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.
Over the last ten games the Vancouver Canucks have found themselves battling to climb the Western Conference ladder, battling the LA Kings, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues for the eighth playoff seed.
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).
Canucks Second 10 (6-3-1)
1ST Star: Ryan Kesler (6 goals, 4 assists)
OK, to be totally honest, how many Canucks fans had RK17 on the injured list by this point in the season?
Kesler did have his struggles earlier this season, going scoreless in four straight games and contributing to the score sheet in only two of the first nine games, but since that time, an opportunity to play on the top line has increased his production.
In the first three of the last ten games, Kesler charted multi point games as the Canucks closed out their seven game road trip with a trio of victories.
Although his production has slowed slightly since their ten days away from home, Kesler has taken over the goal scoring lead from Daniel Sedin and is once again a nightly threat for Coach Torts.
2ND Star(s): Daniel Sedin (5 goals, 4 assists) / Henrik Sedin (1 goal, 7 assists)
You could possibly flip #22 with #33, but Danny gets the nod on this time around with one more point than Hank.
Credited with two game winners (Washington and Toronto), Sedin (actually both of them) had a seven game point streak, before (both of them) going cold in the previous three outings.
Coincidentally enough, the lack of contribution from the twins may be related to the Canucks 1-2 record during that time.
Chances are slim that the pointless streak for one if not both of the twins will come to a halt, probably in the same game.
3RD Star: Chris Higgins (4 goals, 2 assists)
At times, Higgins has seen action on the top line with Henrik and Kesler, when Torts decided to split the twins up, a move that was fairly successful.
After a disappointing season last year, a revitalized Higgins will pay dividends for the Canucks success.