Game #23 Preview: Canucks @ Blue Jackets (Also Headshots)

Thomas Drance
March 07 2013 04:18PM


Dan Hamhuis and David Booth taking a wiz (out of the play).

Today at Canucks Army we wrote a treatise on Vancouver's power-play struggles and discussed the disappointing returns the Canucks have recouped on the Booth gamble so far. We also put off writing a game preview for too long (I'll admit that I forgot that Columbus is located in the Eastern timezone) so we're going to do a "Game Preview/Headshots mashup" today!

Read on past the jump for that! 

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Gambling on Booth Hasn't Paid off for the Canucks

Jeff Angus
March 07 2013 02:33PM


David Booth has no trouble beating defenders. Beating goalies on the other hand...
(Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

David Booth’s tenure with the Canucks has been largely forgettable to date. He has sustained a few injuries, gone through a revolving door of linemates, and suffered from a lack of offensive production.

His underlying numbers (advanced stats) have been pretty good, for the most part, but they have yet to translate into any sustained tangible success (he has a single assist in seven games in 2013). Will Booth break out soon or is he just a shooting% outlier with below average skills for a top-six forward? Is he trade bait? What will the Canucks do with him this summer as they look to cut some salary to fit under the reduced cap?

There are a lot of questions surrounding Booth right now, and not a lot of answers. We'll get into it further after the jump.

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What has happened to the Canucks power-play?

Thomas Drance
March 07 2013 12:36PM


Daniel Sedin is at the heart of Vancouver's power-play issues.
Photo Uncredited via PITB

During the entirety of the Mike Gillis era, the Canucks have boasted a polished, effective and deadly power-play. Along with stellar goaltending the Canucks' ability to consistently "make opponent's pay" with the man-advantage has been a decisive part of the team's ability to consistently outperform their puck possession numbers. A power-play that generates shots at a top-ten rate and capitalizes frequently is an ingrained feature of this Vancouver club's DNA, and perhaps we took that for granted prior to the start of this lockout shortened season.

For whatever reason, the Canucks appear to have taken a monumental step backwards this season at five-on-four. Forget the middling conversion rate (20th in the league as of this writing) since that tells us more about the symptoms than the ailment. What's really concerning from my vantage point is the team's complete inability to generate shots on net in five-on-four situations. In fact, the underlying shot data suggests that Vancouver might have the second worst power-play in the entire league so far this season...

Why has Vancouver's power-play effectiveness atrophied so dramatically this season? Read on past the jump.

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Afternoon Headshots: March 6th

Thomas Drance
March 06 2013 05:56PM

 
Jeff Vinnick captures the precise moment M.E. Vlasic feels the impact of this Jannik Hansen hit.
I feel like Vlasic face could be a thing.

Today at Canucks Army we wondered whether or not the Canucks were maybe, possibly thinking about trading the wrong goaltender, scoffed at Damien Cox's latest criticism of Mike Gillis' avarice on the Luongo trade front and recapped Tuesday night's home shootout loss against the San Jose Sharks.

More links and analysis (and links to analysis) after the jump.

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Are we sure that the Canucks are looking to trade the right goaltender?

Cam Charron
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.

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