Big Numbers: penalty minutes, line brawls, and the shootout

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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265 | The penalty minutes for the Canucks over the last four games. They are now the second most penalized team in the NHL, averaging 15.2 minutes in penalties per game, behind only the Philadelphia Flyers.

3 | Goals for the Canucks over the last four games. I’m hoping for more of these and fewer penalties over the next four games, personally. Not that the last four games haven’t been exciting, mind you, but the Canucks have won just one of those games.

3 | It’s also the number of games the Canucks have remaining against teams ahead of them in the Pacific Division standings, aka. the California Triangle (when entering the California Triangle, the Canucks’ goalscoring disappears under mysterious circumstances). Considering the Canucks are 1-7-3 against the Sharks, Ducks, and Kings, seeing a little less of them over the remainder of the season will be a bit of a relief.

2 | The number of seconds Kellan Lain played in his first ever NHL game before getting into a tussle with Kevin Westgarth in the midst of Saturday’s line brawl and, subsequently, receiving a game misconduct. It also broke the record for the earliest fight in an NHL player’s career and, incidentally, is fewer than the family members Lain had in the crowd, as his parents and brother were in attendance.

6 | Previous fights in Lain’s hockey career: one in Junior A and five this season in the AHL. Since he went the college route, playing three seasons for Lake Superior State in the NCAA, where fighting is outright banned, Lain doesn’t actually have much experience with fisticuffs. Full credit to Lain for hanging in with goon Westgarth, who has 28 NHL and 66 AHL fights in his pro career.

100% | Kevin Bieksa’s career faceoff percentage after taking Lain’s place opposite Kevin Westgarth on the opening faceoff against the Flames. Of course, Westgarth is a winger and he was too busy dropping his gloves to actually try to win the faceoff, but we’re not going to take Bieksa’s first career faceoff win away from him.

29 | Daniel Sedin played just 5 seconds short of 29 minutes against the Flames to lead all forwards. While I am unable to officially confirm, I strongly suspect that is the highest single game time on ice in the NHL for a forward this season.

2 | The number of shots Alex Burrows took against the Flames, bringing him up to a total of 51 on the season without a single goal. Only defenceman Anton Stralman has taken more shots without scoring a goal this season. His luck is bound to change at some point; he had a wide open net against Calgary, but the puck went up on end and he missed.

0 | The number of minutes — or even seconds — that Zack Kassian has played in overtime this season. John Tortorella has been overly risk-averse in overtime, particularly considering how poor the Canucks have been in the shootout. As much as Kassian has made mistakes and some dangerous turnovers this season, it’s frustrating to see him left on the bench in overtime after games in which he’s looked like one of the Canucks’ few dangerous-looking forwards.

16.2% | The Canucks’ shooting percentage in the shootout, third worst in the NHL. In 9 games that have gone to a shootout, the Canucks’ are 6-for-37 and have won just three of those nine shootouts.

.735 | And this is the reason why the Canucks have even won three times in the shootout. The Canucks’ goaltenders have a combined .735 save percentage in the shootout this season, stopping 25 of 34 attempts. That’s good for 8th in the league.

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1 Comment

  1. Chris the Curmudgeon
    January 20, 2014

    The flip side is that there are only 3 games left against the California teams able to result in a “4 point swing” situation to benefit the Canucks. I realize that we haven’t been beating those teams (extra painful for me living amongst a California fanbase and having to pretty much eat it at the stadium or any time I watch at the bar), but we’re going to have to figure it out at some point if there’s any hope of salvaging this season. The playoff format has changed to divisional this year, and barring a wild card crossover we’ll be facing Pacific opponents in the first and hypothetical second rounds. It ain’t gonna be the Flames and Oilers. If anything a crossover might not be such a bad thing, we’re 4-1-0 against the top 3 teams in the Central so far this season.

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