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Scoring first pays off for Canucks

Monday, 09.28.2009 / 3:00 AM / 2009-2010 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
2008-09 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 100
(3RD WEst/7TH NHL)
Change from 2007-08 +12
Home Points 53
(6TH WEst/13TH NHL)
Away Points 47
(5TH WEst/7th NHL)
Advanatge Margin        -14
The Canucks made things especially tough for their penalty-killers on the road, allowing a Western Conference-leading 204 advantages away from home -- 37 more than they permitted at G.M. Place.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        +30
Alex Burrows gave the Canucks a big offensive boost by scoring 28 goals -- none on the power play. The Canucks also allowed only 126 goals while playing 5-on-5, fourth best in the League.
   
Special Teams Goal Margin        0
The Canucks' special teams were the definition of "middle of the pack": They were 17th on the power play, 16th on the penalty kill and within 0.3 percent of the League average in both.   

Goals by defensemen            35
Better health for Kevin Bieksa (11 goals, 43 points) and improvement by Alexander  Edler (10-27-37) gave the Canucks an offensive boost from the blue line   

Overtime Record
Total: 8-3-7 (OT: 5-3, SO: 3-7)

The Canucks were a lot better away from home when games went past regulation. They were 1-1 in OT and 0-4 in shootouts at G.M. Place, but 4-2 in OT and 3-3 in shootouts away from home.
   
Times Scored First
47 (Record: 33-8-6)
       
The Canucks tied Boston for the most first goals last season. They were especially tough at G.M. Place, scoring the first goal 26 times in 41 games and going 20-3-3 in those contests.

Best 08-09 Number             0

Regulation losses by the Canucks in the 33 games they led after two periods. The Canucks won 30 of those games and dropped three in overtime or a shootout -- the most wins by any team that didn't lose in regulation when leading after 40 minutes.

Worst 08-09 Number          28.5
Shots per game by the Canucks, 25th in the League and the fewest among the 16 teams that made the playoffs. Despite winning the Northwest Division, the Canucks allowed more shots than they took.
   
Scheduling
With an NHL-record 14-game road trip looming in February and March, the Canucks do get some long homestands, including two five-gamers and an eight-gamer in December and a stretch of nine in 11 games before leaving town on Jan. 30.


Quote of the Day

It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.

— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md. on Friday
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