Vancouver Canucks' 4 Most Impressive Stats Early in 2013-14
Their 11-7-2 record is a result of many factors and situations. The following statistics point to the Canucks' biggest strengths early on, and they have undoubtedly contributed to their success.
4. Blocked Shots
Not to take anything away from Roberto Luongo and his strong October (yes, you read that right), but his job becomes much easier when the Canucks in front of him sacrifice their bodies to stop the puck from getting to the net.
Through 20 games this season, the Canucks have blocked a total of 291 shots—good enough or sixth in the NHL. At this rate, they'll surpass last year's 48-game total in just 39 games.
In the words of Wayne Gretzky, "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."
The Canucks understand that philosophy, and they have performed accordingly with an average of 32 shots per game.
To reiterate how important shots are to success, the five teams in the league with more shots than the Canucks have a combined record of 58-23-13.
2. Road Record
There's no question that teams have a greater advantage at home than on the road. It's far easier to pick up the "W" when thousands of fans are cheering you on and the opposition had to travel the day prior.
Last year, just six out of 30 teams had more wins on the road than at home. The Vancouver Canucks are on pace to do just that this season.
Thirteen of the Canucks' 20 games this season have been on the road, including a grueling eastern trip in which they played seven games in 11 days and came out with a 5-1-1 record.
Overall, the Canucks' record away from home is 7-4-2 this season. The ability to enter another team's building and pick up the win is critical.
1. Penalty Kill
The Canucks currently sit in first in the NHL with a penalty kill rate of 89.4 percent (just seven goals against in 66 attempts), and they are tied for second with three short-handed goals.
Since 2000, just one team (the 2011-12 New Jersey Devils) has finished a season with a better PK.
Hockey is a physical sport, and players will cross the line; there's no way around it. The ability to shut down the opposition's power play (and even be a threat offensively) when that happens is what sets teams apart.
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