Abs Of Steel
It’s not easy watching another team march on towards the Stanley Cup after defeating the Vancouver Canucks.
If Chris Higgins has come to be known by one thing among Canucks fans, it is surely his amazing abs. The desire of women while they watch, and the envy of men while they bury their beers, Higgins has become a key to Vancouver’s success as one of the core players able to fit anywhere in the lineup.
Unlike Higgins’ stomach, his hands may not be first line material, but the 29 year old has found ways to contribute consistently for the Canucks in a number of different situations, no matter the linemates.
He’s a Friggin’ Steal
The NHL is a bang-for-your-buck league, and at $1.9 million per season signed through 2012/13 Chris Higgins is an efficient contract to carry. At 29 years old Higgins has hit the prime of his career, and will only continue to develop as a player alongside top-end talent like the current group in Vancouver.
While Higgins will be in for a raise following the end of next season, there is a chance GM Mike Gillis could extend the essential forward before the open market threatens to inflate his new deal.
Part of what makes Higgins such an integral piece to a tightly run team like the Canucks is his ability to play alongside different players, under different protocol, in any number of situations during a game.
Alain Vigneault elected to use Higgins as a checker for the majority of the season, leaving him to play against top competition throughout the year.
Samuel Pahlsson was the only forward to face tougher opposition during the 2011/12 season according to plus/minus. Visual learners can check out PITB’s breakdown of Vancouver’s player usage chart from the past season to get a handle on Higgins’ pivotal role.
Despite being deployed in difficult situations under Alain Vigneault, Higgins managed 18 goals and 25 assists through 71 games with the Canucks this season, his second highest season total.
Higgins has only ever reached the 50-point plateau once during his career, but has continued to develop his offensive game while playing in a variety of situations for the Canucks.
Higgins could reach higher point totals still if he wasn’t consistently played in poor situations, relegated to a checking game behind the high-scoring Sedin twins.
Along with his epic abs, Chris Higgins has a playoff beard to be feared by most men. Higgins’ facial hair during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs was as beastly as his on-ice performances, where he thrived as a key piece to the playoff puzzle.
After proving himself as a gritty and dynamic player, Higgins and the Canucks must strive towards further playoff facial hair in 2012/13.