The Canucks have a comeback problem, and they’re to blame.

Part of the Canucks failure that was the 2015-16 season stemmed from their inability to come from behind. The Canucks spent the 10th most time trailing and generated the 9th worst goal rate while trailing

The Canucks had an above average scoring rate while down one or more goal in the first and last Months of the season.

Month Goal rate per 60 while trailing Deviation from Mean
October 3.2 0.89
November 0.46 -1.85
December 1.18 -1.13
January 1.56 -0.75
February 1.65 -0.66
March 1.79 -0.31
April 3.07 0.76

Obviously if you spend a lot of time trailing and are unable to erase that over a long period of time, that is a problem. What’s an even bigger problem is that the Canucks in addition to not being able to score while behind, they just as much struggled to generate scoring oppurtunities while also giving up oppurtunities to score.

Measure Canucks League Position
Scoring Chance +/- -49 30th
Shots On Goal +/- -36 30th
Shot Attempt +/- -388 27th

As you can see the Canucks were abysmal a creating quality chances to score while trying to comeback, they were one of the if not the worst at doing this.

So what affected this comeback crisis and how can the Canucks fix it going into next season?

The biggest factor that was out of the coaching staff’s control was not having Henrik Sedin fully healthy. Henrik has had positive impacts on the Canucks while trailing.

Measure Relative to with/without Sedin (2014-15) Relative to with/without Sedin (2012-2015)
Goals per 60 0.74 0.78
Scoring Chances per 60 0.93 1.26
Shots per 60 4.33 8.22

I didn’t use this past season because him being injured would probably not be an accurate representation of his impact in this regard

There is no doubt Henrik’s injury affected the Canucks inability to comeback but injuries are obviously completely out the team’s control. However, there are a few things that were in the team’s control that had a negative impact in this regard.

In the 14/15 season, Nick Bonino played 274 minutes while the Canucks were trailing and impacted the Canucks positively in every way possible

Measure Relative to with/without Bonino
Scoring Chances For% 2.27 (5th on team)
Shots For% 1.57 (6th on team)
Goals For% 6.00 (5th on team)
Shot Attempts For% 0.58 (10th on team)

Lone behold the Canucks end up trading him in exchange for Brandon Sutter who few would argue positively impacts the Canucks but Sutter in recent years has actually had a negative influence on his team when they are behind on the scoreboard.

What can be said about Bonino can also be said about Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis who the Canucks let go for basically nothing.

The coaching staff is also partially to blame. Matt Bartkowski and Derek Dorsett had the two worst impacts on the Canucks goal differential this past season. Matt Bartkowski played the most while the Canucks were trailing at 471 minutes, which is 65 more than Ben Hutton who played the second most amount of time.

Derek Dorsett finished 10th on the Canucks for ice time while trailing. Ahead of players like Jared McCann who had the 9th best possesion impact while trailing,  oh and they traded him as well.

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