Growing up, one of the best parts of watching the game, sometimes even more so than the game itself, wasn’t always Don Cherry’s suit, but rather trying to figure out which three players were going to be honored with the post-game skate after being nominated one of the “3 Stars” of the night.
Starting today, we are going to take a look at the Vancouver Canucks‘ “3 Stars” after every ten games.
These three players may or may not be the stat leaders, but equally, they will have as much impact on the team’s success over the 10-game period (ok, there will be 12 games for the last piece, just for mathematical purposes).
First 10 Games (5-4-1 record)
Over the course of the first 10 games, the Canucks have played pretty much every and any style possible. They have been stomped twice by the San Jose Sharks, they blew out two of the worst teams in the league and they took a Stanley Cup favorite to the shootout.
The other five games have basically been on par with where many feel the Canucks will play at this season.
1st STAR – Jason Garrison (2 goals, 7 assists)
Only 10 games in and Garrison has nearly matched his total output from last season (16 points, 47 games). So what is the big difference?
This season, Torts has the White Rock, BC native playing with the first unit and at the point with the power play unit. Right now, Garrison is on pace for nearly a point-per-game season. Will that last? Probably not, but there is a good chance that if everything continues to stay aligned properly, a 15-20 goal and 30-35 assist season is not out of the question.
Garrison started the season with at least a point in four straight games and has also tallied a three-game point streak.
2nd STAR – Roberto Luongo (4 wins, 3 losses, 1 OTL, 1 Shutout)
Bobby Lu has been all over the map to start the season. After getting hammered by the Sharks in the season opener, Luongo bounced back with a pair of victories, including one over former teammate Cory Schneider.
To be fair to Vancouver’s number one netminder, not all of the losses are his fault, as the Canucks’ offense struggled to find the net in both games against San Jose and a home loss to the Montreal Canadians. A few less of these and Luongo may find himself as the 1st star.
3rd STAR – Mike Santorelli (4 goals, 2 assists)
In 10 games this season, Santorelli has notched two more points than he had in 34 games in 2012. After bouncing around with four different teams since 2008, Santorelli has bounced around the Canucks’ lineup, playing with nearly every line mate possible.
Another home town boy, two of Santorelli’s goals have been game winners for Vancouver (vs. Calgary and New Jersey).
Is it possible that the sixth-year centre will match his career high of 41 points (Florida 2010-11)? Well, he is currently on pace for 48, but chances are Coach John Tortorella will be happy with 35-40 from his favorite “plug and play” player.