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 their last ten games the Vancouver Canucks barely have a winning record at 4-3-3, but with credit given, they have put together back to back victories to close out their four game road trip.
1ST Star – Ryan Kesler (5 goals, 3 assists)
RK17 claims back to back nods as the first star, thanks in large part to his two recent back to back two goal games in New York and Carolina.
The most impressive of his eight points over the past ten games may have been his first goal against the Hurricanes.
After taking a puck off the dome and numbing the goose egg for a shift on the bench, Kesler returned to the ice to pocket a rebound off of Huricanes netminder Cam Ward to open the scoring for the Canucks.
While it wasn’t the prettiest of goals, it fits the grittiness of what Kesler has brought to the club over the course of the first thirty games this season.
With four goals in the last two games, Kesler leapfrogged over teammate Daniel Sedin for the team leading goal scorer.
2ND Star – Jason Garrison (1 goal, 7 assists)
On pace to crush his career high of 33 points, Garrison has been the offensive focal point of the Canucks blue line this season, especially with the man advantage.
The White Rock, BC native has already surpassed his point total from last season (47 games, 16 points) and has found his name on this list for the second time in three weeks.
Not bad for a player who had a fourteen game pointless streak between the games 10-30.
3RD Star – Mike Santorelli (1 goal, 6 assists)
Santorelli makes another appearance on the 3 stars list, but not just for the seven points during the ten game stretch.
Tied with Kevin Bieksa for the club lead in +/- with a +8 overall, Santorelli pulled in a positive six during the duration of this report, including a +3 in the Canucks 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
Considering he is in a contract year, Santorelli is making a strong argument towards Mike Gillis and the Canucks front office to think twice when it comes to the offseason signings.
THREE STAR TALLY:
- Ryan Kesler (1st star = 2)
- Jason Garrison (1st star = 1, 2nd star = 1)
- Mike Santorelli (3rd star = 2)
- Roberto Luongo (2nd star = 1)
- Daniel / Henrik Sedin (2nd star = 1)
- Chris Higgins (3rd star = 1)