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.
This week, we’re transitioning to Olympic coverage, so it’s an all Team Canada edition of Big Numbers.
78 | Points for Sidney Crosby this season, to lead the NHL. It’ll be nice to cheer for a team that features the NHL’s leading scorer again. It’s been three years since we’ve been able to do that. Come to think of it, Canucks fans are horribly spoiled.
1 | Points for Sidney Crosby in the final three games of the men’s tournament in Vancouver 2010. Crosby had no points against Russia or Slovakia in the Quarterfinals or Semifinals and was held without a point through regulation against the USA in the gold medal final. His one point was a pretty big deal, though. You might have heard about it.
.927 | Roberto Luongo’s save percentage during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Heading into the Olympic break in 2010, Luongo had a .919 save percentage. This season, he has a .917 save percentage, which means he’ll have a .925 save precentage during the Sochi Olympics, because that’s totally how it works.
5 | Members of Team Canada in the top 10 in scoring in the NHL: Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, John Tavares, Corey Perry, and Patrick Sharp. Russia has two — Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin — while USA would have three, but they inexplicably don’t have Kyle Okposo on their roster. They do have Phil Kessel and Patrick Kane, however.
57 | Points for Claude Giroux this season, 11th in the NHL and 6th among Canadian players. When Steven Stamkos was unable to participate in the Olympics, Giroux was passed over in favour of Martin St. Louis — 12th in NHL scoring with 56 points — infuriating Flyers’ chairman, Ed Snider, who called it “a farce” and suggested it was politics causing Steve Yzerman to pick the player from his own team, which is pretty dumb. If it was politics, St. Louis wouldn’t have had to wait until Stamkos was ruled out: he would already be on the team.
17 | Of the 35 goals Team Canada scored in 2010, 17 of them were scored by players who have either retired or didn’t make the cut for this year’s team. 5 of those goals came from Jarome Iginla, while Dany Heatley scored 4. The 2009-10 season was the last time Heatley scored at a point-per-game pace. Mike Richards, Joe Thornton, Eric Staal, Dan Boyle, and Scott Niedermayer are the other 2010 goal-scorers absent from this year’s team.
8 | Jonathan Toews’ points during the 2010 Olympics, leading Canada and placing him 5th among Olympic scorers. His plus-9 led the tournament, but that’s less impressive when you take into account that he was plus-4 in two 8-0 and 8-2 games against Norway and Germany.
60.7 | Patrice Bergeron’s Corsi%, fourth in the NHL. His relative Corsi% (compared to his teammates) is 10.2%, second in the NHL behind only Mikko Koivu. Bergeron is one of the best two-way centres in the league and will play a crucial shutdown role for Team Canada.
2:13 | Ryan Getzlaf’s shorthanded time on ice per game, highest among Team Canada forwards. Bergeron is not far behind at 1:59. The two centres will lead Canada’s penalty-killing efforts in Sochi along with two St. Louis Blues defencemen.
3:16 | Alex Pietrangelo’s shorthanded time on ice per game, highest among Team Canada defencemen and 10th in the NHL. Not far behind is his defence partner for the St. Louis Blues, Jay Bouwmeester, at 3:10. The two will likely anchor the top penalty killing unit, with Dan Hamhuis (2:52) and Shea Weber (2:42) potentially skating as a pair on the second unit.
Tags: Big Numbers, Olympics, Pass it to Zamuner, Team Canada