Canucks at 60: the numbers behind the record


Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin – USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks have played 60 games. Some have been better than others, but there haven’t been nearly enough good ones, which goes a long way towards explaining why they’re four points below the playoff bar in the Western Conference as the roll into their league-mandated week off.

While the players take their break, the 60 games the Canucks have played is a natural time to pause and crunch some numbers. This is not a deep dive on why the Canucks are where they are in the standings. We’ve already written much to that effect in this space, and much more will undoubtedly be devoted to the many issues plaguing this hockey club.

The following are numbers that jump off the page at me when examining the Canucks season to this point. Some of this is trivial, others item are a little more telling. You may know some of these facts and figures already, while you may discover a few new things along the way.

Consider this week off for the Canucks a reading break of sorts. With that in mind, here’s a little reading material for you. This stuff clogs up my brain, and I need to let it out. These are 30 stats about the Canucks through 60 games:

1)      16: the number of regulation wins for the Canucks through 60 games this season. Another six of their wins have come in overtime and the other four in a shootout

2)      the Canucks have six regulation wins against teams currently above the playoff bar

3)      the Canucks have just three regulation wins against teams currently in a divisional playoff spot (MIN, FLA & CBJ). 14 of their remaining games are against teams currently holding down divisional berths

4)      20 of 30 visitors to Rogers Arena this season have left with at least a point

5)      Canucks are 18-9-3 at home this season (39 points in 30 games). Visitors are 12-10-8 (32 points in 30 games) at Rogers Arena

6)      Overall, opponents are 34-16-10 against the Canucks (78 points in 60 games). That’s .650 hockey

7)      Canucks have given up the first goal in 38 of 60 games. They have fallen behind 2-0 in 22 of those 38 games

8)      Canucks have 14+73=87 from defensemen this season. That’s two points fewer than they had at the same mark a year ago (17+72=89). Troy Stecher leads all Canucks defensemen with 2+16=18 in the 51 games he’s played. Ben Hutton leads the blue line with four goals in his 49 games

9)      Ryan Miller has made 37 starts for the Canucks this season. Jakob Markstrom has started 23 times. Miller has started 16 of 22 in 2017

10)   Bo Horvat has 3+3=6 in his past five games and 8+11=19 in the past 24 at a time when so many others are struggling to pick up points. He’s continued to produce despite playing the past seven games without his usual linemate Sven Baertschi

11)   Ben Hutton has 0+4=4 in eight games back after missing a month with a hand injury

12)   Brandon Sutter has gone 11 games without an assist and has just one helper in his past 15 games

13)   Daniel Sedin has one goal in his past 16 games

14)   Henrik Sedin has one goal in his past 13 games

15)   Loui Eriksson has one point (a power play goal in Columbus) in his last 14 games

16)   the Canucks have finished the night with two goals in 17 of their 60 games. That is the most-frequent goal total for the team this season. They have scored three goals in 13 games and been held to one goal 11 times

17)   Six goals in an 8-6 loss in Carolina is the team’s highest goal output of the season. They have scored five goals on four occasions

18)   the Canucks have been shutout seven times and have blanked their opponents on three occasions

19)   2017 record: since January 1st, the Canucks are 9-10-3 with 48 goals for & 57 goals against

20)   2017 goal leaders: Horvat & Granlund 8 apiece. Sutter has 6, Baertschi has 5

21)   30 games without a fight dating back to a December 13th scrap between Luca Sbisa and Ron Hainsey in Carolina

22)   despite being limited to just 14 games, Derek Dorsett leads the Canucks with three fighting majors this season. Eric Gudbranson and Luca Sbisa each have two

23)   After Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia, the Canucks have a 5-8 record in second half of back to back games this season with 25 goals scored

24)   the Canucks are 26-28-6 (58 points) at the 60 game mark. Last season, they were 24-24-12 (60 pts)

25)   Daniel Sedin led the club with 22+30=52 through 60 games a year ago. Bo Horvat leads the team this season with 18+22=40

26)   the Sedins had combined for 98 points through 60 games last season. This season, they have 70 points combined

27)   despite playing only ten games in the American Hockey League this season, Michael Chaput remains a top-10 scorer for the Utica Comets. Chaput is T-10 with 2+11=13

28)   Chris Tanev was the fifth Canuck to score an overtime winner this season when he settled Saturday night’s game against Calgary. Henrik Sedin has scored a pair (vs. Buffalo and Anaheim). Brandon Sutter, Markus Granlund and Ben Hutton (on a November 17th penalty shot against Arizona) have the others. The Canucks are 6-4 in games settled in overtime this season

29)   Canucks shooters are 5/17 in shootouts this season, and Canucks goalies have stopped 16 of 19 opposition attempts. As a whole, the team is 4-2 in the skills competition. The Canucks last shootout was in Philadelphia on January 12th and prior to that on New Year’s Eve in Edmonton. The Canucks went to a shootout in four of their first 25 games this season, but just two in the past 35

30)   there are 22 games to go. Bring on the trade deadline, draft lottery, the expansion draft and the NHL draft.

  • TheRealPB

    What amazes me about this season is not that the Canucks are bad — we all expected that — it’s that the league seems pretty terrible outside of the top five teams. And even there Columbus has returned to earth; it’s really been Washington, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and NYR that have been consistently good. Chicago, SJ and Edmonton are an ok next tier; Anaheim and Montreal have been totally unreliable and Ottawa looks like a Walking Dead episode after that game against Winnipeg. Nobody’s catching Colorado for that top shot at the lottery but with Arizona winning so much lately we have a possibility for 2nd; more likely we are in a dogfight with 10 teams either for a playoff spot or 3rd shot at the lottery; literally 4 points separate 19-28 with the teams above 11-18 separated by just six more. I guess this is the hard cap era but parity mostly looks like mediocrity across the board. Again this isn’t an argument to suggest that we are a good team, just that there’s a lot of poor teams across the league.

    • Pat Quinn Way

      The cap era has certainly achieved regular season parity with so many teams still in the playoff picture and it does appear that any team (except Colorado) can win on any given night, which i feel is a good thing.

      What really matters to me though is the playoffs and with only 2 Presidents Trophy winners in over a decade hoisting the cup, ‘elite’ regular season teams mean very little in that regard.

      Top teams like Chicago, LA and Pittsburgh tend to ‘coast’ through the season and turn it on when it really matters, which is why they have 7 cups in the last 8 years between them!

  • JuiceBox

    Eriksson – what a waste. $8M for 15 goals (if we are lucky), no wonder he has no desire to score… 4-yr full NMC/NTC protection worth $26M. All he has to do is show up and he is laughing all the way to the bank. Signing this guy was a mistake.

    • Steamer

      Good job Jeff – the numbers don’t lie. As for Eriksson – c’mon, let’s count together – only 432 games to go! For every good move Benning may make, there is an equally bad move – but signing Eriksson is in a league alone, absolute catastrophe – imagine how ownership must feel – I mean, they sign the cheques.

  • apr

    Yes, its bleak. But you cannot advocate the team to tank and at the same time berate the team for not winning. If you want to berate the effort level of the team, then why even bother.

    The Sedins are declining – the combined difference in their points of -20, plus being significant minus players since they were rookies underscores why the team has struggled so much this year. You don’t need a barrage of stats, make fun of Megna, bash Sutter or Gudbrandson, when it is plain as day that our two best players in the decade (and for a span of 5 years – the two most prolific duo in the league) have extremely struggled, which has subsequently cascaded throughout the team.

    We all thought that the Sedins would have aged better. They have, but not to the extent where they could maintain production at an elite level. They’ve been the production leaders on not only this team, but the entire league for a long time and have always been the primary reason why the team wins. When that goes, you get this. Any other reasons are just moot.

    • Dirk22

      You’re confusing being a bad team with tanking. Tanking implies that they’re purposefully icing a team that will finish near the bottom of the standings in hopes of a good draft pick. It implies that your mindset is on the future in lieu of this season. The team is not intentionally tanking. They’re spending to the cap. They’re playing Miller every chance they get. As they’ve stated numerous times they’re trying to make the playoffs. So yes, by accident they’re accomplishing the task of finishing near the bottom like a team that tanks would….but they’re doing it with a cap-filled veteran line-up. Sorry – they’re just bad. Not tanking. We’ll see what happens at the deadline.

  • wojohowitz

    Number 5 really grabs me. It`s like a Casino ad; `Rogers Arena – Where everybody Wins`.

    5) Canucks are 18-9-3 at home this season (39 points in 30 games). Visitors are 12-10-8 (32 points in 30 games) at Rogers Arena

  • wojohowitz

    …and then there is this one;

    24) the Canucks are 26-28-6 (58 points) at the 60 game mark. Last season, they were 24-24-12 (60 pts)

    Wasn`t last year considered an anomaly with all the injuries and this year with less injuries and the young players a year older the team was suppose to be better.