By the Numbers: Canucks among league's best since deadline
The NHL trade deadline always causes a shift in the hockey landscape as contenders acquire new players in an attempt to boost their odds in the playoffs.
While some contenders have seen a boost in their play since the deadline, the Vancouver Canucks - who both bought and sold - have been among the league's best.
Only the Los Angeles Kings (.900) have a better points percentage than Vancouver since the March 3 deadline, while the Vegas Golden Knights are equal with the Canucks at a .833 clip. The Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild have both picked up points at a .792 clip, while the Rangers have a .773 points percentage since their busy deadline came to an end.
Best records in the NHL since March 3
|Los Angeles Kings||8-0-2||.900|
|Vegas Golden Knights||10-2-0||.833|
|New York Rangers||8-2-1||.773|
Five of those six teams hold playoff spots entering play Tuesday, while Vancouver sits 12 points out of the second wild-card slot with just nine games remaining on the schedule.
In the week leading up to the trade deadline, Vancouver traded away defenceman Riley Stillman to the Buffalo Sabres, defenceman Luke Schenn to the Toronto Maple Leafs and forward Curtis Lazar to the New Jersey Devils. The team set their status as sellers well ahead of the deadline, shipping captain Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders on January 28.
The Canucks, however, made a major splash of their own in adding defenceman Filip Hronek from the Detroit Red Wings for a package that included a first- and second-round draft pick.
Hronek, however, only made his debut with the Canucks last week due to injury. He's now up to three games played, topping 22 minutes of ice time in all of them.
Despite the manpower lost, Vancouver has earned points in 10 of 12 games and turned a 24-32-5 start (53 points in 61 games) at the deadline into a 34-34-5 record entering play Tuesday.
The Kings acquired defenceman Vladislav Gavrikov and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo in a major trade ahead of the deadline with the Columbus Blue Jackets. On top of that, Los Angeles received goaltender Erik Portillo from the Sabres and Zack MacEwen from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Los Angeles has claimed points in 10 straight since the trade deadline, in no small part due to the play of Korpisalo, who has a .929 save percentage in five games with the Kings, which far exceeds their .885 percentage as a team on the year - fourth-worst in the NHL.
The Golden Knights had a quieter deadline - acquiring goaltender Jonathan Quick from the Blue Jackets and forwards Teddy Blueger and Ivan Barbashev from the Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues, respectively. In 26 combined games with Vegas, the forwards have tallied 15 points. The Golden Knights lead the Pacific Division with 98 points, helped largely by their 20 points in 12 games since the trade deadline.
Edmonton's biggest splash at the deadline came in adding defenceman Mattias Ekholm from the Nashville Predators, with Tyson Barrie among the players to head back the other way. Ekholm has nine points in 13 games with Edmonton, and has contributed to the team holding opponents to three goals or fewer seven times.
Minnesota added forwards Oskar Sundqvist, Gustav Nyquist and Marcus Johansson at the deadline. While Nyquist has yet to play, the added forwards have helped spark a team that averaged 2.13 goals per game from January 8 - March 2 to improve to 3.75 goals per game in the 12 games since.
Additions by contenders have pushed a great deal of them into the playoff conversation, but the Canucks have been the surprise storyline in the NHL since the trade deadline passed.