The ‘Nucks hottest performers Feb. 4th -11th
The Vancouver Canucks continue to rise up the NHL rankings this season with solid play on many fronts. Their characteristically slow start is almost a distant memory already in this young season.
The ‘Nucks are sitting pretty in third place in the Western Conference.
A very successful week helped their cause in the standings and has the boys in blue riding a five game winning streak. The wins haven’t all been pretty and the powerplay is still struggling, but the Canucks as a team are tightening up and playing solid defense and squeezing out those tough goals in the clutch.
Here are my three stars from last week’s three wins.
Third Star – Christopher Tanev
This guy isn’t exactly a household name, and maybe he never will be. But Christopher Tanev is a tough kid who’s been in the Canucks’ system for a few years now paying his dues.
He had never scored an NHL goal leading up to February 4th’s tilt with the Oilers. But when he got the opportunity late in overtime, he buried the puck like he was a seasoned vet.
Of course it helps when the Sedins toy with the defense using seamless back and forth passing, but Tanev made no mistakes about it. His first career goal was an overtime winner over the Oilers.
Second Star – Cory Schneider
It’s been a well-documented goalie controversy in Vancouver for a while now. Last season ended with many calling for Roberto Luongo to be traded and for Cory Schneider to take the top spot in net. Well Lu is still here, and has had a surprising number of starts.
There really is no clear starter, although Schneider thought that was his role this year. Both men have been good sports about it, and that is rare in today’s professional sports world. Schneider could have easily taken Luongo’s starting nods as disrespect, but supported his teammate instead.
And once he got his chance again between the pipes he shone. Schneider started two of three games, winning both of them. The American net minder allowed only two goals in two winning efforts.
First Star – Jannik Hansen
I’ve always loved this speedy Dane. He plays hard and smart, contributing offensively without getting out of position very often. Entering last week Jannik Hansen hadn’t quite found his offensive rhythm, but heated up in a hurry.
Hansen had a goal and an assist against the Oilers, and another nice goal to put Minnesota away. If you ever watched him play you know he’s blazing fast, but in the past has had some handle issues when he comes in too hot.
Let’s hope his great week is a sign of things to come for the hard working winger.
Here is the best Canucks goal of the week, courtesy of Christopher Tanev