With the Canucks having a little fun in the California sun before finishing up their six-game road trip in Los Angeles and Anaheim, it presents a great opportunity to crunch some Canucks numbers for the first time in this 2011-12 season:
Although the Canucks are just 5-5 in their past 10 games, they have absolutely dominated the special teams battles during that stretch. After going an almost unheard of 5 for 6 on the power play in Chicago, the Canucks have scored 14 times with the man-advantage in their past 10 outings while surrendering just one goal while shorthanded.
It’s interesting to note, as well, that in their five wins over the past 10 games, the Canucks have gone 13/28 (46.4%), however in the five losses the team’s PP is just 1/21 (4.8%).
Overall, the 10-game stretch has seen the Canucks go 14/49 (28.6%) and after one red-hot night in the Windy City, the team’s PP jumped more than 5% and moved from 7th all the way to 2nd in the NHL rankings.
While the power play gets the glory, the penalty kill deserves some recognition, too. Since the return of Ryan Kesler on October 18th, the Canucks have killed off 37 of their last 38 short-handed situations (97.4%).
Only Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin has scored with the Canucks a man short over the past three weeks (October 29th at Rogers Arena).
The Canucks PK has not yielded a goal in 16 attempts in the first four games of November. Interestingly enough, prior to Kesler’s return, the Canucks had surrendered six PPG in their first 25 short-handed situations and had been beaten for a pair of PPG in three of their first five games of the season.
ROOKIE ROAD WARRIOR
Alex Burrows and Cody Hodgson have combined for 8 goals and 7 assists so far this season – and every one of those points has come on the road.
Hodgson, who set up a pair of goals in Sunday’s 6-2 win in Chicago, has 3 goals and 4 helpers in nine road games where the Canucks haven’t had last line change and haven’t been able to dictate match-ups. Hodgson’s production away from home puts him in a tie with Nashville’s Craig Smith for top spot among NHL rookies scoring on the road.
HAVING AN ED-GE
Alex Edler is on the hottest offensive run of his six-year NHL career. Not only does he have 3 goals & 12 assists for 15 points in his first 15 games this season which is good for a share of the league-lead by defensemen, but he has 13 of those points in his past nine games which is easily the best nine game stretch of his time as a Canuck.
And Edler is racking up the points despite the fact that he’s not among the top-30 defensemen in the league in terms of average ice time per game. Keep in mind, too, that Edler finished up the regular season with seven points in his final six games last season after coming back from back surgery. So in his past 21 NHL regular season games, he’s at better than a point-a-game clip with 6 goals and 16 assists.
With his 2nd goal of the season Sunday in Chicago, Dan Hamhuis has a pair of goals at this point in the season for just the second time in his eight-year career.
He scored a pair of October goals in his rookie season 2003-04 in Nashville, but didn’t score again that year until the week before Christmas.
He’s set himself up to get to three faster than ever before and is on pace now to eclipse the career-best seven goals he scored in each of his first two seasons in the league.
Aaron Rome bumped his career NHL goal total to three – and matched his career-high for a season -- with a power play marker in his season-debut on Sunday.
However, last year’s lone regular season goal was into an empty net in Nashville last March. So the slap shot past Corey Crawford was just the second time Rome has beaten a goalie to score in the NHL. The other? Dominik Hasek on April 3, 2008 when Rome was with Columbus and the Dominator was in Detroit. (To be fair, Rome did score a goal in the playoffs last spring beating Antti Niemi in a 7-3 win in Game 2 vs San Jose).
SPREADING THE LOVE
While Daniel and Henrik Sedin have taken their customary spots atop the team and league scoring parade, the Canucks are spreading their scoring around.
Of the last 29 goals the Canucks have scored in their past nine games dating back to an October 20th win over Nashville, 14 different players have found the back of the net – Higgins (4), Daniel, Burrows & Edler (3), Kesler, Hansen, Lapierre, Henrik, Hamhuis & Hodgson (2), Salo, Weise, Rome & Booth all with one.