Rethinking the Notion that Ryan Kesler is a "Puck Hog"

Thomas Drance
November 07 2012 12:44PM

After posting two consecutive seventy-point seasons, including a 2009-10 campaign that saw him post 50 assists, Ryan Kesler's offensive production dropped by about 20 points during the 2011-12 NHL campaign. If you asked fans of the team, one of the major reasons for Kesler's drop in production (outside of the fact that he rushed back from an injury, and was hobbled throughout the final three months of the regular season) was his seeming reluctance to pass the puck. The most common criticism I've heard: "Kesler has fallen in love with his shot."

In January, with the Canucks' possession numbers cratering and secondary scoring nowhere to be found outside of Cody Hodgson, headcoach Alain Vigneault publicly called out his two-way ace for hogging the puck. According to his coach, it was imperative that Ryan Kesler "use the players around him more," a public accusation that Ryan Kesler bristled at.

Looking over some new data on "Puck Hogging" posted by Benjamin Wendorf over at, it appears that Kesler's annoyance at Alain Vigneault's criticism may have been entirely justified. 

Read on past the jump.

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The SYAE Podcast: Gettin' Geeky With Cam Charron

Dimitri Filipovic
November 07 2012 09:37AM

Numbers are not something that you should be afraid of. Here at Canucks Army, we pride ourselves on our ability to use underlying statistics in conjuction with the "eye test" in an attempt to most effectively understand what we're seeing on the ice. Despite what your days in high school and university may have left you believing, numbers are your friend. There's no reason to fear them.

In this edition of the podcast, Cam Charron and I discuss a medley of topics surrounding the Vancouver Canucks while dabbling in advanced stats to reinforce our point of view. We take an in-depth look at the Sedins and whether they have or haven't shown signs of decline, and potential returns for Roberto Luongo in a trade involving the Toronto Maple Leafs. We also discuss Chris Tanev and Dylan Reese, which should have been expected.

Click Past the Jump for the Podcast.

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The NHL Could Learn Something From The U.S. Elections

Graphic Comments
November 06 2012 05:16PM

Chances of seeing the Stanley Cup

Today marks the end of the gruelling campaign for the presidency of the United States. However, unlike an NHL season (remember those?), the winner of this campaign will actually have a very good chance of seeing the Stanley Cup. Multiple times, even.

If only it was that easy for the Presidents' Trophy winner. Sigh.

But I guess winning the Presidents' Trophy is very prestigious just in and of itself. I mean, you not only get the Trophy and a guarantee of two, maybe three home games in the playoffs, but the NHL even has a separate web page to recognize the winners...oh for God's sake.

Anyway, sharing a name for the ultimate prize (oh shut up and just go with it) is not the only thing in common between the NHL and the U.S. political system...

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The Vancouver Giants go with a sixteen-year-old goalie

Patrick Johnston
November 06 2012 11:34AM

Payton Lee had played pretty big in his two games with the Giants so far this season.
(Photo: Patrick Johnston)

It could take a sixteen-year-old netminder to save the Vancouver Giants' season. At 5-12, the Giants are quickly spiralling into oblivion. Tyler Liston, anointed as starter after a good training camp, has nose-dived, putting up a .827 save percentage. His back-up, Tyler Fuhr, hasn't fared much better. In front of the goalies, the defence has been all over the place, yielding turnovers at the rate of an industrial bakery. Even Don Hay has expressed frustration at times, admitting that the goalies haven't come up with the big save when the team really needed one.

And then along came Payton. Read on past the jump!

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Losing a step: The Sedins and the future

Cam Charron
November 06 2012 07:55AM

In his book The Signal and the Noise, author and statistician Nate Silver, who you've surely heard about the last couple of weeks, advises humans to become "less and less wrong" when making predictions. We need to gather as much information as possible to make consistently good forecasts, but, as importantly, Silver suggests that "you can benefit from applying multiple perspectives toward a problem".

A lot of the book deals with consensus and aggregation, and the way that market necessities aid humans in working together to solve problems. I thought it was interesting when, earlier this summer, a writer at Puck Prospectus named Rob Vollman, sent out a list of all the summer unrestricted free agent signings and simply asked a handful of statistical analysts to rate the signings.

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