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.
1 | Canuck regulation wins this season versus the NHL’s terrible trio of California teams, San Jose, Anaheim, and Los Angeles. It’s stunning. It’s one thing to have just one regulation win when you’ve played but twice or thrice against these three opponents. It’s another thing to have one regulation win in a dozen tries. The Canucks boast a record of 1-8-3 against this group, and it’s going to prove to be their downfall. With a .500 record — if they’d gotten, say, even 12 out of the possible 24 points instead of just 5 — they’d be one point behind Minnesota for the first Wild Card spot.
19 | Let’s put this into greater perspective. The Canucks won 19 games against their Northwest Division opponents in the last full NHL season, 2011-12, the year they also won their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy. They went 19-4-1 in-division that year, collecting 39 of a possible 48 points. This year in their new division, they’re 10-11-4, having collected 24 of a possible 50. When people say the Canucks’ benefited from a weak Northwest in previous seasons, this is what they’re talking about. As soon as California was roped into Vancouver’s division, the divisional points became a great deal more elusive. A Canuck team with 15 more points on the season is challenging Los Angeles for third in the Pacific, and all but mathematically in the playoffs, boasting LA’s 99.99% chance of making the postseason.
0.5% | Instead, the Canucks have this much of a chance of making the dance. They can be formally eliminated as early as the end of the week (a three-game win streak by the Coyotes and a Canuck loss on Tuesday would do it by Friday).
28 | Back to the Pacific. This is the goal differential in the 12 games versus the Golden State opponents. The Canucks have been outscored 45-17 versus The Californians this season. Anaheim is inflating the totals the worst. There was that 9-1 win earlier in the year, but they also outscored the Canucks 21-5 over the first four of this season’s five meetings.
5 | The Canucks’ goals versus the Ducks, as mentioned, but it’s also Corey Perry’s goals versus the Canucks this season. If you can’t outscore one guy over four games, you probably aren’t winning the season series.
11 | It’s a shame, because the Canucks didn’t used to be so hapless against California teams. The franchise record for goals in a game is 11, set in an 11-5 win over the California Seals on March 28, 1971. Sadly, they couldn’t draw any inspiration from this anniversary when it passed the day before they got walloped by Anaheim.
19 | Tom Sestito’s fights this season. He only needs one more to reach 20, and he’s likely to be the only NHLer this season to do so. Hooray for Sestito!
83.7% | The Canucks’ penalty kill rate, which situates them at 10th in the NHL. Remember when they were first in the league, and threatening to break an unofficial record for their PK effectiveness? Me neither. Now they’re in danger of finishing the year outside of the top 10. Amazing how this has fallen apart, especially on the road, where they’re killing at 82.9%, good for 15th in the league. To put that into its proper, shameful perspective: the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes have better road kills than the Canucks. There’s a “roadkill” joke to be made here. I don’t have the heart.
258 | The Canucks’ man-games lost due to injury. It’s a big number (hey! that’s the name of this feature!), and injuries have played a major role in this season’s sorrows, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves blaming the ouchies for everything, especially since the Canucks aren’t the league’s hurtingest team. They’re fourth, behind the Penguins, Jets, and Sharks, at 375, 286, and 277, respectively. You’ll notice that two of those three are playoff teams.
-32 | Alex Edler’s plus/minus on the season, which is notable for several reasons. First, it’s crazy terrible. Second, it’s substantially the worst on the team. Second-worst is Ryan Kesler, at minus-16. But more than that, it’s third from the bottom in the league, ahead of just Nail Yakupov (-33) and Alex Ovechkin (-34). Can Edler get there? Or can Ovechkin hold on? If Ovechkin remains at the bottom, he’d be the only player ever to boast the worst plus/minus while leading the league in goals.Tags: Big Numbers