting system, especially in Scandinavia, appears to be exceptionally acute, and not just for goaltenders. Be nice to see the right people get the credit.

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  3. rob
    December 23, 2013

    I like this one better

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  4. Tom Benjamin
    December 23, 2013

    I’m not a big numbers guy, but I think we can all agree that Hamhuis is a better player than Chris Tanev today. He’s a legitimate candidate for the Olympic team. We should be excited about Chris Tanev because he might be on the 2018 team. Because he could be better than Hamhuis at the end of the day. We’d be delighted with him today if he had been a first round draft pick. He’s improved – and is still improving – at light speed.

    Tanev’s numbers are surely influenced because he is playing with better players, but he’s also playing against better players. He’s barely 24 and his coach wants to throw him out there against the best players in the league. There plenty of young defensemen who are better offensively than Tanev, but how many are as good as he is in his own end? Are there any?

    The offence will come.

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    • Matt
      December 24, 2013

      It already has. As Canucks Army pointed out yesterday, Tanev’s tied for the Canucks team lead among defencemen, and has as many or more points as Christian Ehrhoff, Justin Schultz, Jonas Brodin, Sergei Gonchar, Jake Gardiner, and Alex Goligoski. He’s on pace for 25 points this year, which is a totally respectable number and a huge leap over his single-digit totals from past seasons.

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      • Tom Benjamin
        December 24, 2013

        Can does not believe it will be sustained and he can make a good case. Tanev has a ridiculously bad shot and he has not ever been a good offensive player at any level.

        I think Tanev’s career progression is so unusual that all bets on history are off. His shot will never be good, but it might improve to below average. And even if he does not, he sees the ice really well and he’s an excellent passer. I’m hoping for forty points when he figures it out.

        Would that be a shock? Well, yes, but Tanev shocked us when he made the team, he shocked us when he made it obvious he was a top four guy, and most recently he shocked as a legitimate shutdown defenseman. I say he’s got at least one more surprise for us.

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