Eyeing The Canucks 2010-2011 Offense

Especially with the loss of Christian Ehrhoff, some of the fears expressed by Vancouver fans (or the delights from the now legions of Vancouver haters) is that the league’s highest scoring team last season can’t possibly reclaim that title a second year in a row.

Taking a page from On The Forecheck and Blackhawk Up, let’s take a quick look at Vancouver’s possible offensive production in 2011 using projections of each player’s career goal scoring rate over an 82-game spread.

The numbers in bold ballpark the amount of goals expected per player:

D. Sedin (26.2) – H. Sedin (15.6) – Burrows (20.5)

Higgins (21.3) – Kesler (22.1) – Samuelsson (18)

Sturm (22.1) – Malhotra (10.7) – Hansen (10.7)

Oreskovich (2.5) – Lapierre (9.8) – Ebbett (10.7)

Bieksa (8.2) – Hamhuis (5.7)

Edler (9) – Salo (9.8)

Ballard (6.5) – Rome (1.6)

Whenever Raymond is healthy enough to touch his toes, his career average would work out to be 18 goals per year.

The grand total is 231, or roughly a 11.5% decrease from their 258 goals last season. 231 would tie them with Carolina last season for 12th best overall.

Obviously there are a number of caveats with this approach: there will be the obvious injuries and call-ups. On top of that these lines aren’t complete; I threw Ebbett in because Hodgson (remember him?) Duco, Pinizzotto, Mancuri and other assorted bottom six options have next to no NHL records. This approach doesn’t account for a camp stand out like Sweatt, Archibald or Schroeder upsetting the apple cart. It also ignores special teams; Vancouver’s 72 PPGs in the regular season was best in the league so that’s a big chunk of red lights to casually dismiss.

Nevertheless, unless a trade comes through or a few players have career years again, it’s certainly possible the offense takes a step back. The biggest question mark will always be injuries, particularly with Sturm, Salo and Samuelsson representing 50 goals, or 20% of the team’s overall output.

Then again assuming Hansen returns alongside Mahlotra (and both click with a delightfully healthy Samuelsson or Sturm) they maintain a top nine that remains one of the strongest they’ve had in their history. Raymond sitting in reserve is an obvious bonus. Lastly – and we can’t stress this enough – losing Mr. Errorhoff should presumably help the backend be more responsible which is hardly a bad thing over the course of 82 games.

As always, the glass is half full or half empty depending on your outlook. Drink up.

  • Hey Yankee,

    Though I agree with the assertion that the Canucks offense is likely to regress somewhat next season – what was your methodology for calculating this “expected output”? Career average goals? Seems a bit too conservative, Daniel Sedin hasn’t scored fewer than 29 goals since the lockout for example…

  • Yankee Canuck

    “each player’s career goal scoring rate over an 82-game spread.”

    Sorry I could have explained that better. I took each player’s career goals per game rate and multiplied by 82. It’s certainly not without criticism, but an attempt at ballparking the overall.

    Interestingly I thought Sturm didn’t have a chance in hell to score 22 goals until I realized he did that just with Boston before he got injured.

  • Ahh, I’m sorry Yankee I’ve been busy and multi-tasking today, I didn’t read that particular sentence as closely as I needed to. Very interesting stuff nonetheless, even though I expect the Canucks will be in the top 5 in GF at seasons end.

    As for Sturm, when he’s healthy he seems to be a reliable twenty goal scorer – but at his age and his wonky knees – it’s a big question as to whether or not he’ll be healthy!

    I expect Daniel to hit 35 again, and Kesler to hit close to thirty. I’m also hopeful that Edler can post Ehrhoff type goal totals if he’s healthy for the full 82!

  • Yankee Canuck

    I think some of those projections are a little off.
    Here are the goal numbers I expect from each Canuck:

    D Sedin (45) – H Sedin (15) – Burrows (27)
    Raymond (11) – Kesler (50) – Samuelsson (23)
    Higgins (13) – Malhotra (12) – Hansen (15)
    Sturm (22) – Lapierre (13) – Oreskovich (5)

    Bieksa (6) – Hamhuis (7)
    Edler (13) – Salo (8)
    Ballard (5) – Tanev (5)

    thats 295. More than last year. Without the best offensive defenseman? Sure , why not!

    • Yankee Canuck

      I’m sure the projections are off, but what did you base yours on? Last year’s totals or something else?

      I agree with Kent: I’d love to see Kesler pass the 50 goal mark, but I won’t hold my breath. I’d also love to see Henrik tally a few more than Hansen.

      • I think the best (but most time consuming) way to do this is to compute average ESP/60 rates over the last, say, 3 years for players and then compute how much ice time there is to go around for each based on their potential place in the line-up over a full season. That would give you a decent expected total at 5-on-5. Then do the same for the PP.

        That would be an awful lot of work though.

        • Yankee Canuck

          No doubt, I thought I’d take a cursory, ballpark approach to kickstart a separate discussion of missing pieces (if any). As it stands now I’d prefer another winger (I’ve given up on a big ticket name) but I’m basically comfortable with this line up hitting training camp.

          (We had our fun signings last summer anyway)

    • Mantastic

      1 player got 50 goals last year, you expect kesler to accomplish this next year? and how many teams have scored 295 goals since the lockout? 5?

      typical canucks fan? i think so.

      i do think they will regress due to a very long 10-11 season and the fact that people now know how to truely shut down the sedins. i have them in the top 10 in GF, better then yankee and lower then artem

  • @Mantastic I don’t know about the leagues head-coaches, but I definitely know how to shut the Canucks down after that Finals loss. The key is to have your goalie stop .950% of shots at even-strength, make sure Kesler can barely skate and employ Zdeno Chara…

  • Nashvile, Chicago, Boston – good to great goaltending, blue-chip top pairings, a plethora of good defensive forwards (Ward-Fisher, Bolland, Bergeron). Only Boston “shut-down” the Canucks offense and PP, Nashville and Chicago more accurately “slowed them down”. Luckily, in the regular season there aren’t all that many games against teams with as much defensive quality – especially in the Northwest division.

    • Yankee Canuck

      On a quick pass I would drop Sturm, Higgins, Lapierre, Ebbet and Rome (total: 65.5) and add back in Raymond, Torres, Ehrhoff, Bolduc and Glass (total: 54.9), bringing the 2010 total to 220.4.

      That’s not terribly accurate because I didn’t toss out every single player’s goal per game rate in 2011 – so it’s a ballpark of a ballpark – but at face value the 2010 goal projections was off by 17%.

  • orcasfan

    Well, I guess the summer “heat” has fried some brains around here! I can’t think of any other excuse that would explain this garbage. (Unless it was all some subtle, sarcastic joke?). Is anyone actually taking this “article” seriously? So, your methodology is pathetic – why would anyone choose to look at career numbers as a assessment for future scoring, unless the player’s career was winding down? And, even then, you would end up with numbers weighted again. As has been mentioned, if you were serious about this kind of analysis/projection, the way to do it would be to only look at the last 3 or 4 years as an indication of what might be expected for next season.

    Even then, the analysis would not be valid unless you applied the same methodology to all the other teams! After all, the resulting figures only have “meaning” when they are related to the projected totals for all the other teams! Savvy? Even if you choose not to go down that long road, your current analysis is meaningless unless you repeat the process with all the other teams too. Good luck!

    • Yankee Canuck

      See the links in the beginning. A Hawks fan took a similar look at his team then a Preds blog followed suit. Both writers noted it’s meant to be a general estimate of production only. I couldn’t have listed enough variables with why this is, at best, a ballpark view of potential future production (see the comment before yours; a better view be comparing it to past team performance, not necessarily league-wide).

      If you think I’ve erred so egregiously or if you feel the only methodology that would mean anything to your perspective on life and hockey analysis is precisely what you said above, then feel free to post that yourself. You’re a big boy (or girl), do the work. My intent wasn’t to be all encompassing by any stretch, but rather provide an approximation of what the league’s highest scoring team looks like without their highest scoring defenseman and some of their wingers.

  • Yankee Canuck

    #1 line (Sedin’s & burrows)last 3 year total goals:

    2011 – 86
    2010 – 93
    2009 – 81

    you estimate for 2012 is 61? I understand this is a rough guestimate, but that is my main concern with article.

    Anyhow, I think Stanley Cup letdown will cause biggest decrease in scoring output. As others have stated, I suspect we will still be in top 10 for scoring. But who knows, still holding breathe for that Schneider for Parise trade which could change everything. lol.