With the Olympic Break here, now seems like a good time to grade the performance of every single regularly dressed Canuck. Some players like Daniel Sedin have mightily struggled so far, while others like Chris Tanev have blossomed, so let’s see who has succeeded, and who has failed.
Andrew Alberts: Incomplete
He was a healthy scratch early on this season and now is out with a concussion.
Kevin Bieksa: B+
He has been solid on the back-end, has been feisty once again, getting in fights, and even won his first ever face-off in January. However, he has been battling injury recently.
Raphael Diaz: Incomplete
He has two points in two games, and has been a heavy minute eater with the injuries to the Canucks’ defence.
Alex Edler: C-
Edler has been terrible thus far. He is a remarkable -23 (that’s not a typo), and is on pace for only 22 points in an injury-plagued year.
Jason Garrison: B
Garrison has had some up-and-down play this year and has been a streaky scorer. Still, Garrison is on pace for a career high of 40 points.
Dan Hamhuis: A-
Though he hasn’t exploded offensively, he has been the heavy lifter, playing against every top line the Canucks play.
Ryan Stanton: A
A move fans most fans ignored, he has been really good when healthy, and has exceeded even the loftiest expectations with his solid defensive play, puck moving skills and impressive point production. Stanton has 15 points, third best among Canucks defencemen despite missing 15 games due to injury.
Chris Tanev: A
Tanev has grown a lot this year, emerging as shutdown defencemen alongside Dan Hamhuis. He is playing against the top players on each team, and during this time has shown tremendous confidence. Arguably the most improved player on the Canucks.
Yannick Weber: C+
Was brought in as a depth defencemen, but has also spent time as a 4th line winger early on this season.
David Booth: C
In January he has really started to pick things up with his play. He has been fighting for the puck, hitting hard and getting in on the forecheck. His hustle has been impressive. However, he has only 2 points in his last 17 games and is on pace for a measly 19 points on the season.
Alex Burrows: D
Zero Goals. That’s all I say…
Zac Dalpe: C+
He can’t really be blamed for much, he has done a decent job as 4th line centre.
Jannik Hansen: C
He has a very disappointing 14 points, albeit 9 of them are goals. At this pace he is on track to have his worst point production of his career.
Chris Higgins: B+
One of the few Canuck forwards who has excelled in his role as a second line forward. He is on pace for a solid 22 goals and one of his best seasons statistically. He has been a steady and consistent contributor offensively, while remaining responsible defensively.
Zack Kassian: C+
Although he wasn’t given much of an opportunity to excel in a top six role until necessitated by injuries, his season still had to be considered a disappointment until recently. He appears to be unleashing some of his potential, getting in the dirty areas and becoming more consistent. While most of the team struggled in January, he had his best month statistically (7 points in 15 games).
Ryan Kesler: B+
Kesler has been one of the few Canucks forwards to consistently find the back of the net, and could crack 30 goals this year (he has 20 goals in 60 games currently). He has been arguably the Canucks’ best forward on the PK and is the best face-off man on the team. The idea that he will be able to return to his 40+ goal form of 2010-11 is probably a pipe dream, but he is still an excellent all-around player.
Brad Richardson: B
Richardson has done his job in the supporting cast with 17 points, has been a nice versatile player that has effectively filled out the bottom 6. He is also a key member of the Canucks’ impressive penalty kill, playing more time on the PK than any other forward not named Ryan Kesler.
Mike Santorelli: A-
A shame that Santorelli is done for the year, suffering a season ending injury on January 16. He was a key member of the Canucks top 6 forward group and really stepped up beyond the expectations of anybody. His speed and versatility will be missed. He will finish the year with 28 points in 49 games.
Jordan Schroeder: Incomplete
Schroeder has only played 10 games so far, as he has been recovering from injury. He needs to carve his niche on this team. His defensive responsibility should allow for him to get good amounts of ice time, especially with all the injuries. To become an everyday NHL player, he will need to prove that he can become a better offensive player, something he was billed as when he was drafted in 2009.
Daniel Sedin: C
One of the biggest disappointments this year, the bottom line is he hasn’t been scoring. Currently he is pointless in his last 8 and is on pace for only 18 goals. The real failure of the Sedins this season has been the power play. Once the bread and butter for the twins, they now lead the 28th best power play in the NHL. This breakaway really sums up his year:
Henrik Sedin: C+
Henrik has been battling injury of late and has played better than his brother Daniel, but again he needs to start producing. The Sedins cycle doesn’t seem to be as effective as it once was, and consequently the twins haven’t had the sustained pressure we are used to seeing.
Tom Sestito: B
He was named the Canucks’ Third Star of the month for January and has become a bigger part of the team than most people would have predicted. He has played a career high in games and has a career high 5 goals so far. He has even spent some time on the Canucks third line at times and even had a look as a net-front presence on the power play.
Roberto Luongo: B+
He has been really solid with a 2.36 GAA, and a .918 SV%. People doubted that he would play well after the Luongo/Schneider controversy, but he has silenced those critics. His record of 19-15-6 will improve if the team starts producing offensively.
Eddie Lack: A
Though his 8-8-3 record doesn’t show it, Eddie has been nothing short of stellar. His 2.22 GAA and .922 Save % really is something to be proud of. There isn’t a goaltending controversy by any means, but he has surpassed the expectations of just about everyone this season. He is having an excellent rookie year as Luongo’s backup.
The Canucks have largely under-performed so far, but all is not lost. The team should get healthier during the Olympic break and make a strong push for the playoffs. Ultimately, in order for the team to improve the Canucks’ offensive stars will need to start producing, particularly on the power play.