After 12 games, the Vancouver Giants are off to what you might call a rough start. At 3-9, the team sits in the cellar of the Western Hockey League standings, and has the league’s second-worst goals for total. Goaltending has troubled the G-men, certainly, with third-year player Liam Liston already doing his best Dan Cloutier impression to earn a spot on the bench behind a couple of 16-year-olds. But it’s another set of stats that is probably to blame for Vancouver’s slow start: special teams.
After 12 games, the Giants are sputtering on the PK, allowing 16 goals on just 46 chances. That means the opposition has a 34.8% chance of scoring with the man advantage against Vancouver; hardly a recipe for success in a league that’s known for its rough stuff. And it puts them at the bottom of the stats table in that area.
If the boys were able to score its way out of problems — again, not an uncommon feature of teams in the Dub — the problem wouldn’t attract so much attention. Sadly, the Giants have scored just eight power play goals this season, the lowest total in the league. Percentage-wise, their 16.3% success rate (8 for 49) is only slightly better than two other sad sack teams this season. The Kelowna Rockets and Kootenay Ice are tied for last at 16.1%.
The worst power play on top of the most anemic PK? It will be a long season with that kind of cooking in the kitchen. The Giants need to work on special teams if they want to start climbing out of this early season hole.