Statistics don’t tell the whole story in sports; they tell most of it but there is always that unpredictability that makes them great. The Canucks statistically aren’t very good and yet something is keeping them from the basement.
Vancouve is 4 points out of a playoff spot after the All Star break and that’s only possible because as we’ve all stated before, the Pacific division is an atrocity. The personal statistics of many Canucks players aren’t mind blowing either and for some of their top players, their advanced stats were just posted on milk boxes across B.C.
Yet, despite their best efforts…or our perceived view of their efforts, this Canucks team hasn’t thrown in the towel from management all the way down to Brandon Prust. The sell job has been tactical and their Kool-Aid isn’t half bad!
I mention Prust because he made one last stand to hang around on this team knowing full well his time may have been up. He was a consistent liability on the ice despite only being -3 on the season. We can look at Derek Dorsett, Matt Bartkowski and I really don’t want to find out if Alex Edler’s season has been a toilet.
For the record, Edler is performing pretty much exactly how he should be with a PDO of 100. #keepit100
But we look at our future captain Bo Horvat and I just want to————
Seriously, for all this guy does, the cut throat breakaways, the drive every game, his faceoffs and general likeability, the stats…they do not like him.
Bo’s 5v5 CF% is 44.2, his PDO has settled down to 96.4 (but I don’t see that staying for too long), trailing by 1 is basically the same stat line and for kicks you could look at his GF% which is a low, low 36.2.
Yet, Horvat has managed to be an integral cog in the Canucks machine for the last month or so and has helped keep them in the mix. His 6G and 5A in his last 10 games has been more than welcome and his 455 face off wins have him sitting 15th in the league. It’s his second season.
Goaltending is a sore spot in Canucksland; watching BOTH Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider excel in a jersey that isn’t the Canucks still stings and watching them have so much fun at the All Star game just plain hurts.
That mess is still being mopped up 2 years later and yet Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom have played so well that this low scoring Canucks roster is still eligible for a W every night. It just doesn’t make sense.
And finally the Sedins. Henrik and Daniel are straight up gangsters this year. They aren’t caving in to the mentality that 35 years old means you can’t do what you did at 34 or even 33. Daniel is 3 points out of the top 10 in scoring while Henrik’s injury keeps him a few points back of Daniel. They’re 35 people!!
Statistically, bizarre would be the word we’d start with here but having seen the Sedins play the way they do for as long as they have, it’s not overly surprising. Keeping the Canucks in every game has made these future Hall of Famers MVP worthy this season. Again, it feels dirty that the Canucks are even relevant this far into the season.
Thankfully, the rest of Canada is going through the same issues unless Connor McDavid puts up numbers that EA Sports would blush about.
The #tank is long gone and there will be no magical Cup run this season, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make the playoffs. The Canucks are defying their own path and creating a slightly more awkward new one which may just have them playing past game 82. Statistics be damned, hockey is keeping the Canucks around for some reason and it’s brutally frustrating.
Going forward it won’t get any prettier but for the masochist Canucks fan (whoa, it got weird) we love seeing this team suffer for some reason. It’s strangely gratifying but it wouldn’t hurt to see them turn it around and give us back the winning team we have become accustomed to for so many years.
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