Which Canucks need to step up?
Six games and two weeks into the 2013-14 season and the Vancouver Canucks look… well, pretty average.
They’ve beaten the teams they’re supposed to beat, looked good against Edmonton, horrible against San Jose, played one period and won against Calgary and had a weird game against the Habs.
It’s not all bad. Henrik and Daniel Sedin are off to a great start, Jason Garrison seems re-invigorated and is shooting more than a security guard in a gated community and Mike Santorelli and John Tortorella have become BFF’s.
I also like the much more aggressive fore check that Torts has been using and the fact that the team doesn’t sit on leads.
Here are a few Canucks that have been sorely underachieving early into this season:
For a second line centre who gets as much ice time as Ryan Kesler does to have one point in six games is pathetic.
All the noise that Kesler was talking about before the season about how he’s healthy and ready for a big year has proven to be nothing but a whole lot of hot air so far. He’s also a team worst -5 and has taken some pretty stupid penalties.
Bottom line, this guy needs to produce and he hasn’t done much yet.
I know everyone seems to be jumping on the guy behind one of the worst own goals in NHL history but he just hasn’t looked the same this year. At least he can now make plans to not be in Sochi in February (not that he had much of a chance to be on the team to begin with).
Dan Hamhuis just seems lost out there, plays that he always made look easy look painfully difficult.
He’s a pretty bad -4 and flat out looks like he’s lost a step. He’s been such a solid player for the Canucks since he’s arrived that it’s puzzling to see him struggle so much – could it be a Torts thing?
Like Kesler, Chris Higgins hasn’t done enough with the ice time he’s been given. He’s certainly not playing like a second line player and defensively I haven’t liked the effort.
Personally, I feel this drop off could be a contract thing. Higgins is now comfortable in Vancouver after that questionable four year deal for a guy who isn’t anything more than average.
I don’t think he and Kesler work all that well together and some time on the third or fourth line might wake Higgins up.
He hasn’t been bad but he’s still being outplayed almost every game. Aside from the Edmonton game, Roberto Luongo has been the second best goalie on the ice in every Canucks game and for a guy who was supposedly focused and ready that’s not a good sign.
When was the last time Luongo stole a game for the Canucks? 2008?
Again, he’s not the sole reason the Canucks aren’t winning (they need to score more goals) but he hasn’t been the franchise goalie that he’s paid like and hasn’t been a difference maker.
We’ll soon find out if these players can bump their respective slumps.