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Statistical Interpretation

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stetty2

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How do you win a Stanley Cup?

I asked Trevor Linden that in Penticton, when the young stars were playing the week before NHL training camp opened up.

He said, "Build a playoff team, then get them through the regular season."

Well, the playoffs have been confirmed. Now we see if this team has what it takes.

Here is how the lines will look, heading into the postseason:

Because we do not know when Zack Kassian or Brad Richardson will return, we still need to factor them into the lineup for next week.

1. Sedin - Sedin - Burrows / Sedin - Sedin - Burrows

2. Higgins - Bonino - Vrbata / Matthias - Bonino - Vrbata

3. Dorsett - Richardson - Kassian / Kenins - Horvat - Hansen

highlighted means currently injured

4. Higgins - Horvat - Hansen / Matthias - Vey - Dorsett

Where does Kenins fit in once Richardson and Kassian return. Maybe Kassian and Kenins take turns in and out of the lineup.

On Defence, Alex Edler must be with with Chris Tanev. Edler is at his best when he has a solid stay at home defence partner like Tanev to cover his mistakes.

1. Edler - Tanev

2. Hamhuis -Weber

3. Bieksa - Sbisa

What do you think the lines should be? Have your say below...

stetty2

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3 points up on 9th place L.A. + 14 Games Left

Can the Canucks make the playoffs?

As we all know, this years version of the Vancouver Canucks is very unpredictable.

They have beaten some of the best teams in the league like St. Louis, Anaheim, Pittsburgh, the Islanders and the Rangers. But they have lost to some of the worst teams as well. Buffalo, New Jersey and Arizona to name a few.

So why do I think this years version of the Canucks can make the playoffs?

Because of the mix of young and old that this team was missing the last 2 seasons. And I don't mean the young players that don't stick around in the NHL. I'm talking about the youth that is the future of this team.

Yes, the've sat out Ronalds Kenins, but this team liked him enough to bring him up before Nicklas Jensen, or Hunter Shinkaruk. Kenins brings energy this team has been lacking. Bo Horvat can't do it alone.

And speaking of Bo, how inspiring has his play been? I am almost forgetting that we exchanged Cory Schneider for the pick that led to Horvat joining the Canucks. Mike Gillis is somewhere saying, "I did that! I got that kid!"

Frankie Corrado is in there too as part of the young core. Chris Tanev was another Mike Gillis free agent who picked up the undrafted Tanev out of school. His energy counts, and you can tell how difficult it has been for the defence without him.

Makes you wonder about Nick Bonino, and how he fits into this team. Here is a guy with great hands, and great potential, but for some reason can't seem to get emotionally into the games. How often do you see him hit a player or get into the scrums. It happens at times, but he is never the one causing them.

We still judge Nick when we compare him to Ryan Kesler, whom he was traded for. We did get Luca Sbisa and a solid pick in Kellan Lain.

At least when Ryan wasn't scoring, he was being a jerk to someone on the other team and ruining their night. Teams do not like playing against him. He gets boo'ed every time he touches the puck, as a visitor to Rogers Arena.

With Kassian, you are getting a young big body that is still developing. Plus he is not afraid to cause problems on the ice. Don't tell me you don't enjoy when he gets emotional in a game. His version of "Beast Mode" when he punched Toronto Maple Leaf Dion Phaneuf was well worth the game misconduct, which he received for not tying down his jersey.

Guess what, players and fans on both teams feed of off that energy. When the crowd gets into it, the players get more into it.

That's why energy guys like Derek Dorsett are so valuable to a team. Do you care how many goals he has right now? I don't. I love how he plays the game. He keeps people honest and works hard every shift.

The biggest question mark of all is in goaltending. We all believe that Eddie Lack is a great goaltender. He is big, mobile and gets into position very quickly. But he lets in the bad goal once in awhile. I think all goalies do however.

What do they do when Ryan Miller comes back. It's unknown if he can still handle the playoff grind anymore, if his days in St. Louis last year were any example.

I can honestly say I feel a bit more comfortable with Lack in net than I do with Miller. I feel like Lack has played better overall, with less games.

For now we trust in Eddie Lack and the rest of his teammates. Only a handful of games remain. Can this team make the playoffs?

stetty2

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When the Canucks played against the Oilers on Friday night, there was another Canadian team making a presence in the Edmonton building. GM Dave Nonis was also in attendance at Rexall Place in the Alberta Capital, and speculation is already running rampant in Leaf land.

Nonis was seen talking with Canucks GM Jim Benning as well as Canucks President Trevor Linden. This on the heels of an embarrassing loss at home for the Leafs who fell 4-1 to the Detroit Red Wings.

The toxic fan base in Toronto is continuing to show their displeasure on what looks like another losing season. A leafs jersey thrown on the ice after the game against the Wings represents the distaste of a team that is looking for similar answers as the Oilers.

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The questions is, why was Nonis talking with the Canucks brass?

Well, from another blog writer out of Edmonton, it's believed they were speaking of a trade that would involve a couple Canucks roster players and a prospect for a few of the Leafs roster players and a high draft pick.

Nonis is in the market for a puck moving defenceman. Currently Toronto boasts a fairly week back end, with no real potential candidates to step up.

Toronto Maple Leafs Defence:

Phaneuf - Gardiner

Franson - Robidas

Polak - Reilly

7th D - Percy

The talk between the two teams, which is more just a beginning point in potential negotiations could see a trade that would help both teams. The Maple Leafs could be looking for a trade that would include Alex Edler, Eddie Lack and Frankie Corrado in exchange for Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, goalie James Reimer and a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick.

Yes Edler would have to agree to the trade, but it is not out of the question. The Canucks were able to move Jason Garrison who has spoken out since, saying he really did not want to leave the Canucks organization. His wife is currently working in BC making TV shows, and Garrison is from BC. He spoke with TSN 1040, saying he was not happy to leave the Canucks, especially after such a difficult year.

Dave Nonis is not flying out to Edmonton to meet with his counterparts just to see how they are doing in their new roles. No. There is a reason Nonis is talking to them, especially when you consider how much his Maple Leafs team is struggling.

Keep in mind, he has a coach in Randy Carlyle who just signed an extension. Nonis is on the hot seat with Toronto President Brendan Shanahan and will need to pull the trigger on a move to prove his worth to the club. For Nonis, doing nothing will surely end in his demise in the centre of the hockey universe.

What trade would you like to see the Canucks make with the Maple Leafs?

stetty2

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It's fair to say that the current version of the Vancouver Canucks is not a Stanley Cup contending team. It's also fair to say that since the Stanley Cup final against the Boston Bruins in 2011, this team has been in a downward trend followed by the free fall over the cliff since January of this year, scrounging 16 of a possible 62 points.

As Canuck fans, we have had to endure 3 seasons of a marriage going bad, as Roberto Luongo put it when he thought his days were numbered before Cory Schneider was traded away.

Then John Tortorella was brought in to save this ageing team from the divorce many fans have already filed the papers for.

So where does the organization go from here?

It's obvious to all that something needs to change in the structure that is the leadership of this team. Wether that change comes from the GM position with Mike Gillis or the coaching with Tortorella, that remains to be seen.

What does seem evident is that this Canucks ownership group will not give up on Tortorella after one season. It's speculated that current owner Francesco Aquilini chose to hire the current bench boss to a 5 year deal. with 8 million owing on the new coaches contract, it's highly unlikely he will be let go at the end of the season. What does make the most sense is the GM position.

There are many things the owner likes about current GM Gillis, who continues to pull out all the stops to make sure this team has the advantages while playing in Vancouver. Sleep doctors, personal chefs, nutritional coaches, mandatory yoga classes. Getting the most out of the players is of highest priority for Gillis. And he can still manage all these areas while maintaining the position of acting President of the club. Relinquishing his role of GM just makes sense for a team needing a change in direction.

There are rumours abound that Markus Naslund has left his dream job in Sweden as the GM of MoDo to join the struggling Canucks. Naslund commented to CBC on those very reports when he was asked if he would consider a return to Vancouver.

"I don't know at this point," he said. "I had a couple of inquiries a year ago or so, but it made no sense for me or us as a family. I'm going to take some time...and see what I'd like to do. I'm not ruling out anything. I didn't take the job with MoDo with the NHL in mind. That was to help out an organization that was in rough shape."

Well, now the Canucks are in 'rough shape'. There's one concern this hockey guy has, and it's worth bringing up. He's a Swede. Using a Seinfeldism, "Not that there is anything wrong with that", but does this team really need a Swedish touch? Haven't we just gone through a fairly heavy Swedish feel over the last decade with players leading our team like Naslund, the Sedin twins and our endless hope of Alex Edler becoming our stud defenceman on the back end. Oddly enough we are now left with the Swedish goaltending duo of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom instead of our North American tandem of Luongo and Schneider. Did you see that coming a year ago?

Think of the last 5 Stanley Cup winners. Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston, L.A., Chicago.

These teams won on the strength of North American players. Yes there are good players on these teams from Europe and Russia, but the core of the groups are American and Canadian players. They were the very kids that were pretending to hoist a pretend Stanley Cup playing on frozen ponds or playing road hockey, dreaming of one day getting the chance to kiss hockey's holy grail. They have that desire and passion to win the Cup. Do you think the Sedin's were dreaming of the Stanley Cup at 10 years old?

Naslund may help sell tickets in this town, but he is not the answer to build this back into a champion calibre team.

There is one man, however, that can be the difference this team is looking for and his name is Chris Chelios.

He is currently the Executive Advisor to Ken Holland, the General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings, a role that Steve Yzerman held before leaving to become General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chelios is training to become a GM of an NHL team and he is currently getting the opportunity to train with one of the best in the business in Detroit.

Holland has kept the Red Wings in contention for the playoffs every year and has won multiple Stanley Cups. Even though his team has drafted near the bottom of the pack every year, he has kept his farm team loaded up which has allowed the Red Wings the ability to stay competitive each year. They haven't been throwing away all their assets the way they Canucks have done just trying to add those usually useless pieces at trade deadline day. Examples Sami Pahlsson and Derek Roy.

Chris Chelios is an American whose heart is in the NHL and knows what it takes to win a Stanley Cup. He has won the championship 3 times. Once with Montreal and twice with Detroit.

The GM of the Florida Panthers recently commented on Chris Chelios, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November.

Panthers GM Dale Tallon was a Chicago TV colourman for years before getting into hockey operations with the Blackhawks. He then got a shot at being a GM and saw first hand why Chelios was so good for so long.

"The zest he has for life is incredible,” said Tallon. “Every day, he brought that passion to the rink, to the games, everywhere you went with Chris, he was full of life. There was never a dull moment.

“In the games, you paid the price every time you played against him. He gave everything he had every shift, every game. Amazing to have that energy all the time, no matter what the age. Not many people are like Chris. Amazing warrior.”

Maybe it's time the Canucks had that kind of energy put into the player selection of this team. Sadly, there aren't too many 'warriors' on this current squad. It's time for a change at the helm. It's time for Chris Chelios, the saviour.

stetty2

Worth the Fall

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4-8-2 in the month of January.

What will it take for the Canucks to win consistently again. Is it a mental thing? Or is there something else at play like injuries to Henrik Sedin, Chris Tanev, Kevin Bieksa, Mike Santorelli, and Tom Sestito.

The thing is, don't all good teams face adversity each year? Or perhaps this is too much to handle for such a depleted team all the way through the organization.

The Utica Comets, the Canucks farm team. They are the worst team in the Eastern Conference and sit 29th in the AHL, just a win ahead of Hartford for last place. They are also 0-17 when trailing after 2 periods. Sound promising to you? The Canucks traded so many quality draft picks, they have nothing left in the system with the hopes that Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk can make the AHL next year.

So what is wrong with the Canucks NHL team? Goals.

We can expect Daniel Sedin to score a lot more than he has this season. Daniel has scored 36, 29, 31, 29, 41, 30 in the six years before the lockout. Right now he is on pace for 19 goals. Not acceptable when you are meant to be the teams leading goal scorer.

Daniel knows he needs to be better. "We gotta find some ways to score goals. That's starts with me. You can't miss your chances. It's gonna be tough to win games that way."

There is a lack (sorry for the pun) of scoring from all fronts. Burrows was a 25+ goal scorer 4 times in his career. Now he can't bury 1 in his injury plagued season that has seen him play in only 24 of the teams 56 games.

The Canucks are 19th in the league in goals-for with 142.

Their Power Play is ranked 29th in the league at 14% and falling fast.

They just aren't getting goals. Especially on the power play when they should be putting teams away.

What happens if they squeak into the playoffs?

The Canucks have gone 2-10 since game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011. Losing 3 to Boston, 4 to L.A. and 4 to the Sharks. This team isn't a whole lot better than any of the previous years.

Wouldn't you rather see them get a decent draft pick and put a bit more into the system?

Once the summer roles around, they can try and buy some free agents when the salary cap goes to 70 million. There is a few good natural scorers in the UFA pool coming this summer. Marion Gaborik, Thomas Vanek, Paul Stastny, Ales Hemsky, Matt Moulson, and even Dany Heatley if the team gets really desperate. He might make a solid 3rd line winger if you can get him at a good price.

Now it's time to think about the long term future. Because throwing away assets at trade time is as useful as Derek Roy in the playoffs last year.

What do you think:

Is it better to make the Playoffs and try and make it past the first round?

Or miss the playoffs entirely and get a higher draft pick?

Your opinion greatly appreciated below.

stetty2

Mt. Tortorella Erupts

Prior to puck drop on a night when the Vancouver Canucks played the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena, Canucks coach John Tortorella was given the starting line up of the other team. Tortorella was put in a difficult position even before the game started. Flames coach Bob Hartley's starting line up consisted of muscle and goonery at it's highest level.

With Brian McGrattan leading the way, coach Tortorella did not want to match his top line of the Sedin's with the bottom feeders from Calgary. Instead he started tough guy Tom Sestito, Dale Wiese and Kellan Lane, who was playing in his first NHL game.

Immediately after the puck dropped, the entire sheet of ice became a boxing ring, with 5 fights breaking out. The result of the initial line brawl, 8 game misconducts and 2 - 10 minute misconducts on top of 10 fighting majors.

"Torts came in and told us that they're starting those idiots over there so we're going to match that and go with it," said Canucks Tom Sestito. "I knew right off the hop McGrattan was going to come after me."

Bob Hartley tried to say he had no intention of fighting when he put his fighters on the opening draw.

"Those guys are playing well for us. They got us a goal last game. We're not scoring many goals. We had zero intentions there." Hartley said with a smirk on his face. "Those guys are playing hard for us. As far as I know they were the home team. They had the luxury to put whoever they wanted on the ice. He decided who he puts on. It is what it is."

Tortorella didn't buy into that.

"I see the starting lineup and I know the other guy across the bench (Hartley) and it's easy for people to say 'Well put the Sedin's out there and it's deflated'. I can't put our players at risk like that. With the lineup that he had, I am not going to put those types of players at risk, and that's what ensues."

Tortorella went on to add that, "I don't want it in the game, but I have to protect my team, too. So all the pundits and all the people pissing and moaning about it, they don't have a clue what a locker-room's about and they don't understand the whole circumstance involved in that type of situation."

The NHL doesn't normally fine or suspend coaches who open a game with fighters, however, in a preseason game this year the NHL said Ron Rolston was fined for "player selection and team conduct" after putting six-foot-eight enforcer John Scott on the ice after a fight between Toronto's Jamie Devane and Buffalo's Corey Tropp. In its news release announcing the fine, the league said Scott "initiated an altercation" with Leafs forward Phil Kessel.

​It's not inconceivable to think Bob Hartley is in line for the same thing. He shouldn't miss any games due to suspension however.

The same can't be said for John Tortorella.

Torts went after the Calgary coach at the first intermission. He was in the Flames dressing room entrance yelling at the opposing teams leader. Flames players were pushing Tortorella away as Hartley continued down the tunnel to his dressing room.

"I lifted my head and there he was," Hartley said. "I just don't understand. I got out of there. I don't need to get suspended or fined. There is nothing to settle there. I just don't understand what was going on."

Hartley poked the bear. He woke the dragon. What did he expect would happen?

Tortorella is no stranger to a game starting with a line brawl. Him and still current coach for New Jersey Peter DeBoer had a screaming match after the Devils coach did the same thing as Hartley.

"I guess in John's world you can come into our building and start your tough guys, but we can't do the same here," Deboer said to reporters. "He's either got short term memory loss or he's a hypocrite."

Tortorella has been contacted by the NHL and hearing is being set up. Expect a minimum 1 game suspension for the intermission dust up. Also expect a fine for Bob Hartley for his starting line-up.

In the end, the Canucks won in the shootout and the 2 points might just be worth more to them right now, considering they haven't had much luck in that column lately going 2-5-3 in their last 10 games. They have shown a fighting spirit and right now, that's a positive this team will take. Now we wait to see how this team responds with their leader's imminent suspension.

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stetty2

follow the link at the bottom to see full list on Forbes.

So who are the richest teams in the world, and where do the Canucks rank?

Which major sporting league of the big 6 is more prosperous and where does the NHL fit in to the mix?

I'll tell you.

The richest, most valuable team in the world title belongs to Real Madrid at #1. They are worth an estimated 3.3 billion dollars.

Manchester United comes in at #2 with an estimated worth of 3.165 billion dollars.

The top 2 revenue machines in the world are both soccer teams. That suggests that European Soccer is the top sporting event in the world. Wouldn't you agree Chappy? (Team 1040 reference)

Barcalona is not far behind at #3. Still trending.

The Yankees and Dallas Cowboys round out the top five at 2.3 and 2.1 billion dollars respectively.

The Patriots of the NFL, the Dodgers in MLB. Makes sense as 6 and 7.

Washington Redskins are #8. Surprising.

Quoting from Forbes, "Robert Griffin III delivered by leading the 'Skins to their first division title since 1999. His jersey set a single season record for most sales on NFLShop.com."

San Francisco Giants and Arsenal round out the top 10.

European Soccer, NFL, MLB.

No NHL yet. No NBA yet. No MLS.

The Canucks didn't even make the list, but according to Forbes, they rank 7th in the NHL, worth approx. 342 million dollars. The link for Forbes' full list of NHL teams is at the bottom of the page.

Toronto came in #1 out of all the NHL teams, with a revenue of 1 billion. Good for #31 on the top teams in the world.

Montreal is the only other Canadian team ahead of the Canucks, valued at over 500 million.

Flames and Oilers are next as the top Canadian teams. The Flames holding a 20 million net worth advantage over Edmonton with 225.

So what about actual take home profit?

The Canucks are said to have taken approx 30 million dollars in profit for the year.

However, 13 teams reported less than 0 dollars in profit, meaning their revenue didn't cover the cost to run the team.

Of those teams that lost money; Nashville, Minnesota and the St. Louis Blues were the biggest surprises. Sharks and Capitals were squeekers that still lost money, just not a lot of it. Less than 1 million in debt.

So how would you rate the top 5 or 6 sporting leagues in the world?

Maybe we can get this as a poll question with Scott Rintoul on Team 1040 one morning. For now, your answers are accepted below.

http://www.forbes.co.../1-real-madrid/

http://www.forbes.com/nhl-valuations/

stetty2

Who really was (or is) the best Canuck of all time?

I started to do some research and thought I would put together a list of information for you.

You can decide by posting down at the bottom.

Let me start you with this...

Did you know that Todd Bertuzzi had a higher points per game average in his Canucks career than his buddy Markus Naslund? Does that make you think differently about how good Burtuzzi was here?

In 884 games, Naslund had 756 points. A pace of 0.86 points per game.

Burtuzzi finished with 449 points in 518 games. A 0.87 points per game pace.

Just how good was Pavel Bure? He finished with 478 points in 428 games, a points per game pace of 1.12!

Henrik and Daniel are at a 0.85 and 0.84 points per game pace respectively.

The goals per game pace is somewhat surprising. Tony Tanti is second in franchise history with 0.47 goals per game.

Pavel Bure sits first with 0.59. And the other sniper Naslund sits 3rd with 0.39.

Assists? Henrik currently holds the top spot with a 0.65 per game average. Thomas Gradin sits in second with a 0.58 spot.

Gino Odjick holds the top spot with penalty minutes per game at 4.79 but I don't think that qualifies him as being the best Canuck of all time.

How about being clutch? For game winning goals Daniel Sedin leads the franchise with 60. Naslund is second with 49. Linden 33. Pavel's 32 out of his 254 total goals means he had a hero rating of 12.5%.

Daniel Sedin sits first with a hero rating of 21.5%, well above Bure who scored a lot of goals when they didn't matter. Not to say that he didn't have important goals. The game against Calgary was one of the biggest.

Sticking with clutch, Trevor Linden still holds the club record for playoff goals with 34, tied with Pavel Bure. Geoff Courtnall and Cliff Ronning sit third and fourth.

5 on 5 goals, essentially hard working goals, shows some very interesting numbers. Markus Naslund has the highest total with 232. Daniel Sedin sits second with 215. Ryan Kesler has 1 more than Bure with 129. Did you know that Kesler and Bure were that close?

And what about Goalie numbers. Can a goalie be the best Canuck of all time?

Games played, Kirk McLean leads with 516. Luongo is second with 386.

Winning percentage? Roberto Luongo leads with 0.58%. He also has the franchise record in wins with 224. Schnieder's 0.56% pace is second While Dan Cloutier sits 3rd at 0.52%.

Luongo also leads in shutouts with 33.

Schnieder leads with a franchise high 2.24 career goals against average and a save percentage of .928.

Jyrki Lumme had the highest points per game pace than any other defencemen on the team at 0.55. Ohlund and Edler are next in line.

Ohlund of course is the team's top defensive point machine with 325 in 770 games.

So now that you have all this information… who really was (or is) the best Canuck of all time? Make your call below.

stetty2

What if Luongo actually was upset about all the negative comments he receives from writers. What if he was starting to think about what life would be like back in the hot sun in the east.

How would you feel if every day that you went to work, there was a good chance it was front page news material? Everything you did, replayed in slow motion to you, people starting every sentence with "Why" and "What Happened" all the time.

Why did you let in such a weak goal? Why did you play the puck behind the net? Why don't you seem happy to be here some days?

When he was in Florida, all we ever heard was that he was the only reason the Panthers won games. When Florida lost a game or Luongo let in a bad goal, it wasn’t his fault. His save percentage was insanely high because he just got peppered every night. People just assumed it was acceptable for a few of the 45 to 50 shots to go in, right?

Or is it really as it seems? How about this stat. In the last year Luongo played in Florida, his save percentage was .914 and his GAA was 2.97.

Last year was a stellar year for Luongo. He killed those numbers with a .928 save percentage and a 2.11 goals against average.

He's off to a bad start with an .896 percentage and a 2.97 goals against average. Which, oddly enough, is similar to the last season he played with the Panthers. We have gotten what we asked for.

So, what if Luongo was upset with how the media has treated him?

Maybe Florida isn’t so far from his mind.

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