While team power rankings are usual fare for the hockey reading world, they tend to let players off the hook too easily. Did your favorite team go on a five game losing streak? The team takes a nose dive in the power rankings.
Well what about the players themselves? Don’t they deserve just as much over the top ridicule and judgement? Of course they do.
Using an assortment of horoscopes from a 1998 copy of the Vancouver Sun I found at work, the gut instincts of my co-worker Andrew, and what I can only assume are the top notch algorithms of Tinder, I have compiled a completely scientific power ranking of all the Canucks.
So remember, if you disagree with ANYTHING on this list, you simply hate science and progress, no biggie.
1. Radim “The Dream” Vrbata
In a situation Anson Carter can only reflect upon and ask “Why was I so stupid, so incredibly incredibly stupid”, Radim has separated himself from the shadow of the Sedins and vaulted over them into an All-Star invitation and the top spot on the Power Rankings.
Sure, the argument can always be made that Henrik is what really fueled Radim’s All-Star nod, but the counter argument to that is showing clips of his goal against Ottawa and screaming “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.”
2. Henrik “The Famous Twin” Sedin
Henrik is having himself another dependable, solid year. On top of that, he has even learned to shoot the puck into empty nets! He got two in one game this year, no lie. In years past he would have started shaking uncontrollably at the sight of an empty net and begun screaming in a rare snake dialect, but that is no longer the case!
Henrik also has a ridiculously long unbeaten streak on ceremonial faceoffs on home ice, which puts him firmly in the two spot.
3. Daniel “Not Henrik” Sedin
Daniel was almost fourth on this list, but there is a rule that no Sedin can be separated by another player, so legally he has to come in at number three. That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve it, as he currently leads the team in points, but much like trying to open the fridge quick enough to see if the light ever goes off, sometimes you just want to see if it can be done.
4. Alex “Green Jacket” Edler
Still recovering from the beatings he’s taken as the teams whipping boy over the last few seasons, Alex Edler has had a strong half to start the season. Although looking at his point total of 14 for too long might make one weep tiny tears of offensively inept sadness, that total actually makes him the highest scoring defenceman on the team.
Offense aside, however, Edler has been a bright spot on the back end, some games looking like the only person who understands how defence works. “No Kevin, you want the puck away from your net. AWAY.”
5. Chris “Greasy Lightning” Tanev
The Robin to Edler’s Batman (assuming Robin let his hair grow out and get really greasy), Tanev has once again assumed his role of the sturdy defenceman you never notice during games, as opposed to the defencemen you wonder how many shots it will take to kill him.
One of the finer things in life is to watch Tanev make the right choice on a play 9 times out of 10. Puck in the corner? Tanev finds an outlet. Puck in the crease? Tans gets it out of there. He has been the perfect compliment to Alex Edler. Is it exciting? No, but it’s good hockey.
6. Jannik “Duke of Honey Badgers” Hansen
This list isn’t always about points, sometimes it’s about a guy just doing their job properly, and Jannik Hansen has certainly done that. At times a lightning rod of criticism, Hansen has been one of the few Canucks this year to showcase actual top end NHL speed, blowing people away with his ability to reach actual double digits in miles per hour.
Sometimes he even skates the puck towards the net instead of the preferred Canucks method of skating into the offensive zone and looping back, waiting for everyone to catch up, then shooting the puck wide and around the boards and out.
It’s the little things, sometimes.
7. Ryan “Mr. Sunshine” Miller
Although he is currently mired in a dispute from the save percentage special interest groups, Miller has played some of his best hockey this season ever since he discovered the secret to his success: rest. Yes, apparently not grinding yourself into the ground is beneficial to your career. Who knew?
That being said, Miller has been sick the last few games and hasn’t had a chance to show if that hot streak is a long one or a short one. He’s probably doing the right thing by faking an illness to avoid having to play behind a team that has managed two goals in its last three games, and that foresight alone puts him at number 7. Veteran move on his part.
8. Alex “Andre” Burrows
Burrows days of scoring close to 30 goals a season are probably behind him, but he has bounced back after having one of the worst years of his career last year. He has been used all over the ice this season, on different lines and different roles, and has still managed to put up 17 points.
He also he spells his name “Alexandre” which looks super fancy compared to boring old “Alexander”, so that has to be worth something.
9. Brad “The Rapscallion” Richardson
It’s not just the fact Richardson sits surprisingly fifth in team scoring that has him firmly in the top ten, it’s the fact that he has also probably has the best flow on the team. It feels like Richardson purposely loses his helmet in scrums just so he can flick his wet hair back as if he’s in some super weird hockey shampoo commercial.
There’s also the fact that he seems really annoying to play against, which is nice for a team that often times looks like it’s on the verge of trying to hug things out with the other team instead of trying to score.
10. Derek “Da Dynamite” Dorsett
If you take a moment and glance away from the game for a second, and look up only to see a bunch of people fighting in a scrum, odds are Dorsett is in the middle of it. It doesn’t matter when, it doesn’t matter where, Dorsett does not give a crap. He wants to let the other team know he does not care for them.
For a team that lacked a fourth line identity for years (no disrespect to all the Tanner Glass fans out there) it’s nice to have someone who plays with a Raffi Torres like edge, minus the homicidal hits.
OK, looking at that picture, maybe homicidal hits aren’t out of the question.
11. Eddie “Superteam” Lack
Eddie has had his shares of ups and downs the last couple of seasons, going from third stringer, to back up, to starter, then down again to back up, but he’s managed to keep his smile the entire time. He’s played well for the most part (he has had terrible goal support) and he once ate souvlaki with me, so I don’t know what more you need for proof he should be at 11.
12. Shawn “Mini Bert” Matthias
At times, Matthias can play like Todd Bertuzzi, bullying his way to the net, and holding people off with one arm (he just doesn’t have the sweet sweet hands of ol’ Uncle Todd.). He also has some weird werewolf like curse that makes him grow 100 times stronger on the penalty kill (Seriously, watch him penalty kill, he starts skating faster and grows like five inches).
Although the team seems like it has three third lines most of the time, Matthias has managed to stand out for the moments where goes “Half Bertuzzi” and starts crashing and banging. He also makes sure to never go “Full Bertuzzi”. Never go “Full Bertuzzi.”
13. Nick “Milk Carton” Bonino
Bonino started off the season incredibly hot, sniping goals left and right. He rode that hot start to fourth in team scoring, but you would be hard pressed to notice him in any of the games recently.
Sometimes you see a guy looking kind of bummed out in the corner, so I assume that’s him, but I’m never really sure.
14. Frankie “The Dr. of Dirty Dangles” Corrado
Frankie comes in red hot at number 14 mostly because he hasn’t had time to have the teams recent play crush his soul into a fine dust and spread out over pasta like some macabre Parmesan cheese.
15. Yannick “No not that” Weber
Although Weber has been pulled in favor of Corrado the last couple of games, he has put up a solid effort in the games he has played in. He’s most likely never going to rise above the role of a bubble NHL defenceman, but he is dating Carey Price’s sister, which must make for amusing in game trash talk between the two. Or overly polite, stilted conversation between the two. Either way, he’s number 15! SCIENCE!
16. Bo “Jack” Horvat
Bo Horvat made the team due to the fact he could win faceoffs better than anyone else on the team. He has since seen his faceoff percentage slowly drop, but he’s still on the team because at this point, somebody has to be the butt of all the rookie hazing.
He hasn’t done anything particularly well as of late, and rarely shows up on the score sheet, but he’s a rookie stuck in “Not allowed in the AHL” country, so a Canuck he remains.
17. Zack “Smoke and Mirrors” Kassian
Zack has turned to Marshawn Lynch for inspiration as he has taken to giving one word answers in media scrums, or passively aggressively talking about “making people happy.” He’s about five minutes away from telling you to go out and enjoy your night. No no, he’s fine staying at home while you see YOUR friends. You have a GREAT time while you’re out, don’t even think about Zack for another second.
To Kassian’s credit, he has been playing a more physical game as of late, but unfortunately he doesn’t get a ton of ice time and has seen his season marred by a finger injury.
18 Linden “Trevor” Vey
Linden Vey has the skills of a young Wellwood, but alas, that doesn’t carry you far in the NHL. Although you can see he has great vision, and has quick hands, the fact he’s 5″11 (though let’s be real, he looks 5″8) holds him back against the big boys of the NHL when he gets stapled to the boards repeatedly.
Is he destined to be the next Darren Haydar? Time will tell. At the very least his name should get him some sweet restaurant reservations in Vancouver.
“I’m Mr. Linden with the Canucks, yes.”
19. Gatorade Bottle
Say what you want about Gatorade Bottle but it shows up every single day, ready to hydrate at a moment’s notice. Most consistent Canuck on the season by far.
20. Chris “Microwaves Fish” Higgins
Chris is so low on the list due to the fact he seems impervious to being dropped from the 2nd line despite disappearing for long stretches of time. Is he out buying a sandwich? You laugh, but once I saw a guy who looked suspiciously like Chris Higgins during the third period of a Canucks game at a Subway.
The Higgins and Bonino anchor should probably be looked at by Coach Willie D.
21. Luca “Pizza” Sbisa
Prone to making glaring mistakes, it feels at times that Sbisa will never lose his spot on the team due to being involved in the Ryan Kesler trade. He has yet to prove he has what it takes to be a top four d-man and the Bieksa/Sbisa pairing has produced some of the most terrifying moments of the season to date.
Still, he’s young, and players do need time to adjust to a new team. It’s just some of his turnovers have been so ugly it was only fair he get the 21st spot on this list.
Give him credit for the suave look he’s giving you right now, though.
22. Dan “Smiles McGee” Hamhuis
Dan has not hurt the team in any way recently and he also looks like he could help you build that cabinet you’ve been putting off for months.
That puts him ahead of…
23. Kevin “DIVE, DIVE FOR THE PUCK” Bieksa
Not to pile on Kevin Bieksa, who is no stranger to feeling the heat from Canucks fans, but he has not had a good stretch of hockey recently. Known as “Casual Kevin” at times, Bieksa has been unfairly been criticized for his style of play in the past. Today is not one of those days. He has fully earned the verbal grenades tossed his way.
The main reason for his spot on this list? He has taken up a strange new habit, which when added to his random bouts of “god awful pinching”, have made him a gong show. His new habit? Diving at the puck for no reason.
Forward going to the net? Diving poke check.
Two on one? Diving poke check.
Making a line change? Diving poke check.
It’s as maddening to watch as it is confusing, making Kevin the worthy winner of the bottom of the rankings. It’s not that we’re mad at Bieksa, we’re just disappointed in him.