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Big Numbers: The Canucks are just so bad

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.
Canucks hockey hug
Canucks hockey hug

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.

228 - The Canucks have gone 228 minutes (three hours, 48 minutes) without scoring a goal, a franchise record. It's a very long time to be goalless. It's very nearly four full games. Going back to film for a second, it's longer than every single one of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Hell, it's longer than 10 of the 13 film versions of Les Miserables, which is, like, always super-long.

167 - But this isn't a new problem for the Canucks. They've been as scoring-averse as Sidney Lumet all season. Vancouver is the NHL's most punchless team, seven goals back of the Columbus Blue Jackets for 29th in the category. But nevermind this year's Blue Jackets. The team the Canucks must catch is the 1998-99 Canucks, who scored a franchise-low 192 goals. Vancouver has 10 games remaining to score 26 goals. Can they do it? Recent history suggests no.

-40 - The good thing about Vancouver is that you're never going to see a number like this on the weather forecast. Vancouver's coldest day in 2015 saw the temperature dip to minus-5. But the Canucks' temperature has been low all season. Right now they're running a minus-40 in goal differential, which ties them with the Edmonton Oilers for the league's lowest mark. 

15 - That said, scoring doesn't always help Vancouver. The Canucks have managed to score the game's first goal 31 times this season. They've gone on to win the game just 15 times. That is, as I'm sure you've noticed, less than half the time. 

.593 - But this is the most shocking stat of the season, in my opinion: when leading after two periods, the Canucks are barely a .500 hockey team. No other team is as beatable when opening the final frame in frotn. In fact, every other team save the Detroit Red Wings (.680) has a win percentage above .700 in this situation.

87 - Unsurprisingly, then, the Canucks lead the NHL in third period goals allowed. For contrast, in 2012-13, the Canucks allowed just 47 third-period goals. Their worst mark this century was the 2005-06 team, which surrenderd 87 third-period goals. One assumes Vancouver will top that. Can they reach the 1990-91 Canucks, who gave up 97 third-period goals? Fingers crossed, as that would make this group the second-worst third-period team of my lifetime. They'll never be the worst of my lifetime in this regard, however -- I was born in the high-scoring 80s. 

45.1 - The Canucks are also the league's worst faceoff team, winning just 45.1% of their draws this season. That's what happens when your best faceoff man is out with injury most of the season, your second-best faceoff man, a second-year player, has to pick up the slack, your third-best faceoff man is playing through an injury that makes faceoffs hurt to take, and your remaining faceoff men are so young and so terrible at it that no part of "faceoff man" feels like an accurate descriptor for them.

47.1 - This is Vancouver's team corsi (shots) rating, which puts them 27th in the entire NHL. They very rarely win the possession game. Linda Blair they are not.

66 - It's not just the number of the Great American Highway. It's also the Canucks' point total, three points out of last place in the entire NHL, a position held by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now, I've said all season long that I don't want the Canucks tanking. It's true, and most of the time I'll stand on the principle that you've gotta play to win, regardless of what else is going on. However, I have a higher principle that overrides it: screw the Leafs. If there's a chance for the Canucks to ruin things for Toronto, then I say tank away.