Who’s over/under rated?
In 2012-13, the Vancouver Canucks won the same amount of playoff games as the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets – zero.
But that doesn’t mean the Canucks are a horrible team. They’ve been a strong regular season team for years — just look at all those Northwest Division banners hanging proudly from the rafters of Rogers Arena.
The thing is this: Good regular seasons don’t necessarily equate to a playoff juggernaut. Sometimes it’s hard to judge just how good the Canucks are after beating up on the Colorados, Calgarys and Edmontons of the world in the NW. Look no further than the last two years of early exits.
It’s also the value of players, not just teams that can get out of wack with an easy schedule and disappearances in the postseason. Here’s my take on how out of wack some of those values are:
Ever since his epic playoff performance against the Preds in 2011, he just hasn’t looked the same. Whether it’s injuries or a lack of quality linemates, Ryan Kesler has failed to elevate his game since carrying the Canucks on his back in 2011.
The scary thing is that who knows if he will ever return to that form. He’ll be 29 in a month, but his body is probably closer to 39.
Kesler had a horrible 2011-12 regular season and was a ghost in the playoffs. The Canucks need more from him based on the amount he’s making.
Here’s another guy who can’t stay healthy and hasn’t been the same since the cup run. Daniel Sedin hasn’t scored a playoff goal in two years, and the scary secret is, unlike Henrik, he can’t seem to produce without his brother.
For the amount of ice time and power play time he gets, Sedin needs to put up bigger numbers.
Kevin Bieksa is a guy who I think Vigneault overplayed to the point of exhaustion. He’s really only a number defenseman at best and sports just a terrible salary.
It makes no sense why he’s on the PP when a guy like Garrison is sitting and he always seems to take penalties at awful times. I like his aggression, but he gets too much ice time and responsibility for the amount of talent he has.
Zack Kassian seemed to suffer under AV and was never really given a specific role. He’s still only 22 and has shown flashes of brilliance in very short spurts.
At the very least, he’s big and will play a physical brand of hockey — they just need to give him a chance. It’s worth seeing what he can develop into.
Sure, he may have some of the worst hands in the NHL, but he does almost everything else right. He’s a smart player, strong defensively and can add some grit when needed.
Jannik Hansen is the perfect third/second line guy, and if he ever learns how to shoot, he could be deadly. Excellent cap hit too.
Like Hansen, Dan Hamhuis does all the little things on the ice and allows his partners to regularly make mistakes and be out of position (see Edler, Alex).
Just like all of the Canucks’ d-men, Hamhuis is slotted in a role where he’s asked to do more than he should do, but never looks out of place on the ice.
Positionally, he’s sound and he never takes dumb penalties. What you see is what you get, and Hamhuis is a guy who would play on any team’s top four.