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It is not quite the same as winning a Gold medal but a 3-1-0 record for the Canucks in their first week back is definitely reason for celebration in Canucks Nation. And another reason to celebrate is because Number Crunching returns for edition No. 12 as we look back at the best stats from the week that was in Canucks hockey. As always, find out who earns this week's honour as the Number Crunching Player of the Week.

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/01/jan3010_leafs10_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">If the Canucks manage to finish this season with a record above .500 on the road, it will be by far the most difficult path the Canucks have ever taken in franchise history to secure a better than .500 record away from their home arena.

This season, the Canucks moved above the .500 mark on the road for the first time in their 32nd road game this past week after their 6-3 win in Detroit gave them a record of 16-15-1 on the road at the time (they ended the week with an overall record of 17-16-1 on the road).

Out of the seven previous times the Canucks have finished a season with a record above .500 on the road, the longest it had ever taken them to initially move above .500 was six games. That mark was set in 2003.04 after the Canucks opened their road season 0-2-1 before winning their next three straight games away from GM Place to move above the bar for the first time that year. They would end up finishing that season with a 22-11-8 record on the road.

In addition to 2003.04, the Canucks have also finished with above .500 road records in the following seasons: 1991.92, 1992.93, 1995.96, 2002.03, 2006.07 and 2008.09.

FIRST TO 40

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/mar0710_preds01_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">The Canucks recorded their 40th victory of the season on Sunday afternoon in Nashville and in the process set a new franchise record for being the quickest Canucks team to reach the 40-win mark.

This year's team, which recorded the 40th victory in their 65th game of the season, narrowly beat out the 2006.07 team that recorded win No. 40 in game No. 67 that season. The 2006.07 team still holds the franchise record for most victories in a single season with 49 although this year's squad figures to give them a good run for that mark as they have 17 games remaining to try and net 10-or-more wins to break the old record.

The following is a list of 40-plus win Canuck teams with the number in the brackets indicating the game in which they reached the 40th win of the season, respectively:

1991.92: 42 wins (71)*

1992.93: 46 wins (76)**

1993.94: 41 wins (81)**

2001.02: 42 wins (80)

2002.03: 45 wins (70)

2003.04: 43 wins (79)

2005.06: 42 wins (74)

2006.07: 49 wins (67)

2008.09: 45 wins (74)

2009.10: 40 wins and counting (65)

*denotes 80-game season

*denotes 84-game season

THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/mar0310_well_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">The Detroit Red Wings typically offer a tough test for the Canucks each time the two teams meet but if you thought Wednesday's game in Motown was a bit of a cakewalk for the visitors, there is one key statistic that would back up that assertion.

The Red Wings, who saw starting netminder Jimmy Howard yanked in the contest, did little to support either of their two goaltenders in that game blocking just three shots in the entire contest. The three blocked shots marked the fewest blocked shots by by a Canucks opponent this season. Prior to Wednesday's game, the fewest blocked shots a Canucks opponent had this season in a single game was six which had happened twice: San Jose (November 29, 2009) and New Jersey (December 2, 2009).

Up to and including Vancouver's contest against Nashville on Sunday, the Canucks have had an average of 13.1 shots blocked per game. The Canucks, meanwhile, have averaged 12.3 blocked shots per game this season through 65 games played. The Canucks have a record of 7-6-0 this season in games where they have had fewer than 10 shots blocked.

149 TO 100

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/03022010_van_cbj_raycroft2_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Congratulations to Canucks' netminder Andrew Raycroft for picking up his 100th career NHL victory this past week on Tuesday with a 4-3 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Raycroft became the 149th all-time netminder to 100 NHL victories and joins the likes of currently active goaltenders such as Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov, Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom, St. Louis' Chris Mason and Columbus' Mathieu Garon to have recorded their 100th NHL victory during the 2009.10 NHL season.

NUMBER CRUNCHING PLAYER OF THE WEEK

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/mar0310_kes_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Ryan Kesler: Three goals and five points in four games played.

If Ryan Kesler carried any frustration with him after narrowly missing out on an Olympic Gold medal in Vancouver just over a week ago, he clearly decided to take out some of that out against his NHL opponents.

The Livonia, MI native was a one-man wrecking crew at times leading the Canucks in goals and points this week while in the process extending his career-high point streak to nine games (five games prior to the Olympic break and four games after).

Honourable mentions include Alex Burrows, who proved two weeks off wasn't enough time to cool down his hot stick as he also had three goals this week, and Mikael Samuelsson, whose "demotion" to the third line didn't stop his goal scoring abilities as he also finished with three goals this week.

CRUNCHED BY THE NUMBERS

<img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2010/03/mar0510_hawks01_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Roberto Luongo: 2-1-0 record with a 4.29 GAA and a .875 save percentage.

Call it an Olympic hangover but there were times this week when the man protecting the Canucks' net looked quite dissimilar to the man who led Canada to an Olympic Gold medal just over a week ago in Vancouver.

The Canucks' captain started his week off with a decent outing in Detroit stopping 28 of 31 shots in a 6-3 win but proceeded to have arguably his worst outing since Game 6 of last season's Western Conference Semi-Final on Wednesday in Chicago. Luongo was yanked after giving up five goals on just 14 shots to the Blackhawks in the first period - the third time in his last nine games that he has been taken out of a game for performance reasons.

Discounting his performance at the Olympic Winter Games, Luongo has not managed to record wins in consecutive starts since a six-game win streak from January 16 to January 27. He has a chance to bump that slump this upcoming week after ending last week off on a high note making 33 saves on 35 shots in a come-from-behind 4-2 win over the Predators on Sunday afternoon.

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