We can forecast with conviction which team will win the game in football and which team will come out with a victory in hockey.

In football, it is the team that commits the fewest turnovers.

In hockey, the winner of the game is usually the one who is best on special teams.

Of course, it is not 100 % guaranteed but without knowing the exact numbers on a per-game basis, I would suggest that this holds true to form at least ¾ of the time.

This is not new science or something that analytics discovered.

This has been the rule of thumb since the inception of football and hockey.

The Vancouver Canucks are struggling.

The Prince George Cougars are in a slump.

One needs to look no further than at least one aspect of their special teams.

In the case of the Canucks, it is a woeful penalty kill and their power-play isn’t much better.

In the case of the Cougars, it is their dismal power-play that has let them down.

At least Prince George has a respectable penalty kill which is 6th best in the WHL at 82.9 %.

Many Canuck fans want a change behind the bench.

Coach Travis Green, fairly or not, is taking the heat for the team’s misery of late.

GM Jim Benning is searching for answers and possibly wondering how much time he has left in his job.

While the Vancouver power-play is just 27th in the NHL at 14.5 %, it is the penalty-kill that is grabbing all of the headlines for a team that has just five wins in 17 games (5-10-2).

The Canucks actually did not play a bad game in Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to Colorado, except for the shoddy PK once again.

The Vancouver losing streak hit five games after surrendering three power-play goals against the Avalanche.

That brings it to the bigger picture.

The Canucks penalty kill has surrendered a whopping 19 goals in their last 10 games and has the NHL’s worst-functioning unit at a paltry 60.3 %.

There is one main reason the Canucks have just two victories in their last 10 games (2-7-1).

They have been outscored 19-3 on special teams.

Yikes!

Now for the Cougars.

They would be better than their 6-9 record after 15 games if they had an answer on how to be effective with the man advantage.

The Cougars power-play, who started 4-for-16 after three games, is just 6-for-58 on the season.

This means over the last dozen games, Prince George is just 2-for-42 on the power-play.

It is ranked at the bottom of the 22-team WHL at 10.3 % and second-last out of 60 teams in the entire CHL, only ahead of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting (9.5 %).

After suffering back-to-back losses (5-2 and 3-0) against Kelowna last weekend, the first thing that coach and general manager head coach Mark Lamb stated: “We have to fix our power-play.”

The Cougars have had five days off to work on the man advantage as they get set for a weekend home doubleheader against the Tri-City Americans.

As for Vancouver, they are home this weekend against Winnipeg and Chicago in their attempt to get PK and PP in order.

One thing we can say about the Canucks, no one is “Green” with envy about its not-so-special teams.

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Prince George Cougars goalies Taylor Gauthier and Tyler Brennan are this week’s guests on the Cat Scan podcast.

During the episode, they discussed a number of topics including: 

  • Working relationship and friendship with each other
  • Competitiveness between the two for starts
  • Gauthier taking on a mentorship role in his final season
  • Brennan recovering from a slow start to the season
  • Coaching staff
  • On being pulled/coming into a game in relief


Taking Note:

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK

Do you think Aaron Rodgers is furious his unvaccinated status was leaked? Wait until they reveal his emails to Jon Gruden.

*Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg

Report: Antonio Brown obtained and used a fake Covid vaccination card. Aaron Rodgers reportedly reacted by saying, Hey, why didn’t I think of that?’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Aaron Rodgers said Sunday’s  game “definitely got me a little misty.” Uh, since he’s not vaccinated is the Packers QB sure that mist isn’t “COVID brain fog?”

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

The USC-Cal game was postponed three weeks until Dec. 4 because of an outbreak of COVID-19 — reportedly 44 cases — in the Golden Bears program. What, did they bring ex-Cal QB Aaron Rodgers in to give a pregame speech or something?

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/


In Case You Missed It:

A survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that men cry more than women. Especially guys who are Detroit Lions fans.

*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He also is the radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars’ home games. Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes)