With Zack Kassian earning a regular spot alongside the Sedins, Canucks fans need to find something else to get upset about. Well, it looks like Ronalds Kenins has become the new poster child of ‘why isn’t he in the lineup?’
I think my tweet from earlier this week sums it up perfectly:
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) March 9, 2015
All joking and hyperbole aside, the recent scratching of Kenins is a head-scratcher. For the last few years, the Canucks 4th line has been a void where offence goes to die. However when the 4th line of Ronalds Kenins, Bo Horvat and Jannik Hansen was created, something magical happened.
— James Lepp (@jameslepp) March 10, 2015
You’ll notice that Kenins is 1st on the team in PTS/60 minutes of ice time, Horvat is 7th, and Hansen is 10th. Although they will be unlikely to continue this pace, it is refreshing to see that the 4th line can contribute. Also, Kenins helping to launch Horvat’s hot streak cannot be overlooked. Since Kenins has been recalled from Utica, Horvat has been on fire and looks to have found the confidence and consistency that he needs to be effective in the NHL.
The offence from Kenins is an unexpected surprise, but his work ethic and competitiveness is the reason why he needs to stay in the lineup. He currently has 36 hits in 16 games, which would put him on pace for 185 hits during a full season. That would be first on a team that is desperately seeking that sandpaper and grit.
He has the wheels to keep up with anyone in the league, and he shoots the puck regularly. For argument’s sake, McMillan has 49 shots in 56 games, while Kenins has 21 shots in 16 games. I honestly can’t think of anything else you can ask for from your 4th line wingers.
So please Canucks, listen to your fans pleas and get Kenins back into the lineup. He is the 4th line hero we all want and deserve.
Feaure Image: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press