July 31, 2006

Canucks: Long Summary


Jovanovski, was insanely important for the power-play, he was on the top power-play unit almost 100% of the time until he went down, and as soon as he left the power-play seemed just as injured as Jovanovski was. A lot of people don’t realize how important he was on the penalty kill, easily being Vancouver’s number one penalty killer. His special teams will be missed. Recently a different study showed that Jovanovski was able to control both quality and quantity of shots against even strength as well, potentially the extra goals came from odd man rushes, but more than likely they were the result of random chance.

Bertuzzi, was useful at times, he was effective on the power-play, but other than that you may as well have put it a pylon, not saying he wasn’t useful, he had 25 goals and would’ve had more if Jovanovski stayed healthy.

Baumgartner appeared to be effective no matter who he played with, however he could’ve been given easy minutes during even strength that is hiding some of his flaws. That being said he is one of the “greenest” Canucks on the chart. He is very replaceable, but probably would’ve been worth keeping at his small price tag.

I’ve always liked Allen, he was one of our better penalty killers, but average even strength and didn’t play on the power-play. He is certainly replaceable.

Ruutu will be remembered for so much, but possibly many won’t remember his defensive play, which was top on the team. His offense was lacking all season, but this is the result of playing with the likes of Linden, Goren and Kesler. Possibly the number one or number three forward on the penalty-kill (after the Sedins).

Linden who also is a good penalty killer, but that’s about it, we should be with out him. I realize a lot of people expect him back, but in what role, we have replaced his penalty killing skills with better forwards and he wasn’t exactly producing any offense the past two years. Better off developing young talent than paying Linden.


There’s been a lot of talk about Luongo for good reason. That being said, Luongo is just a goaltender, a bad penalty kill can make your goalie bad. It’s hard to say what the exact effect this will have on the team.

Mitchell is just an average defenseman who spends a lot of time on the ice, he is good at what he does, but now we basically have two Ohlunds, which is ok, but we do need some offensive minded defenseman as well.

What does Chouinard provide, he is an effective power-play center as he is good at offensive zone face offs, defensively he lacks many skills, you might call him the opposite of Linden.

Bulis could be called Linden, it would almost be silly to have both, the only difference between Linden and Bulis is icetime, as Bulis received a few power-play chances, however, he didn’t do so well with them.

I don’t mention Tremblay, mainly because I hope he doesn’t play, but from the looks of it he came back to North America to play in the NHL not the AHL, so I suspect he will be in the press box or on the ice.


Canucks Power-play:

Power goals accounted for approximately one third of team’s offense; the Canucks were no exception with 96 power-play goals in 2005-2006. Many would’ve call the Canucks power-play in effective in the last half of the season making the first half one of the most potent power-plays in the league. I would personally argue that Jovanovski was the largest individual contributor on the power-play, he made or broke it. Once he was injured the top power-play unit went from amazing to well below average. You can see this relationship in the table. There’s no question in my mind that a power-play without Jovanovski is less powerful, we also lost Bertuzzi who is reasonably replicable on the power-play.

The second power-play unit took over for the top unit when Jovanovski went down, although not in terms of ice time, but in terms of goals scored. The defenseman they used were not great on the power-play by any stretch, that being said Baumgartner was extremely good at the power-play (keeping the puck in) and it appeared to be the one area Ohlund excelled at (he was paired with Baumgartner). Carter helped the Sedin’s bang pucks in the net, interestingly we’ve lost both Baumgartner and Carter, so we’ve lost half of our power-play defenseman and one third of our forwards. So there are changes in sight.

Nonis has not picked up any spectacular power-play forwards beyond Chouinard, who is not considered to be a big goal scorer. Defensively, I have no idea who will be on the points beyond Ohlund and Salo, neither of whom I would call spectacular power-play specialists (Salo was brutal this past year). It would appear Krajicek will replace Baumgartner’s role, maybe we’ll see more four forward power-plays (shorthanded goals anyone). The recent signing of Tremblay might be a sign that he will be the 4th, but none of these guys are going to be a threat on the power-play and this means our forwards will be critical aspect of the coming season.

Penalty kill:

We lost our best penalty killing forward, and defenseman (Ruutu, Jovanovski), that being said, hopefully Chouinard can replace Ruutu on the penalty kill and we still have the Sedins to kill critical penalties. Mitchell is not quite as good as Allen was killing penalties, but he can replace Allen. I’m slightly curious if they’ll use Krajicek on the penalty kill or if he will only be used on the powerplay. Either way, the penalty kill should be surprising similar, if Luongo can improve on Auld’s performance then we should see improvements.

Even strength play accounts for two thirds of all goals, winning even strength is a good place to start in winning a game. That being said, the power-play contains your best offensive forwards and defense and the penalty kill contains the best defensive players. So the above information transforms. Even strength however focuses more on depth, how defensive are your less defensive players or how offensive are your non-power-play players.

Even strength Defense:

The losses are always the same, and if one is good at the penalty kill, one should be good defensively as well. Jovanovski and Allen will again be the most missed players, that being said I’m excited about Krajicek as he is a stellar defensive defenseman even strength. We still have Salo. The rest are all average or worse than average defensively, this included Ohlund and Mitchell. There’s a few defenseman on the Canucks new team I don’t have data for: Tremblay, Bourdon. I see little in terms of changes in the forwards defensive structure, so unless they play a different style expect similar chances (or worse) against Luongo. In terms of depth we have four arguably marginal players Bourdon, Bieksa, Krajicek, Tremblay (negative?), three of which will play on the Canucks. If Bourdon doesn’t make the team then I’m scared.

Even strength Offense:

Just the same as the power-play we’ve lost a lot of our offense and traded in for some hopefuls: Pyatt, Chouinard, Cooke, Bulis. Any of these players could have a great season, but if all four fail, expect the Canucks offense to sag. I personally expect Linden to not be back, I just feel Chouinard and Bulis were Lindens replacements and there is little incentive management to get Linden to come back. I see the bottom two lines as Cooke, Chouinard and Kesler. The fourth line as Borrows, Reid, and a depth player

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