NHL: Behind The Numbers – The Canucks’ Penalty Kill
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

Over the past several seasons the Canucks’ have relied on their polished, effective special teams units. Its been a key feature of this club’s DNA, and a critical reason they’ve managed to win back-to-back President’s Trophies. Just in terms of their conversion rates, they’ve been a top-ten power-play club for three seasons and a top-ten penalty killing club for the past two.

If you’ve been paying attention you already know that, through 19 games this season, Vancouver’s special teams effectiveness has atrophied in a major way. The […]


NHL: The Return of Booth and Kesler to the Canucks’ Roster
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

At beginning of this 2013 lockout shortened NHL campaign, the Canucks were short-handed due to a couple of injuries to their best two-way forwards Ryan Kesler and David Booth.

Now Ryan Kesler is a Selke winner well known for his defensive prowess, but few observers tend to think of David Booth as a two-way ace. But he is. Booth doesn’t kill penalties generally speaking, and isn’t a guy who often appears to be doing the hard work in his own end. Largely that’s because he doesn’t have […]


NHL: The Goalie Tandem Is Saving The Canucks
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

Vancouver’s goaltending has helped the club overcome woeful special teams so far.

Through twelve games this season, the Vancouver Canucks have posted an impressive 8-2-2 record and a solid +10 goal differential despite relatively weak special teams and injuries to two of their top-six forwards in David Booth and Ryan Kesler. They’ve managed this feat thanks to a correlation of factors, however, mostly the club can thank their All-Universe goalie tandem of Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo for their lofty perch atop the moribund Northwest Division (Vancouver […]


NHL: Better Or Worse – Edmonton Oilers
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

I find it helpful to think of Hockey as a game of ratios and percentages governed by randomness. It’s certainly not about raw numbers. Consider that scoring five goals is better than scoring two goals, in a vacuum, but scoring five goals while allowing six against is a worse result than scoring two and allowing only one. Beyond that, often times teams really can’t control whether or not they’re scored against. Weird ricochets off of stanchions, bouncing pucks deflecting of skates in front of the net, […]


NHL: Over/Under – 5 Underperforming Players
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

A two or three week slump is quite common in the NHL, even for very good players. However, in a 48 game season, a slump of that length equates to almost one quarter of the total season. Simply put, players that are struggling now are really doing a disservice to their respective teams.

Let’s take a look at five NHL players who are struggling relative to expectations.

JOHN CARLSON – D WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Washington Capitals to Win Eastern Conference +1900
Over the past few years […]


NHL: Canucks Projections – Team Totals
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

Well we’ve come to the end of the road with our Canucks Projections project. Having previewed every relevant Canucks roster player from the Sedin twins, to the top-six forwards, the third liners to the grinders, and from the young roster players to the defenseman. So we’ll now dive in and look at the team’s projected scoring as a whole. And on that front, my simple projection model has a lot of good news for Canucks fans as it only projects the team to fall off slightly from last […]


NHL: Who Will Be The Division Champions in the Western Conference?
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY JEFF ANGUS

Let’s take a look at the favourites – and a sleeper team to watch for – in the three divisions that make up the NHL’s Western Conference: the Northwest, the Central, and the Pacific.

NORTHWEST DIVISION
THE FAVOURITE: Vancouver (-172 to Win the Northwest Division)
The Canucks will once again ice a formidable roster in 2012-13. Their forward group is deep and balanced (when Ryan Kesler is healthy, at least), and they have one of the better defensive cores in the NHL. In goal, they […]


NHL: A Look At The Canucks Northwest Division Domination – Part II
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

BY THOMAS DRANCE

The mood amongst the Canucks fans I chat with regularly seems to be more pessimistic than usual headed into the 2013 season. From the injury status of Ryan Kesler (and now David Booth?), to doubts about the quality of the clubs blue-line to a general sense of impatience regarding a presumably forthcoming Luongo trade: it seems that many folks find themselves doubting that the Canucks are legitimate contenders this season, with many even wondering if Vancouver can emerge as Northwest Division champions this season. Yesterday, in part […]