Top Canucks April 7th to 14th
Last week started off well for the Vancouver Canucks, but was spoiled by a very disappointing loss to the Colorado Avalanche, the Western Conference’s worst team. The team showed that ‘play to the level of the competition’ mentality, which is never good when you face an inferior team.
There were glimmers of hope again last week as to how the Canucks could play heading into the postseason. At times they seemed in total control of the game pace and style, which is how the C’s can make a legitimate run for the Cup.
Solid contributions from all four lines have been common lately, which is another promising factor heading towards the playoffs.
Here’s a recap of the top performers from the Canucks in last week’s action.
Third star – Henrik Sedin
Captain Henrik Sedin is typically on this list, and for good reasons. He’s almost always leading the team in points scored, and he is the captain. Along with his brother, he displays great passing and play making skills, which sometimes are simply not utilized by the third forward on the twins’ line.
It’s always been a challenge in recent years to try to pair somebody with the Sedins that could really complement them and help the team score more. This past week Hank was up to his old tricks, registering three pretty assists in three games.
Second star – Dan Hamhuis
Here’s a guy who is never on this list. Dan Hamhuis has stepped up lately–basically out of nowhere–to help the team both defensively and on offense. The Smithers, BC native is rarely a staple in discussion. However, he has been standing out as of late. Hamhuis tallied two assists and a goal last week. Not staggering numbers, but very high for the defenseman’s typical output.
I certainly like Hamhuis as a player, but always worried about his inconsistencies. Let’s keep an eye out and see if he is ready to step up to becoming an elite player in the league and smooth out Vancouver’s shaky defensive problems.
First star – Ryan Kesler
You knew this was coming. Ryan Kesler has been amazing since his recent return from injury. I was worried he would play ‘soft’ in his first few weeks getting back into the swing of things. But that has certainly not been the case.
Kes has been contributing beyond expectations for the club, and it couldn’t be at a better time. Kesler notched a goal to accompany three helpers last week. Hopefully his hot play continues, and more importantly, he stays healthy heading into postseason play. I’m not the biggest Kesler fan, but his talent is undeniable, and he can bring so much to this team moving forward. Keep up the good work Ryan!
The loss to the Avs was a bitter way to end a week, but the Canucks seem to be slowly gaining some momentum as the season winds down. I have no idea how this year’s playoffs will pan out, but that’s part of the excitement. I know I will be watching closely with fingers crossed as soon as Lord Stanley’s playoffs begin.
Here is the Vancouver Canucks goal of the week, a beautiful bat out of the air move by Mason Raymond: