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Comparing the 2011 Canucks’ numbers after 41 games to the 2023-2024 Canucks

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Photo credit:© Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
1 month ago
To see how far this Vancouver Canucks team has come in just one year is nothing short of spectacular. January 12th, 2023, with Bruce Boudreau behind the bench, the Canucks had lost six of their last seven games and sat in 26th in the NHL with 37 points at the halfway point of the season. This year’s team had 37 points by December 9th, only 28 games into the season. 
At the midway point of the season, this Vancouver Canucks team is showing striking similarities to one of the most memorable seasons in franchise history, the 2010-2011 season. 
Now, it might be a little insane to compare this team, whose core hasn’t made the playoff since the 2020 bubble, to a team that had three players who have since been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Canucks’ Ring of Honour, but stats wise, hear me out…

Comparing the Team Stats

All stats are through the first 41 games of the season.
After the first 41 games of the season, this 2023-2024 Canucks team was second in the NHL with 57 points, one point behind the leading Winnipeg Jets. Based on points percentage, they ranked third with a .695%. Points percentage may be the more indicative stat to look at when evaluating teams’ success, as it shows how many points the team has earned based on the number of games they’ve played. 
For example, the Edmonton Oilers ranked 20th in the league with 43 points but had only played 37 games. This looks much worse than it is because they actually ranked 12th in the league based on points percentage with a .581%.
This Canucks team was first in goals for (160) and ranked fifth in goals against (107), leading to the best goal differential (+53) in the league. 
The 2010-2011 Canucks were first in the NHL with 60 points, with a one-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings at the 41-game mark. They had the most wins and regulation wins with a league-leading .732-point percentage. 
This team was second in the league in goals for (141) and third in goals against (99), leading to the best goal differential (+42) in the league again. 
One of the most impressive comparisons between these two teams is that each team leads the league in time spent with a lead. 
The 2010-2011 team spent 1106:39 minutes with the lead, 43:19 more minutes than any other team. The 2023-2024 team spent 1235:30 minutes with the lead, 175:53 more minutes than any other team. 
2010-2011 time spent with the lead chart.
2023-2024 time spent with the lead chart.
Teams with the lead will usually play more defensively to protect it. Due to this, the opposing teams will likely possess the puck and dominate the pace of play as they attempt to tie the game — leading to more scoring chances against (SCA.) This statement bodes true (kind of) for both the 2010-2011 team (512) and the 2023-2024 team (577), as both teams allowed the most SCA when holding the lead. 
I say ‘kind of’ because while yes, both teams allow the most SCA with the lead in the league, it seems that no lead was too big as they sit atop the league in offensive categories with the lead as well. 
2010-2011 goals for with the lead chart.
2023-2024 goals for with the lead chart.
The 2023-2024 Canucks team had the most scoring chances (SCF) (562), leading the Los Angeles Kings by 69, and also had the most goals for (GF) (83), 18 more than the Winnipeg Jets.
The 2010-2011 Canucks team had the fourth-highest scoring chances (SCF) (427), trailing the San Jose Sharks by 37, and second in goals for (GF) (62), trailing only the Philadelphia Flyers by three.

Comparing the Players’ Stats

Forwards
Let’s start at the top; the Sedin’s are just incomparable. The connection those two shared on the ice is something hockey fans won’t see again. Here’s a look at the 2010-2011 and 2023-2024 top seven forwards in scoring.
PlayerGoalsAssistsPointsShotsHits
Daniel Sedin2529541246
Henrik Sedin945547810
Ryan Kesler23174012961
Mikael Samuelsson8162411241
Alex Burrows814226530
Mason Raymond813217811
Raffi Torres118196354
 
PlayerGoalsAssistsPointsShotsHits
J.T Miller1936559085
Elias Pettersson20335311344
Brock Boeser25194411318
Ilya Mikheyev1012227519
Conor Garland515208930
Dakota Joshua1192045119
Andrei Kuzmenko81119523
As you can see, there are some clear similarities. In both years, each team’s top two point-getters were nearly identical. Daniel and Henrik Sedin had 54 points, amounting to 108 points. 13 years later, J.T. Miller had 55 points, and Elias Pettersson had 53 points, amounting to 108 points. Each team’s leading goal scorer had 25 goals, with one more player with 20+ goals.
While there are glaring similarities between J.T. Miller and Ryan Kesler that go beyond the stats, each era’s power forward stuck out with nearly the exact same stat lines. Raffi Torres and Dakota Joshua had 11 goals and eight assists, with Joshua (119) edging out Torres (54) in hits.
The more bizarre comparison between these forwards is if you were to add up all the point totals from each year, the 2010-2011 forwards amount to 234 points. The 2023-2024 forwards amount to 233 points.
You can’t get much closer than one a point difference.
Defencemen
PlayerGoalsAssistsPointsShotsHits
Alex Edler421259266
Christian Ehrhoff617239626
Kevin Bieksa510157062
Dan Hamhuis39124750
 
PlayerGoalsAssistsPointsShotsHits
Quinn Hughes11405110014
Filip Hronek331348331
Tyler Myers315184347
Ian Cole1673240
Here is where we see our biggest discrepancy: his name is Quinn Hughes.
The 2023-2024 Quinn Hughes season is an outlier, as he’s on pace to shatter every single Canuck single-season defencemen record, which he set just last year. Making him impossible to compare to previous seasons.
While the 2010-2011 top four defencemen heavily trail the 2023-2024 in points (by 35), as a group they lead in both shots (by 47) and hits (by 72).
The only category in which these groups were remotely close was goals scored. Hughes leads the way with 11, five more than any other defenceman, but collectively, each group has 18 goals scored.
Goaltenders
PlayerRecordShutoutsGoals Against AverageSave Percentage
Roberto Luongo19-8-422.29.912%
Cory Schneider8-0-202.27.922%
 
PlayerWinsShutoutsGoals Against AverageSave Percentage
Thatcher Demko20-8-132.55.916%
Casey DeSmith7-3-212.54.914%
The goaltenders are in the middle of the three positions; very comparable but not as close as some of the forwards. One thing to notice, which hasn’t been able true to say for the Canucks teams as of late, as it finally looks as though they’ve found confidence in their backup. 
The 2010-2011 tandem of Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider dominated the league that season, winning the William M. Jenning trophy. This trophy is awarded to the goalie duo who allowed the fewest amount of goals in the regular season. 
The starters in both seasons have similar records, with Thatcher Demko having one more win in fewer outings and splitting the goals against average and save percentage categories. Cory Schneider had the better goals against average and save percentage of the backup goalies, granted in two fewer games than Casey DeSmith. 
That 2010-2011 Vancouver Canucks squad is regarded around the hockey world as one of the best teams to not win the Stanley Cup. Watching the high-end talent at all three positions that season and actually being able to compare it to the product we’re seeing on the ice this season is nothing short of astonishing.
Look, I understand that comparing this Canucks team to one of the best in franchise history is a tall task and probably too soon. There are still 38 regular season games until the playoffs and then three rounds after that to get to the level the 2010-2011 President’s trophy-winning team reached.
But looking further into the trajectory that team was on and comparing it with what Canucks fans are seeing on the ice this season should get you excited and hopeful to see just how far this team could go.

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