All is right in Canuck Nation again following two straight wins over the Thrashers and the Wild. We keep the good times rolling in the Canucks Community with this week's edition of Number Crunching. Read on to find out who takes home this week's coveted Number Crunching Player of the Week Award. (Note: Statistics reflected in this column do not include games played on Monday, December 14th).
WHEN THEY'RE HOT, THEY'RE REALLY HOT
<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/121209_VAN_MIN_raymond205.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">The Canucks may be the only team in the entire NHL that can go from doom-and-gloom one moment to sunshine-and-rainbows the next at least as far as the mood concerning their power play goes.
Before Saturday's 3-for-5 performance against the Wild, there hadn't been a lot of positives to say about the Canuck power play that had just one goal (a 5-on-3 marker) in their previous six games while connecting on just one opportunity on 18 chances overall in that stretch. So how is it that, despite all the negativity concerning the Canucks power play in recent weeks, the team still manages to find themselves near the top of the League in terms of power play efficiency?
The reason for that is that no team in the NHL this season have had more multiple power play goal games than the Canucks. The Canucks have scored two-or-more power play goals 10 times this season. The Philadelphia Flyers are the next most successful team with nine multiple PPG games. Behind them, there are several teams tied with seven multiple power play goal games.
Perhaps a more telling stat is that 24 of Vancouver's 31 power play goals this season have come in those ten games, leaving just seven power play goals scored in the other 22 games this season. The Canucks have a record of 7-3-0 this season when scoring two-or-more power play goals in a game.
DANNY MOVING ON UP
<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec0809_preds01_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Since his return to the lineup back on November 22nd, it seems Daniel Sedin has not missed a beat and is not only making up lost time by piling up points against the opposition, he's also taking aim at the team record books as well.
Daniel's goal against the Wild on Saturday marked his seventh of the season and, more significantly, was his 186th as a Canuck moving him into an eighth place tie with Don Lever and just two goals shy of a seventh place tie with Todd Bertuzzi (188).
Oddly, the goal was just the first power play marker this season for Daniel after he finished third on the team with nine power play goals in 2008.09 behind only Ryan Kesler (10) and Kyle Wellwood (10).
It was the 68th career power play goal for Sedin who now finds himself just one PPG marker away from tying none other than Pavel Bure (69) for sixth on the franchise's all-time list. He's also within striking distance of Stan Smyl (74) for fifth place and Todd Bertuzzi (79) for fourth place.
What fans should keep a close eye on for the rest of this month is to see if Daniel can make a charge at making this December one of the most productive months in his career. Daniel's most successful month came back in March 2007 when he recorded 20 points (9-11-20) in 15 games played. Through six games in December, Daniel has already netted 11 points (6-5-11). The Canucks will play a total of 15 games this December.
INJURIES? NO SWEAT
<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/nov2809_edler_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">The Canucks didn't get the week started off on a great note. Not only did they drop their second straight game to end their road trip in Nashville, they also lost the services of defenceman Alex Edler - who had been playing some of his best hockey of the season prior to the injury.
But as was evident in the two games that followed, the Canucks simply don't use injuries as an excuse nor are they overly concerned when the injury bug takes a bite to their roster. Below are the Canucks' respective records this season with some of their key players missing: (note: only players who began the season with the Canucks are listed)
Without Daniel Sedin in lineup: 11-7-0
Without Sami Salo in lineup: 4-3-0
Without Ryan Johnson in lineup: 3-1-0
Without Alex Edler in lineup: 2-0-0*
Without Kyle Wellwood in lineup (injury only): 2-2-0
Without Roberto Luongo in lineup (injury only): 4-2-0
*denotes current injury.
NUMBER CRUNCHING PLAYER OF THE WEEK (for the week ending Sunday, December 14th)
<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/nov2809_twins_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Daniel Sedin: Five goals and seven points in three games played.
It was a tough trying to choose between Daniel and Henrik Sedin but to avoid the easy route by picking co-winners, Number Crunching goes with Daniel who was the only Canuck to score in each of the three games this past week and also recorded his third career hat trick on Thursday against the Atlanta Thrashers.
However, the most impressive stat from Daniel this week wasn't his goals or points totals, it was his 22 combined shots in three games played - including a season-high 10 shots on Thursday versus the Thrashers. The 22 shots on goal were more than the Daniel had recorded in his first seven games since returning from injury.
Daniel begins the week riding a season-high six-game point streak - just one game shy of matching a career-high - while he has goals in three straight games marking the first time he has done that since December 17-22, 2008.
Daniel's numbers from last week should warrant him some consideration for being one of the NHL's Three Stars of the Week, which is just the second most prestigious weekly award behind the Number Crunching Player of the Week. But we're sure Daniel is plenty happy already having earned his first career NCPOTW award.
CRUNCHED BY THE NUMBERS
<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/11/nov2009_ehrhoff_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Christian Ehrhoff: Zero points in three games played this week.
Since giving us his best Bobby Orr impersonation about four weeks ago back on November 20th against the Colorado Avalanche, Christian Ehrhoff has gone almost completely quiet since that night memorable night. While it's not necessarily a bad thing when you don't notice a defenceman, Ehrhoff's game is all about sparking the offence - something the Canucks will be counting on him to do even more than before with Alex Edler out of the lineup.
Ehrhoff has just one goal (one point) in his last seven games and has gone without a point in his last four straight games, tying a season-high point drought for the native of Moers, Germany.
Not only would the Ehrhoff love to find the back of the net again, the Canucks as a team would be more than thrilled to see him score. Vancouver has won their last three straight games when Ehrhoff has tallied a goal.