March 19 2013 11:59AM
Joe Thornton and Roberto Luongo discuss how playoff success is over-rated.
If there's an NHL organization I can look at that has shared the same level of successes and failures over the past decade as the Vancouver Canucks, it's the San Jose Sharks (although the Sharks are a group that has somehow withstood more moments of wretched heartbreak and appear to be on a faster track out of contention.)
The randomness of a playoff series or a playoff tournament changes so many perceptions about how teams are built. This isn't just about how the Canucks failed to ride the percentages in a seven-game series with the eventual 2011 Stanley Cup Champions. This is about how, over years, singular seasons of a franchise become a bright beacon illuminating the success and process of a management group.
Read on past the jump.
March 12 2013 03:09PM
David Booth makes an awful lot of money to shoot hockey pucks at everything but a hockey net. Angry Internet commenters have been making sure to let everybody know that David Booth is goal-less, although in the games I have watched, Booth has looked to generate a few chances off his stick inside the scoring zone. I have some images below that show this.
But that's not enough. Of course, fans expect results. No team in the last three seasons has been more economic with its shots as the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have the highest team average PDO in the last three seasons. PDO, the addition of shooting and save percentage, is known to drive results in the short term. Given that the Canucks have had the second best average shooting percentage since the conclusion of the 2009 season (9.0%, only Washington is higher, with 9.2%. League median is 8.2%) and the highest save percentage, it's weird for the Canucks to be within a time of crisis where nothing is going in, nothing is staying out, and the team isn't even generating quality opportunities.
Ah, but David Booth has been.
March 06 2013 03:15PM
Photo Credit: CANADIAN PRESS/DARRYL DYCK
The Vancouver Canucks are ninth in the National Hockey League in points, yet fifth in puck-possession. After a couple of years of tracking this sort of stuff, I don't even feel it's necessary to link all the math that shows a team's Fenwick record is more predictive of the team's future results than its actual win-loss record. A teams' hockey ability isn't best measured in how many games it wins, but in how many shots it's able to direct towards the net versus its opponents.
What determines wins and losses after the shots have been accounted for? Voodoo, really. Sometimes they call voodoo "goaltending" and even though it's the position played that's the easiest to track, it's almost impossible to predict how a goaltender will do in any given year.
February 26 2013 03:43PM
The Canucks are an elite team even without beating up on inferior Northwest Division clubs
With all the talk about re-alignment, some of it has focused on the "man, the Canucks are going to be moved to a division with real hockey teams?" It's been unfair for the last several years that no opponent in hockey's Northwest Division has really given the Canucks any competition whatsoever for the division crown.
February 24 2013 06:50PM
Photo Dave Reginek via NHLInteractive
A game recap isn't really necessary. The small, underlying events that define a single game have little meaning in the long run. Every botched zone exit, every giveaway, every blown coverage, every solitary, unrecorded play that somehow led to a scoring chance for or against gains anonymity the next day. At some point, people will forget what plays, exactly, Jason Garrison or Keith Ballard made that cost the Vancouver Canucks in their game against the Detroit Red Wings, they will just remember the plays existed. The recording of microstats is simply objective note-taking, and we don't even have those.
We don't record the plays that led to certain events for or against. More developed hockey blogs are built prominently around recording zone exits and entries. Some teams track puck touches and passes to get a more accurate read on the things their team does. There is a problem when you watch a hockey game of confirmation bias, that you will perceive things only as you want them to be seen. If you showed a person a hockey game with all the scoring plays clipped out, it is unlikely they would have been able to tell which team won.
Had all the scoring plays been clipped out of the Canucks and Wings game, it would be 0-0 headed to overtime. Unfortunately, it was 8-3.