Tales of regression: the 2008 Vancouver Canucks

Cam Charron
April 04 2012 02:45PM

Canucks Army didn't exist in 2008. I'm not sure how much of a market there was for a math-themed Vancouver Canucks blog. I certainly wasn't reading one, and while Vic Ferrari was pumping out terrific stuff like this about player luck over a short-term period of hockey games, I was a regular poster on Canucks.com, using the numbers I had available to me to prove my points, but none of the wealth of data available online to regular readers of Puck Prospectus or Irreverent Oilers Fans.

I was parsing through Behind The Net and something caught my eye: when we talk about the Minnesota Wild this season, or the Dallas Stars last season, or the Colorado Avalanche from 2010, we're talking about teams that had dominant first halves of the season but collapsed from January-on. Surely, there has to have been a team like that almost every year in recent history that had a good first half and a lousy second half.

Enter the 2008 Vancouver Canucks, let's look month-to-month at just how they did. Using timeonice scripts from 2008, I looked month-to-month at how this team fared...

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Schneider Day Night Live

Cam Davie
April 04 2012 12:07PM

Cory Schneider can do no wrong in the eyes of Canucks fans.
And his impressions are no exception.

Cory Schneider. Superb goaltender. Compelling interviewee. Master impressionist.

The Canucks goalie has been on CBC's After Hours on two different occasions, discussing various aspects of his game, his life, and the Vancouver Canucks. During both interviews, Schneider broke out some amazing impressions of some of his teammates and his coach.

We decided it wasn't enough to just marvel at his mimickry. We had to rate them.

Click past the jump to see how we scored Cory Schneider's impressions!

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Enough Ducking Shootouts - Canucks "defeat" Ducks

Cam Charron
April 04 2012 01:10AM

It's not like the Vancouver Canucks weren't playing well, but they just weren't getting the saves from Roberto Luongo early on in the game. Finding themselves down 4-2, the Canucks rallied in front of Cory Schneider and found a pair of goals ere headed to the shootout, where three pretty goals by Alex Burrows, Alex Edler and Maxim Lapierre won the game for the team, their seventh straight since the loss of Daniel Sedin to a concussion.

For further analysis, scoring chance recap, and cheering on your favourite Statistical Three Stars and booing your hated Statistical Three Goats, click past the jump.

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Is Raymond Qualified, to be Qualified?

Thomas Drance
April 03 2012 02:53PM

Mason Raymond hasn't been able to find his form this season, and time is running out.

Needless to say, Mason Raymond is not having a particularly good season. Leading up his benching on Saturday against Calgary, Raymond has struggled to drive possession (like he was able to do in the past several seasons), his defensive game has fallen off significantly, and to top it off, he's benefitting from the on-ice bounces and still can't seem to bury his chances. What's worse, quickly glancing over how Raymond's presence impacts his most frequent line-mates (and in particular Ryan Kesler), reveals that Raymond's presence in the top-six may be a drag on the performance of his team-mates.

The Canucks are going to need Raymond's speed in any run they may make deep into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so they need him to find his game. In fact, so much of the way they've handled him of late, he's spent six of the past ten games on the team's top-line for example, strikes me as an effort to rebuild his confidence. Hopefully that effort pays off, because Raymond's contract expires at the end of this season, and if he doesn't pick it up in the postseason, then common sense dictates that the speedy forward will be in serious danger of not even being qualified by the team. 

Read on past the jump!

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Vigneault's Defensive Shell

Thomas Drance
April 03 2012 01:06PM

It's hard to "lose the room" when you have sweet Ninja Skills.
Photoshop work courtesy sworn enemy Harrison Mooney.

Several weeks ago, Canucks fans were lamenting the hockey club's lack of effort. A hypothesis emerged that held that the team, content with a second place finish in the West, had activated "Operation Don't Get Hurt," and there was a fair bit of convincing evidence that this was, in fact, the case. Of course, the Canucks then showed up to play for real in Chicago, Daniel Sedin was knocked out of the lineup by probably the single dirtiest cheap-shot of this past NHL season, and though the Canucks went on to lose that game in overtime - a fire seemed to be lit under the respective posteriors of the team. Since then the Canucks have reeled off six straight wins on the back of stellar goaltending, and suffocating defense.

Read on past the jump!

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