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Number Crunching X: Salute to CoCo edition




People of Fanzone: After a week-long negotiation with CDC, Number Crunching is officially being put on hiatus until post-Olympics after this final blog (our settlement, unlike Conan's, was only worth 32 cents and a Churro). When it returns, Jay Leno will be taking over as your new Number Crunching blogger.

Okay, so I kid...but Number Crunching is going on an Olympic break after this blog but before we go dark, we review the best and unusual statistics from the week that was in Canucks hockey in this record-breaking edition and as always, we have this week's Number Crunching Player of the Week Award to dole out.


<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/012110_VAN_DAL_burrows205.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">There are certain individuals in the media (whose names shall remain anonymous) who will have you believe that Alex Burrows is no more than your typical agitator or pest. But Number Crunching challenges all the uninformed members of the fourth estate to show us when the last time the likes of Steve Ott or Sean Avery or Daniel Carcillo had a point streak of ten-or-more games at the NHL level as Burrows managed to achieve this past week on Thursday with a goal against the Dallas Stars (he since extended it to 11 games on Saturday with three assists versus the Blackhawks).

In the process, Burrows became the first Canuck in just under two weeks (okay, so it would have been more impressive if we said nearly seven years but Henrik Sedin beat him to the punch) to record a double digit streak. Burrows also joined a rare list of only 13 all-time Canucks (including himself) to have recorded a point streak of 10-or-more games. Below is a list of the players that have achieved that mark in Canuck franchise history:

Petr Nedved: once - 15 games* (15-9-24)

Todd Bertuzzi: twice - longest 15 games* (7-12-19)

Darcy Rota: once - 14 games (15-15-30)

Stan Smyl: twice - longest 13 games (8-19-27)

Pavel Bure: four times - longest 13 games (12-10-22)

Thomas Gradin: once - 12 games (10-16-26)

Anatoli Semenov: once - 12 games (1-16-17)

Alex Burrows: once - 11 games** (13-5-18)

Tony Tanti: once - 11 games (13-10-23)

Dennis Kearns: once - 11 games (1-19-20)

Alex Mogilny: twice - longest 11 games (9-8-17)

Jiri Bubla: once - 11 games (1-11-12)

Henrik Sedin: once - 10 games (5-15-20)

*denotes franchise record

**denotes currently active streak

Burrows' current 11-game point streak is now tied for 12th place on the all-time franchise list for longest point streak. Excluding games played on Sunday, it is also tied for the third longest point streak this season behind only Anaheim's Corey Perry (19 games) and Buffalo's Tim Connolly (15 games) and is the second longest active point streak behind Connolly's aforementioned 15-game streak.


<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/jan2110_hit_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Canucks fans who bore witness to the Marc Crawford era in Vancouver know that Crow is a coach who likes to employ a wide-open style of hockey which can lend itself to more error-prone play at times. It probably surprised many on Thursday then when Crow's Stars battled the Canucks in a game that featured more goals than turnovers between the two teams combined.

In fact, according to the statisticians at GM Place, the Stars gave the puck away just once in the course of the 60-minute contest marking a season-low by a Canucks opponent. The previous low was two giveaways, a feat accomplished four previous times by a Canucks opponent most recently by the Flames on January 9th.

What may be most surprising is the fact that the combined four giveaways in that game between the Canucks and Stars (which is a far cry from the 39 giveaways the Canucks and Oilers combined for just the night before) is not the fewest in a game involving the Canucks this season. That honour belongs to Vancouver's October 7th tilt with the Montreal Canadiens at GM Place when the two teams combined to give the puck away just three times (once by the Canucks, twice by the Habs).

So how do the Canucks fare in games where puck possession is taken far too seriously? Vancouver has a record of 6-2-2 in games that feature ten-or-fewer giveaways by both teams combined.

#1 GOING ON 40

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/jan2310_glovesave_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Roberto Luongo often suggests that he tends to play better the more work he's subjected to so perhaps the Chicago Blackhawks employed the wrong strategy on Saturday night when they pelted the Canucks' captain with 44 shots only to watch him turn aside a personal season-high 43 of them.

It was the first time since April 7th of last year that Luongo had been called on to make more than 40 saves in a single game and as far as it being his busiest night save-wise in a Canuck uniform, it ranked only in a tie for fourth place for most saves he has made in a single regular season game since becoming a Canuck. Since becoming a Canuck, Luongo has posted a record of 4-1-3 in games where he has been called on to make 40-or-more saves. Below is a list of Roberto's 40-plus regular season save nights since becoming a Canuck:

49 saves - February 21.08 - 3-2 SO win at Nashville

47 saves - January 17.08 - 2-3 SO loss at Detroit

46 saves - April 07.09 - 4-1 win vs. Calgary

43 saves - January 23.10 - 5-1 win vs. Chicago

43 saves - March 13.08 - 0-2 loss at Phoenix

40 saves - February 01.08 - 3-4 SO loss at Florida

40 saves - January 26.07 - 2-3 SO loss vs. Los Angeles

40 saves - December 02.06 - 2-1 win vs. Colorado

Luongo was just two saves shy on Saturday of tying a season-high in saves by a Canucks netminder. That mark still belongs to Cory Schneider who made 45 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars back on November 6th.


<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/jan2010_hankhappy_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Henrik Sedin opened the week with a three-assist effort against the Oilers on Wednesday but none of his three helpers were more important than the last because not only did that one set up the overtime winner by brother Daniel but it marked the 400th assist in his Canucks and NHL career.

As far as franchise records go, assist No. 400 put him into a very exclusive club that previously consisted of only three other members: Trevor Linden, Stan Smyl and Markus Naslund.

With 402 career assists and counting, it seems only a formality before Henrik takes his place as the Assists King in Canucks franchise history. He is just 13 helpers away from tying Trevor Linden atop the leaderboard with 415 assists as a Canuck. Stan Smyl and Markus Naslund sit second and third place on the franchise list with 411 and 410 assists, respectively.


Henrik Sedin: Two goals and seven points in three games played

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/jan2310_sedin_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">We could easily have gone with co-winners along with brother Daniel or perhaps even named that entire top line with Alex Burrows all as Players of the Week but we give Henrik the sole honour for this week after he notched his 23rd goal of the season on Saturday night and in the process set a new career-high for goals in a single season.

Henrik's previous career-high was set last season when he tallied 22 goals and it did take him all 82 games to hit that mark as his last tally of the year came in overtime of the final regular season game of the season. Henrik's 22nd and 23rd goals, respectively, this season came in Game 51. Last year after 51 games, Henrik had eight goals.

Henrik will begin the new week with a four point advantage on Washington's Alex Ovechkin atop the NHL leader board and should reach another major milestone later this coming week barring the unforeseen. Henrik is expected to suit up in his 700th career NHL game on Saturday in Toronto - ironically, the same city that he and his brother were rumoured to be headed to during this past off-season when the two were unrestricted free agents. Talk about a close call.


Nolan Baumgartner: 29 games

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/bc/images/images/inbydate06/apr1506/baumer_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">It's important to point out that we aren't picking on the man they call 'Bomber' for no apparent reason. After all in his lone game played during the week he finished with a very solid plus-one rating in 15:18 of ice-time against the Blackhawks. But for those who haven't figured what the significance of what the aforementioned 29 games is - that is the number of man-games lost combined between Vancouver's top six blue-liners this season. That number is actually higher for those who wish to include Mathieu Schneider's injured games at the start of the season though for our purposes, our top-six consists of Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, Willie Mitchell, Sami Salo, Christian Ehrhoff and Shane O'Brien.

This season, Ehrhoff and O'Brien are the only Canuck defencemen who have yet to miss a game due to injury (knock on wood). Baumgartner, who became a bit of a poster-boy this week for Vancouver's injury woes on the back end this season, became the 11th different defenceman to suit up for the Canucks this season - two more blue-liners than the Canucks had to employ all of last season.

This is officially Baumgartner's third stint with the Canucks although it may not seem that way for many since Bomber has been around the Canucks since 2002.03. He was briefly claimed off waivers by the Penguins in 2003.04 before returning to Vancouver via waivers later that season. Prior to Saturday, he last played for the Canucks in 2005.06 when he appeared in a career-high 70 games and actually led all Canucks defencemen in points with 34 (5-29-34).

In 2006.07, he signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers but played just six games with them before being dispatched to the minors. He was claimed off re-entry waivers later that season by the Dallas Stars then spent the following season in Iowa with the Stars' farm club. He signed as a free agent with the Canucks in the summer of 2008 and spent all of last season in Manitoba.

Well folks, that brings this week's blog to a conclusion. While we don't have the resources to end it off with a big celebrity guest or a big musical number, if we did you can imagine it would look a little something like this:

<iframe width="480" height="289" frameborder="0" src="http://canucks.nhl.tv/team/embed.jsp?catid=6&id=57642"></iframe>

Thanks for reading. See you after the Olympics. Enjoy the Games.


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