The marathon man, Chris Tanev! What an accomplishment for the injury-riddled defensive defenceman. For the first time in his professional career, the kid managed to play from start to finish (if the regular season is over) without being scratched from the line-up due to injury. He found his defensive partner this year in Hughes, and it completely rejuvenated the career of the Canucks’ top puck eater.
He went from trade bait to a “must keep” for most of the Van-city fans. His long list of injures has been a big reason a lot of people would like to see him shipped out of town, but this year he managed to make it all the way to game 69 before announcing an injury that would have him miss games. But maybe this time around, he’ll manage to heal up and get back in time whenever the coronavirus “break” comes to an end. That would mean he plays a full schedule of games without injury for the first time ever.
Not only that, but Tanev is tied for his career-best in points. He managed to hit 20 and it has a lot to do with the chemistry he’s found in his linemate. The duo of Tanev and Hughes has been a sight for sore eyes. Never before has the team had such a fantastic pair? Although Hughes is the team’s best defender, the complete shutdown game of Tanev allows Hughes to breakout and be more offensive, ultimately creating scoring chances. Hughes has benefitted the game of Tanev, and Tanev has done the same for Hughes.
There is still more in the tank when it comes to Tanev, and that is why he deserves some credit towards being an unsung hero of this team. What a season for Tanev. If he returns to Vancouver, you can bet your bottom dollar the Hughes/Tanev pairing is just beginning.
Prediction: Bo Horvat
No shade thrown towards Edler and Tanev, they both had excellent years, but Horvat was better. He faced the responsibilities of being a captain in one of the toughest hockey markets head-on. He made Pearson a top-six forward again, and he could have easily finished the year with 60+ points at the same time as having Eriksson as one of your wingers. Purely amazing work from Bo. The captain arrived, and he showed up in a big way.