Big Numbers: Canucks vs. California, Edler chasing Ovechkin

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:

11 comments

  1. Naturalmystic
    March 31, 2014

    You missed this one.

    Goals scored per game average

    Edmonton 2.453
    Vancouver 2.421

    Worst goals per game in the Western Conference for Vancouver. Overall only Florida and Buffalo score fewer goals per game.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  2. Naturalmystic
    March 31, 2014

    I found your latest blog post following a twitter link. Clicking on Pass it to Bulis only shows the IWTG vs Anaheim.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  3. Naturalmystic
    March 31, 2014

    Weird. When I clicked on your name it brought me to a PITB page which had this blog post. Clicking on the Pass it to Bulis banner or a web link doesn’t bring up this article.

    Conclusion, Post Media Group sucks so bad. Why does every blog on this site so terrible to post on with the exception of Kim Bolan’s?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Harrison Mooney
      March 31, 2014

      We’re hoping to get a new website this summer. We hate this one as much as you do.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  4. Chris the Curmudgeon
    March 31, 2014

    Stupid stupid stupid, Harrison. The Canucks were 11-5-4 against the Pacific that year too. Comparing the 2012 divisional record to the 2014 divisional record is so off-base. The northwest may have been weaker, but the Canucks were also better then than now, and anyone who thinks the team was just a mirage hasn’t looked at the facts. I mentioned this in another post, but it bears repeating: project the Canucks non-divisional pace to two seasons worth over the two Presidents Trophy years, and they’d still have gotten more points than any other team over that span. Please stop perpetuating this crap that the team somehow didn’t deserve its ‘elite’ title.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
    • Harrison Mooney
      March 31, 2014

      No, they totally deserved their elite title. It’s part of why they were able to beat up on divisional opponents.

      I hear what you’re saying, though. Wins are wins.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +4 (from 10 votes)
    • Chinstrap Joe
      March 31, 2014

      I didn’t used to buy into the weak Pacific division argument in years past because we were beating EVERYBODY. It didn’t make sense.

      Having seen the breakdown this season, I now wonder if the Pacific division was a safe, fresh water harbor to which they could return to allow the barnacles to drop off their hull. This year, those barnacles have built up all season and the ship can barely move.

      Sunk we are…

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  5. iain
    March 31, 2014

    March 28, 1971: I was at that game. My dad bought nosebleed seats up amongst the rafters at Pacific Coliseum to take me to my first ever NHL game.

    Canucks 11, Seals 5. YAYYYY!!!!! I was 6 and thought that all Canucks games would be like that.

    Oh the foolishness of youth.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  6. Unknown Comic
    March 31, 2014

    I also agree with Chris. This divisional storyline is a red herring.

    In 2011-12 and while in the NW, Vancouver played the California teams 15 times. This season, while in the Pacific, they play the California teams 14 times.

    In 2011-12, Vancouver got to play Edm, Cal, Minn and Col 6 times each, while the rest of the west played them 5 times each. So 4 more games over a full season against these 4 teams is the difference were are talking about.

    Stop this storyline now.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  7. akidd
    March 31, 2014

    those california teams are all elite teams. to say that if only the canucks could have done better against elite teams they’d be right back of the wild is quite the daydreaming. the canucks have to do better against middling teams and hope they can scratch and claw for those wildcard spots. or better yet, the canucks have to not completely suck for 3 months of the season. ya, i figure if they can avoid that, they’re a shoo-in.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  8. BBoone
    April 13, 2014

    The real numbered elephant in the room is Total team IQ
    They were too dumb to learn Tort’s system. Those wining teams of yesteryear with AV were way crazy smart . These guys , sadly, are dumberer.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)