And the award goes to…
There’s probably no disagreeing that the Canucks team awards are a lot nazzyer, or snazzier, than the trophies Juno winners get. However, it’s almost certain the fan choices for these awards differ from one section of Rogers Arena to the next.
Let us appease the devil and be his advocate here.
Who should have really taken home Canuck bronze Thursday night?
Most Valuable Player: Center Henrik Sedin
Real Winner: Goaltender Cory Schneider
This is easily the most difficult selection to argue with but it’s Cory Schneider’s start that brings him down a notch in my books. With a 5-4-1 record through 10 games, it wasn’t what the Canucks were hoping for when Ginger Bricks usurped Roberto Luongo in last season’s playoffs, which by the way was a no turning back decision by Alain Vigneault.
The point was made that having Roberto around would be too much pressure for Schneids and it seemed that way indeed. Although Ginger Jesus eventually proved me wrong by taking the ball and running with it, even with Lu around, Roberto did win more than 1/3 of the Canucks games.
Mr. Henrik Sedin on the other hand has been consistent from the start. He’s only gone 16 games this season without a point and only once went three games without a point. Add on top of that a +19 rating and an extrapolated 19 goals through 47 games and we have a winner.
Henrik would have a three year high in goals, matching his Cup Final season total. Hank has been a Captain through and through and is my MVP.
Most Exciting Player: Right Wing Alex Burrows
Real Winner: Right Wing Jannik Hansen
No offense to the Danish Dynamo, but there are four other guys I would give this award to for 2013. Alex Burrows takes the cake with a team leading 13 goals and a tied for 4th 24 points through 47 games. Alex has proven this season he is Captain Clutch scoring timely goals again and again.
A +15 rating and deadly ability to cycle, set up and score with the Twins make him the most exciting player.
On a side note, how many breakaways did Jannik Hansen NOT score on this season? Answer: way too many. Perhaps when Hansen was playing in Finland during the lockout, he was bitten by the same snake that took a chunk out of Sami Salo.
Unsung Hero: Left Wing Mason Raymond
Real Winner: Right Wing Jannik Hansen
Mase hasn’t been his early season self during the last couple weeks of the regular season but when things were uncertain, he was stepping up. He was stepping up in the face of never ending trade speculation and scrutiny for falling down too much. The heat he’s taken is paralleled by few others on this team.
His extrapolated 37 points through 47 games is far from a career high but the 27 year old Cochrane, Alberta native could have easily mailed it in and blamed a lack of production on a bad back.
Clearly the guy trained hard during the extended off-season and he provided a somewhat unexpected source of points to the table.
Not to say his input went completely un-noticed but he deserves a little extra credit for bringing his a-game this season when no one saw it coming.
Top Defenceman: Dan Hamhuis
Real Winner: Dan Hamhuis
This is a pretty easy choice as consistency, composure, and capability describe Hamhuis’ performance.
Tied for 5th in team scoring with one game to go, Dan Hamhuis would be on pace for 41 points in an 82 game season, a career high.
He’s been a beacon of hope in a season where things weren’t always hopeful and looks to be someone Canucks fans and his team-mates can rely on in the playoffs.
Coach of the Year: No one
Real Winner: No one
You might think Coach Vee would win by acclamation but nay. Alain Vigneault has survived yet another season with über talent at his grasp. The players have melded and formed a working, winning team on their own despite him.
It’s about damn time management realized his presence behind the bench means next to nothing. Okay, congrats on being the winningest Coach in Canucks history.
Or should YOU be thanking your players for that Alain?
If the Canucks fail to win the Stanley Cup, he should be out the door the day after elimination.
But hey the playoffs begin really soon so glass half full right? Go Canucks Go.