February 08 2014 11:24AM
I don't mean to oversell this but it may be the greatest moment in the history of hockey
There isn't much to hang your hat on in Vancouver these days. Well, unless you're in the camp that would like to see the team bottom out; which is pretty doable at this point, considering that they're only 3 points away from being 25th in the overall standings. The injury woes for this squad have become pretty comical at this point, as they're both literally and figuratively limping towards the Olympic break.
But hey, while the team may be struggling in a fashion which we haven't seen in a long time, we'll always have the video clip I've attached above. Andt the fact that the Canucks haven't lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs since November 24th, 2003. With everything that has plagued them lately I've come to terms with all of the losing in recent weeks, but if they find a way to somehow lose this one, well now that would just be plain embarrassing..
Puck Drop: 3:00 PM PST
Dan Hamhuis says he is good to play tomorrow vs Toronto— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 7, 2014
Hey now! That's a good piece of news right there. A few days ago I speculated as to whether Hamhuis may've suffered a concussion (after a reader had pointed out a play against Detroit where Alex Burrows' skate clipped the defenseman's head), but apparently he was just dealing with a nagging soft tissue injury in the groin area.
He's back, and that's a fantastic bit of news because it means that we won't be subjected to the Yann Sauve-Frankie Corrado pairing from hell any longer. While their efforts in ensuring that the Canucks would continue to tank towards a high lottery pick were noble, I don't know how many more 3 hour sittings of that trainwreck that I could endure.
As Rhys mentioned in his recap of the loss in Montreal, they're failing to crack the 40% corsi for Mendoza Line, which matches the eye test observations of "good god what the hell are they doing out there?!" Let's just hope that it never has to be a thing ever again.
Beyond that piece of news, there isn't much to say. The forward lines we saw on Thursday will be the ones we see tonight, which isn't ideal. But it's the last game before the break and hopefully we'll see a more, um, NHL-caliber lineup coming out of it.
Let's get to their underlying numbers:
|Corsi Close %||51.7% (10th)|
|5v5 GF/60||2.23 (18th)|
|5v5 GA/60||2.19 (12th)|
|5v4 GF/60||4.40 (26th)|
|5v4 SF/60||57.6 (4th)|
|4v5 GA/60||4.41 (3rd)|
|4v5 SA/60||40.3 (1st)|
The Maple Leafs
The Leafs are the best. I genuinely have no idea how they're 31-22-6, but what I do know is that whatever Glenn Healy and Co. wind up telling you tonight will almost assuredly not be the reason why ("Tim Gleason blah blah blah grit blah blah blah heart blah blah blah).
I recently had to track the scoring chances for the Leafs/Panthers game (as part of a bet I lost to Cam Charron), and I came out of that game wondering how the Leafs have ever managed to win this season. They were brutally outplayed from start to finish, and as this graphic indicates (which I hope you can appreciate the beauty of) that has been a fairly common occurence this season:
Yet some how, some way, they continue to find ways to win. At this point I've become resigned to the fact that they're going to qualify for the playoffs yet again over a team that's more deserving. The Toronto Maple Leafs are so darn good at trolling all of us in the analytical community. Anyways, here are their full season underlying numbers:
|Corsi Close %||42.7% (29th)|
|5v5 GF/60||2.36 (11th)|
|5v5 GA/60||2.46 (22nd)|
|5v4 GF/60||7.91 (4th)|
|5v4 SF/60||54.0 (7th)|
|4v5 GA/60||6.75 (22nd)|
|4v5 SA/60||61.3 (30th)|
[Stats via extraskater.com]