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Big Numbers: Canucks lose exclusively by one goal

Below you will find a compendium of interesting stats. Take from them what you will. Or, if you're feeling particularly sluggish this morning, take from them what I have taken from them. Whatever.
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller

Below you will find a compendium of interesting stats. Take from them what you will. Or, if you're feeling particularly sluggish this morning, take from them what I have taken from them. Whatever.

10 - This is how many losses the Canucks have, counting both regulation and OT defeats. Only seven NHL teams have more. But fret not -- the Canucks have taken five of these games to overtime, meaning they've come away with points nonetheless. That's a big part of why they're one of just two teams with double digit losses (Tampa Bay being the other) to presently occupy a playoff spot. OTLs for the win! (And I mean that literally. Two OTLs equals one ghost win, and those 2.5 ghost wins are keeping the Canucks in contention through their early-season struggles. I'd say the NHL points system is dumb, but it's helping my team right now, so instead I'll say it's awesome.)

10 - This time around, we're talking about how many of Vancouver's losses have come in one-goal games. You'll note that it's the same number. Every single Canuck defeat thus far has been by one goal. That's insane. It's also a big turnaround from last year, when they went 22-4-5 in one-goal contests. But don't lament the turn of Vancouver's luck. This is a good sign -- the Canucks have avoided a single blowout this season, which speaks to their competitiveness.

+8 - As does their goal differential, a tidy plus-8, which ties them for fifth in the entire NHL, and second in the West. The Canucks are a bit of a mess right now, but so is pretty much every team, and the others are worse. In the grand scheme of things, the Canucks are doing pretty okay.

50 - They're scoring, too. Not on the powerplay or in overtime or when they desperately need just one goal, but still, the goals are coming. Alex Edler's late goal Thursday night gave them 50 on the season, making them the fifth NHL team to hit the mark this season. They would have been fourth too, if only they could have held Ottawa to one fewer goal on the night. Sigh.

1.83 - Radim Vrbata's even-strength shooting percentage through 17 games. It's terrible. Like, league-worst terrible. It means he's due for a break. He almost got one in Ottawa when it appeared the hockey gods had gifted him an early goal, but it later turned out the hockey gods intended that gift for Sven Baertschi. Poor Vrbata.

15 - Meanwhile, the Sedins continue to produce. I was a little surprised this morning when I scrolled through the list of the NHL's top scorers and discovered Daniel Sedin sitting in 19th place with 15 points. The Sedins seem a little slower and a little less effective this season, but it doesn't appear to be stopping them from putting up points on par with the NHL's best. Freaks, the both of them.

896 - Which is why I'm confident the Sedins are both going to hit 1000 career points before all is said and done. But first up for Daniel is 900 points, and he could get there with one big night. The winger is four points away from the milestone. Sidenote: the active player beneath him? Sidney Crosby, who sits at 862. And Daniel is outscoring Crosby this season, which means he's extended his lead in the category since the year began. Attaboy, Dank. (Granted, nobody's catching Jaromir Jagr among active players. He's four points off his birth year and going strong.)

52 - Penalty minutes for Derek Dorsett, who leads the league, as he so often does. He's doing it a lot of different ways, too. Dorsett's got six minors, good for third on the Canucks. He's got four fights, which puts him second in the NHL. And he's one of just three NHLers with two misconducts. I remain staunchly anti-fighting, but it fills me with pride to know the NHL's most-penalized player is a Canuck. The more things change...

49% - Here's your weekly Canucks team even-strength corsi update: they're moving up in the world. Last week, they were bottom-five. Now they're not even bottom-ten! And more importantly, they're coming up on the 50% mark, which, obviously, a team wants to surpass. You can hardly call yourself a puck possession team if your opponent outpossesses you routinely. 

50.8% - Switch from corsi to fenwick, however -- removing blocked shots from the shot attempt totals -- and the Canucks actually do become a top-ten possession team. Huzzah!

292 - This may not surprise you: the Canucks don't hit much. Their 292 hits are the third-lowest total in the NHL. But! As we've demonstrated, the Canucks are actually doing a pretty decent job at possessing the puck -- only two NHL teams have more total shots -- and teams with the puck don't need to hit. You hit to get the puck.

+5 - Back to goal differential. This is the Canucks' goal differential on the powerplay. They've scored eight PPGs and surrendered three SHGs. Hence, plus-5. It should be a lot higher than that. Only the San Jose Sharks and Toronto Maple Leafs (both at plus-4) are worse.