Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Concerning Stats Making Canuck Nation Uneasy Before Game 6 In Nashville

I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Henrik Sedin has 1 goal (an empty netter) in his last 18 games. Daniel Sedin has not scored since the Chicago series. Their plus-minus is a combined -14 in the postseason. Mason Raymond has zero goals.

There are a lot of uneasy stats making Canucks fans queezy right now, and they are  a little concerning. But remember stats can be misleading. For one, Henrik Sedin has only 1 goal in his last 18 games, but he often has stretches of 10+ games without a goal. You know why? Because he is a playmaker. When he’s not getting assists, that’s when alarm bells will go off for me.

You know what else is misleading? Plus-minus in small sample sizes. The Sedins have been a victim of this lately. Is it their fault that Alex Edler has been playing like he’s drunk in this series? He’s coughed the puck up more than a few times resulting in goals. And combining their plus-minus is just plain stupid. If they’re on for two goals in a game, they’re “a combined -4″. Sounds impressive but it’s misleading.

These aren’t great stat lines, but things can change very quickly. Remember when Ryan Kesler had 0 goals in the playoffs? Where was the offense from this 40 goal scorer people wondered. Kesler had no goals in 9 playoff games, that was 6 days ago. Now he’s tied for the league lead in points.

What about Roberto Luongo? Remember his save percentage and goals against average after game 5 and 6 versus Chicago? All of a sudden, if you take a look at Luongo’s stats (2.35 GAA, .914 SV% and 2 shutouts) they’re pretty good.

My point is not to suggest that the Sedins are doing great, clearly they’re not. I thought Daniel and Henrik had some great shifts in game 5, but ultimately they didn’t produce. But all of that can change in an instant. If Daniel Sedin scores 2 goals in game 6, he will move into a tie for first in league goal scoring.

The Canucks lost game 5 because of a few bad breakdowns. If they tidy that up, they should win. Every game in this series has been so tight, that just one bad bounce can decide the hockey game. If they play hard and smart, they should earn their bounces and the stats will follow.

Lineup Changes

Mikael Samuelsson injured himself in game 5 and didn’t take the trip to Nashville. That means he’s not close to returning, and could mean it’s a very serious injury. I would be very surprised if he’s not out longer than a week at minimum. That means that either Victor Oreskovich or Jeff Tambellini are likely to take his place. Personally, I would like to see Jeff Tambellini inserted into the lineup. Tamby hasn’t played a playoff game yet, and I think he would be thrive given the chance. He would be so pumped up to play, he would play like he was shot out of a canon. He’s gritty enough, and they could use a fourth line goal.

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16 Response to Concerning Stats Making Canuck Nation Uneasy Before Game 6 In Nashville

  1. Dom on May 9, 2011

    Yet another article claiming that the Canucks' loss in game 5 was the result of a couple of their own mistakes, not the aggressive forecheck and sustained pressure that the Predators managed to put together in the third period. n nGetting a little tires of the Canadian hockey snobbery – Preds won game five, and achieved the first real (not empty-net) two-goal lead of the series. Blame it on what you want, turnovers happen for a reason. For all the talent the Canucks have (and it's a lot), the Predators are stepping up and giving them a contest. To deny that is ridiculous. That win was the most decisive of the series, and if the "fluke" argument is to be applied to that, then I guess the Canucks didn't really win a single game this round and actually didn't beat Chicago. But they did. And the Preds won game 5. State it like it is.

    • CanucksWhat on May 9, 2011

      game 2 preds tied da game with a fluke goal…and again game 5 preds tied with a fluke goal…preds are just fluking their way back…otherwise theyd be dead by know…and your complaining about canadian snobbery…you shouldnt be talking…ive watched hockey games on american television network…and its the most one-sided bullshit commentary ive ever heard…so suck it

  2. Kelly on May 9, 2011

    Here here…This whole playoffs has been like that. nWe have Eyes, We see whats happening with the canucks…what,s all these Sports writers and hockey panels trying to sell us. nThat comment from Dom nails it…Good job Dom…That needed to be said.

  3. Pablo on May 9, 2011

    The Predators lost game 3 because of an atrocious penalty call. If they don't get victimized by that again, they should win. n nThe Predators lost game 4 because of an uncalled goaltender interference and a lucky goal that deflected off Kesler's dropped stick as it lay on the ice. If they don't get so unlucky again, they should win. n nWhat about Sergei Kostitsyn? Everybody is down on the Predators leading goal scorer from this past season because he hasn't sniffed the net in this series. But a couple of goals tonight and he moves among the team leaders with Legwand and Ward. n nSee how easy it is to play this game? n nPreds in 7.

    • Robert Williams on May 9, 2011

      Preds did get victimized by a questionable penalty call in game 3. They were also outplayed badly, and outshot 47-30. To blame it on one bad penalty is ridiculous. Not the same argumement. n nPreds lost game 4 also because they only scored 1 goal. Not going to win a lot of games with that. n nComparing Kostitsyn's slumber and the Sedins slump is ridiculous. The Sedins are Art Ross Trophy winners that are superstars in this league. Kostitsyn is a one time 23 goal scorer who has looked invisible in the playoffs. The only thing he has in common with the Sedins is that he has a brother that also plays in the league. And if Kostitsyn scores 2 goals, he won't be among the leaders on the team. He'll be tied for 5th. C'mon man!

      • Quis on May 10, 2011

        I think that was a little sarcasm there. Chillax, it was an amusing comment.

        • Robert Williams on May 10, 2011

          I'm very relaxed! But if someone is going to tell me how an article I wrote is wrong, I'm going to defend it!

    • Marvin on May 9, 2011

      An atrocious call in game 3? nThis isn't junior hockey, I'm sure both you and Weber know that when your stick gets unintentionally stuck in a players midsection you simply ease one hand off and show you're not trying to hook them. nYou leave both hands in that position for the amount of time that they were along the boards and any ref will call it. n nI'm just saying, hockey is just about playing smart. nIf the Canuck's played a bit smarter they could have avoided those turnovers in game 5. nIf Weber played a bit smarter he could have avoided that penalty in game 3.

  4. Ian on May 9, 2011

    Rinne, Weber and Ward are the only real threats to the Canucks. As soon as one of them has an off game, the series is over just like that. Who else is is gonna carry Nashville, Carrie Underwood? Vancouver has far more depth and skill in all areas and because of that we're going to win the cup.

  5. Jake on May 9, 2011

    Ian, don't jump to plan the cup parade yet! The Canucks did have the best record in the league at the end of the regular season, but when the playoffs start it's a whole new season and the canucks dont have what it takes to carry the cup. Your depth isn't very deep either. When you struggle against Chicago and struggleing against Nashville what is going to happen if they do move on to face SJ or Detroit both these teams have grit and toughness something lacking form the canucks… where are the Sedins? there not hiding in the corners because it's way to rough in there for them…

  6. Marvin on May 9, 2011

    I live in Vancouver, I've been a fan of the Canucks my whole life.

  7. Mike on May 9, 2011

    I would argue that Nashville is actually one of the best teams in the playoffs as of right now, mostly because they do not rely on any star players, because… well, they don't really have any star players. Their best guy is Weber, and they play the game in a very team-based, 4-line manner. There's none of this "secondary scoring" business for Nashville. Although the Canucks have outworked the Preds in this series, I think Vancouver has already shown themselves to be weak and vulnerable in the series against Chicago. If they don't focus and really put their foot down, this series could very easily slip from them, as Nashville would love to pounce on a disjointed and confused Vancouver team. Not sure either of these teams is going much further after this series, however.

    • Robert Williams on May 9, 2011

      Nashville relies pretty heavily on their best player, Pekka Rinne.

  8. Boss on May 9, 2011

    The ONLY reason why the Preds didn't get swept is because of Pekke Rinne. Without nashville's netminder, the series would've ended in Game 4. Loungo on the other hand is also playing alot better than he played against Chicago.

  9. Nick Old on May 9, 2011

    I think when you look at the bigger picture the canucks have everything it takes to with the cup. Both rounds of the playoffs have presented challenges for the canucks, But what fun would the playoffs be if a team just blew through to the cup without and adversity? n nWhen you look at round 1 against chicago you have to take into account that they were playing against a team that has many huge names, were the stanley cup champs in 2010, and had proven themselves to be better in the prior two years against the canucks. There was alot to live up to in that series…and the Canucks managed to do just that, and beat chicago. n nI feel round 2 is presenting so much troubles for vancouver because they are facing a team that is best known for the supreme defensive game. I really feel that Nashville needs the credit for that. They have one of the best defensive games in the NHL and that is showing in this series. n n The Canucks are a great team with skill in every aspect. They can hit, score, defend, you name it and they can do it. Unfortunatly they seem to be having a hard time doing it all at once like they did in the first 3 games against chicago. If they can manage to work there game together a bit better I think they have a great chance this year. With that said I am a canucks fan 100% and should they be outed in this round, next round, or the finals, I will paitently wait for next year :D

    • Binh Ho on May 9, 2011

      Well said, Nick.


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