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.
0 | Minutes in goal for Roberto Luongo since Canada played Austria on February 13th. At the risk of beating a dead horse, it is absurd that he has yet to play a game for the Canucks, and for what? So John Tortorella can ride the hot hand? As Cam Charron recently pointed out in an article smartly titled, If Eddie Lack was the answer, you asked the wrong question, the whole notion of riding the hot hand is actually pretty silly. How a goaltender plays in one game actually has no bearing on how he’ll play the next game. In other words, John Tortorella fired up a completely needless goaltending controversy in pursuit of a myth.
2.33 | The Canucks’ goals per game average this season, which is good for 27th in the league, ahead of just Los Angeles, Calgary, and Buffalo. (And not ahead of the Nashville Predators.) If not for the presence of LA, this would be truly embarrassing company. But the difference between the Canuck and the Kings is quite simple: the Kings may not score, but they also don’t get scored on. Their goals against average is 2.08, the best in the NHL. The Canucks are at 2.52, which is middle of the pack. If you’re terrible at scoring goals, you’d better be amazing at preventing them. Unfortunately, the Canucks aren’t.
42 | The answer to life, the universe and everything, including the Canucks’ biggest problem: this is the number of third-period goals they’ve scored this season, far and away the fewest in the NHL. The Buffalo Sabres, 29th in the category, have scored 46 third-period goals. Fans have begun to catch on to just how futile things are for the Canucks in thirds. At the Heritage Classic, with the Canucks pressing for a third-period equalizer, fans started filing out at about the 10-minute mark.
.412 | This is the Canucks’ winning percentage when outshooting their opponents. They’re 23rd in the category. It’s a damning stat for the club, since they’ve outshot their opponents this season more than they’ve been outshot, and it’s doing them no good. While their Corsi rate continues to be in the top 10 in the NHL (they’re 9th), meaning they outplay their opponents over games — usually a good indication that a team is good — they’re just not scoring goals, and unfortunately, that’s sort of how you win.
2 | The number of other NHL teams on which Daniel and Henrik Sedin, with 40 points apiece, would be the leading scorers. Those teams are the Buffalo Sabres, where Cody Hodgson is leading the way with just 30 points, and the Florida Panthers, where Scottie Upshall’s on top with the same number. They’d be tied with Shea Weber and David Legwand for the team lead in Nashville. In Phoenix, they’d be one point back of Mike Ribeiro. In Calgary, they’d be three points behind Jiri Hudler.
-24 | Alex Edler’s plus/minus this season. I know, I know, plus/minus is a junk stat. But only in the short-term, in my opinion. Over a full season, or, say, three quarters of one, if you’re at the bottom of the league — and Edler is four spots out — it says something about you. What a rough season it’s been for him. On the bright side, he looked really good with Chris Tanev on Sunday. If he’s still here after the trade deadline, Tanev and Edler could be a decent duo next season.
0 | Seasons in the post-lockout era (since 2004-05, if you’re confused about what that means, what with all the other lockouts) where the Canucks’ leading goal scorer has been someone other than top line mainstays Daniel Sedin or Alex Burrows. Barring a miracle, that’s going to change this year. Ryan Kesler sits atop the leaderboard, with 21 goals. Daniel’s at 13. And you may have heard that Burrows is stuck on none.
0 | Seasons in Canuck history where the team’s leading goal-scorer finished the year playing for another team. That’s less of a foregone conclusion than the last stat, but Kesler’s got a five-goal lead on Chris Higgins, the only guy who has even a remote shot at catching him. If he’s moved, as is rumoured, and his lead holds, which it should, since the other stats in today’s feature don’t point to the Canucks scoring a whole lot in his absence, this’ll be the first time this has ever happened, to my knowledge.Tags: Big Numbers