Canucks Power Rankings – Top 20 Week 3

Oct 25, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler (17) is congratulated by Henrik Sedin (33) after scoring the game-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues during the overtime period at Scottrade Center. The Canucks defeat the Blues 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Canucks now find themselves in a tie for the division lead, albeit with San Jose and the rest of the Pacific possessing a few games in hand.  Considering what the team was able to pull off, a 5-1-1 record, with three key players injured and all on the road, the team has reason for optimism.  The main question is, can the team sustain this level of play while straining the Sedins and Kesler to the tune of 26 minutes per game?  One thing is certain, without those three players, the Canucks would be mired in a slump this week.

 C Henrik Sedin —  This Week: 1   Last Week: 1

Logging staggering minutes and playing in all situations, the Canucks captain looks as good as any NHL player right now.  Still leads the league in assists and is second to Sydney Crosby in points.  +4 in three games, with 4 points, all wins.  Competing like a viking.

bieksa, kevin

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

D Kevin Bieksa —  This Week: 2     Last Week: 2

Bieksa is still doing all the little things right.  Was brilliant on Long Island setting up a goal, basically scoring the winner, and ending +3 on an night when the opposition scored 5 goals.  Now leading the league in that category. Solid.

kesler, ryanC/W Ryan Kesler — This week 3 ↑ Last Week: 11

What hasn’t this man done this week?  He’s logged top-tier minutes, won over 60% of his faceoffs, scored 4 goals and assisted on two others in 3 games, vaulting him to a total of 7 goals on the season (good for third in the NHL), while amassing an Ovechkin-like number of shots on goal and shutting down opposing team’s best players.  He scored the game winner in a game that was slipping away in St. Louis to cap a milestone Canucks’ road trip.  Kes is beasting.

Sedin, Daniel

Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

W Daniel Sedin — This Week: 4 ↑  Last Week: 5

Steadily but surely, Daniel Sedin is showing signs of dominating 0nce again.  Playing with supreme confidence and using his body more this season, the (dare I say) gritty Swede is delivering some punishing hits and now leads the team in PIM’s, of all things.  Fans should be liking what they’re seeing out of Danny this year.  Better dig deep into those pockets, Aquilini. A solid 4 points in 3 games and logging huge ice-time while regulars Hansen, Booth, Schroeder and Burrows are injured.

Oct 24, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Mike Santorelli (25) scores the game winning goal on New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) during the overtime shootout at the Prudential Center. The Canucks defeated the Devils 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

C Mike Santorelli — This Week: 5 ↓  Last Week: 4

As the saying goes, your best players have to be your best players and this week’s top ten players reflect the core, and the team’s wins.  That is a compliment to Mike Santorelli who is quickly becoming a fan favourite for his responsible play and his  ability to help the Canucks win  some (gasp!) shootout games.  Still hovering around 60% faceoff winning percentage and directly involved in “skate-away” plays to secure wins against New Jersey and New York.

 

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

G Roberto Luongo — This Week: 6 ↑  Last Week: 7

If Luongo can batten down the hatches in the first periods of games, where he has given up 5 goals out of 11 on this road trip, he’ll get on a serious roll.  He was good, especially in shootouts.

 

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

W Chris Higgins — This Week:  7 ↑  Last Week: 10

Higgins continued his road success of late, firing 10 shots on goal in three games, scoring two goals and generally being one of the Canucks’ most effective forwards.  Finally getting some bounces.  He’s been useful as a faceoff man when his centre gets waived and excellent in Tortorella’s puck pursuit system.

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

 D  Jason Garrison — This Week: 8 ↓  Last Week: 3

Either because teams are closing him out more often and quicker, or because he’s had a measure of reluctance of late, Garrison hasn’t been shooting the puck as much as early in the season.  With the Canuck power play beginning to lag behind the other teams in the league, the White Rock native is going to have to find more ways to get into space.  Defensively he was good, but not spectacular.  Like a lot of the core unit, Garrison is logging some big minutes.

 

 Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

D Chris Tanev — This Week: 9  ↓ Last Week: 6

Is still very eager to block shots but must work on his timing.  Had one bounce off his chest and past Luongo in New Jersey.  Is still among league leaders in that category, and is moving the puck fluidly out of his zone.  As he continues to grow, he will be one of the Canucks’ top blue-liners.  Hopefully there’s money for his contract, once again, up at the end of the season.  2 assists on Long Island was a nice plus.

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

  C Brad Richardson — This Week:  10  ↓  Last Week: 8

Richardson has proved his worth in no small amount during the last 3 games.  Averaging a near 20 minutes per contest, the gritty and speedy third line centre is still a top player for killing penalties and chipping in the odd goal here and there.  Steady and reliable at the 3-spot, I don’t know where this team would be without him.

Lack, Eddie

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

 

 G Eddie Lack — This Week: 11 ↑  Last Week:  15

Make no mistake, the Canucks snuck out of St. Louis with a win because of this young Swede’s performance.  With some serious health concerns related to Rangers’ goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, could Vancouver  be looking at possessing Canada’s number one and Sweden’s ‘nummer ett’ netminders for Sochi?

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

  D Alex Edler — This Week: 12  ↓  Last Week:  9

He is still proving his value, as he and Bieksa seem to be Tortorella’s go-to defensemen, but his game hasn’t been that enterprising this week, hence the drop.  He needs  more aggression and “firmness” on the back-end, and drive to the net more often on offense.  Huge minute guy  and plays in every situation.

Oct 15, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing Tye McGinn (15) shoots the puck past Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis (2) and goalie Roberto Luongo (1) for a goal during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Hamhuis, Dan  D Dan Hamhuis — This Week:  13 ↔  Last Week: 13

Hamhuis might still be feeling the shame of the Montreal game when he banged home two own-goals, or he’s taking a bit of time to adjust to Tortorella’s system.  His shot-blocking was never really a strength, but his skating, timing and angling always has been.  Of late, Hammer has been slowly rounding into form.

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

W Zack Kassian — This Week: 14 ↔  Last Week: 14

Probably the quote of the season emerged from the Kassinator’s mouth when he called Jaromir Jagr, the Jaromir Jagr, “a {expletive} goof” caught masterfully by this uploader’s video.  Anyway, the unpredictable Kassian had a couple decent chances and a pointless scuffle with the behemoth, Chris Stewart when his team was already up 2 goals.  Still worrying most Canucks’ fans for his inconsistency.

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

 W Tom Sestito — This Week: 15 ↑  Last Week:  17

Sestito has seen his shift time triple since the injuries to Weise, Hansen, and now David Booth.  He was not able to improve on his 3 shots for the season total, but he also didn’t get scored on while scoring a draw in a fight.  Essentially, Sestito gets points for not allowing anything bad to happen.  Sestito play.  Sestito do good.

 

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

C Jeremy Welsh — This Week: 16 ↑  Last Week:  -

Hey, now if you watch carefully you’ll see a guy who takes a regular shift on a line with Tom Sestito and Dale Weise, controls faceoffs, is good along the boards, gets the puck safely out of his own end, generally plays a safe game, and does so with a grin because he knows that this might be his only chance to play in the NHL.  Gotta like the underdogs.

Oct 22, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; Vancouver Canucks right wing Jannik Hansen (36) is pushed (and severely injured) after taking a shot by New York Islanders defenseman Brian Strait (37) in front  of New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) during the first period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Now how is this not a penalty? Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

 

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

W Jannik Hansen — This Week: 18 ↓  Last Week:  16

Jannik had a helper and was on his way to a mini-breakout game until Islanders defensman, Brian Strait, sent him crashing into the boards, likely separating Hansen’s shoulder (takes one to know one).  Too bad, because the Dane was really moving well prior to the injury.  Now the Canucks will likely have to wait until December at the earliest to see if Hansen can find his form.

 

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY

W Dale Weise — This Week: 19 ↑  Last Week:  -

Weise had a nice game on Long Island and picked up a leg injury in New Jersey, the same day as David Booth’s injury, leaving the Canucks without a fourth line.  He’s been a solid contributor in the physical sense, and remains a legendary goal-scorer… in Holland’s Ice Hockey league.

 

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

W  Alex Burrows — This Week:  20 ↓  Last Week:  18

Even if Burrows didn’t play a game during the entire road trip, I’m pretty sure having him along kept the guys loose during the downtime.  Hopefully when Washington comes to town, Burrows is ready to go.  The tired Canucks need him now more than ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: NHL, Power Rankings, Vancouver Canucks

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