Just a steady week for Bieksa who continued to be the pit bull of the team. Anyone notice that no one really wants to duke it out with Juice anymore? The battle with Dustin Brown all game in Los Angeles was fun to watch, wasn’t’ it? 3 points in 4 games and only a minus 1 rating defensively despite his team being outscored 12-8 and 5-1 in L.A. where he was an even 0.
Hank has totally slumped since losing control of the puck on the shootout against Phoenix, the last game he registered a point. Byproduct of tired legs, or just a mini-slump for the Swedish Captain? Looking a little behind the play last week, and losing puck battles on the boards in L.A. rather uncharacteristically.
The Canucks leading defenseman scorer of the lockout shortened 2013 season has now started to fill the net as well as play that smooth, mistake-free defense that has earned him consideration for national team duties. A tremendous game in San Jose and a wasted good effort in Los Angeles and Anaheim sees the stalwart D-man’s stock rise this week.
Pretty much know what to expect out of the hardworking Kesler game in and game out now. Scored a timely goal in Phoenix and was the Canucks top shot taker for the road trip. Slim picking this week for a dismal four games on the west coast.
Daniel has been banged up a bit lately and looks two steps behind his linemates in the last couple of games. Played poorly in L.A. and was a non-factor in Anaheim. The Canucks will not survive any prolonged injury, even a minor one to any of its top players, and the proof is right here.
G Roberto Luongo — This Week: 6 ↓ Last Week: 5
Hard to fault Luongo for the L.A. debacle, but he was looking a little defeated sometime around the 4th goal. Glad Torts could see when Lou needed a break unlike a certain other, ahem, coach Vancouver used to have.
C Mike Santorelli — This Week: 7 ↑ Last Week: 9
Santorelli has been the most consistent threat after the first line that the Canucks seem to have. Big time efforts against Phoenix, San Jose and Anaheim helped the Canucks earn 3 points out of a possible 8 on the difficult road trip. The Kesler, D. Sedin, Santorelli line? Not so much.
D Chris Tanev — This Week: 8 ↑ Last Week: 10
A nice, consistent week moving the puck with authority in his four road games has been matched by increased ice-time and trust from coach Torts. No points and few shots this week, but the skilled and poised young blueliner is still valuable in so many other ways when he plays like he did this week.
W Chris Higgins — This Week: 9 ↓ Last Week: 7
Still peppering goalies with shots from every angle, but not being all that threatening. A nice 1 goal, 1 assist effort in the Shark Tank, but not all that threatening in any other game. Was steadily owned by the bigger, stronger Kings on Saturday night.
C Brad Richardson — This Week: 10 ↑ Last Week: 11
Faceoffs? Check. Defense? Check. Scoring? Check. Positioning? Check. Leadership? Check. Good Teammate? Check. Third line centre? Check.
W Zack Kassian — This Week: 11 ↑ Last Week: 13
I’m going to allow Canucks fans a cautious kind of optimism for the big man from Windsor. Let’s remember a couple of things. First and foremost, he’s played 98 games his entire career. He’s only 3 years older than Hunter Shinkaruk. He’s playing with Brad Richardson and, occasionally, Tom Sestito. He gets around 14 minutes a game. He’s on pace for 21 goals.
W Alex Burrows — This Week 12 ↑ Last Week: 14
Another strong week for Burrows sees him creep up the power rankings. No one on the Canucks is more tenacious and crafty than Burrows, but he’s in need of a few bounces to go his way. Seems to be hitting goalies instead of tickling twine with the puck.
D Jason Garrison — This Week: 13 ↓ Last Week: 8
- Whatever offense the burly D-man showed early in the season has all but dried up now. He’s playing soundly enough in his own zone, but was exposed a few too many times in Los Angeles. Hopefully Garrison can get it going back home. He better, if the Canucks are to have any hope of a power play.
D Alex Edler — This Week: 14 ↓Last Week: 12
Edler is still looking slower than the rest of the NHL forwards, but is also holding his own in the hit department. There is, unfortunately, no cure for lack of quickness. Canucks fans starting to worry that they’ve already seen the best of Edler.
D Ryan Stanton — This Week: 15 ↔ Last Week: 15
Steady as she goes for Ryan Stanton who continues to impress early on this season. Coach Torts is putting him in positions to succeed, true, but it could always end up being that the player doesn’t succeed. Since day one, Stanton has solidified the Defensive unit for the Canucks. Still chipping in offensively too.
W Darren Archibald — This Week: 16 ↑ Last Week: 17
Archibald didn’t hurt the team in any game this week and his minutes have steadily increased over time with the big club. The 6’3″ Ontario native wins a lot of puck battles and seems to play a solid forechecking game. Keeping things real on the fourth line.
W Tom Sestito — This Week: 18 ↑ Last Week: 19
Tito came up with some good results as a byproduct of his strong skating and excellent timing on the hits. Seems to get penalized for legal body checks, but did earn back some respect with a nice goal against Anaheim on Sunday. The big Left Winger earned a decision in a fight against L.A. to boot
C Jeremy Welsh — This Week: 19 ↓ Last Week: 18
The only way is down for Welsh who will likely return to the minors as soon as any of Schroeder, Booth or Hansen are ready. The good news is, that it doesn’t look like anytime soon that will happen. Still has a week or two to prove himself at the NHL level until the saga of finding a fourth line is over for the club.
Lack returns to the power rankings with a relief appearance in L.A. where he played fairly well after allowing the first shot on net. Against Anaheim he tracked the puck well enough to earn a point, but there was no offense to be found anywhere in the lineup.