While some publications insist on doing weekly power rankings of NHL teams, we thought it would be even more abstract and pointless to do a weekly power ranking of the players on the Canucks. And yes, we understand that Sunday is technically the start of the week, but no one thinks that way.
The Canucks went 2-1 this week against a slew of good teams, beating the Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs and losing to the New York Islanders. What follows is a ranking of the players on the team as to how they performed this week, from bottom to top.
21. Alex Burmistrov (Last Week: 23) ↡
Only one game for the second week in a row, as the forward had the least amount of ice time in the ugly game in Brooklyn and then was benched for youngster Nikolay Goldobin.
20. Brendan Gaunce (22) ↔
Another week of the same mediocrity from Gaunce. He held his own, but he’s going to have to start doing something if he wants to stay with the team.
19. Markus Granlund (19) ↔
Granlund had two rough games before saving himself with a solid effort against the Leafs in which he scored the Canucks’ first goal. It was a nice one, too.
18. Troy Stecher (18) ↔
Not a great week for ‘Stech.’ He played just over 16 minutes in the first two games of the week, and then got bludgeoned with the puck twice, taking one off the ankle and one directly off the face. We still think Stecher only goes up from here.
17. Sam Gagner (17) ↔
Gagner had three points two weeks ago, but they came with bad underlying numbers. There was only one point this week and he was minus-3 with ugly possession numbers. Adding Baertschi to his line didn’t propel the veteran as some might have expected it would.
16. Michael Del Zotto (14) ↡
Del Zotto is starting to be used as more of a bottom-pairing defenceman, and that’s probably a good call. He was a minus-1 in every game last week and his underlying numbers were borderline disgusting. He looked particularly bad in the Nashville game, as he couldn’t keep up with Craig Smith, of all people.
15. Ben Hutton (13) ↡
Hutton drops for the second week in a row, as he hasn’t really been able to find consistency in his game this year. His ice time declined in each of the games this week. He registered an assist in Nashville but he also got outmuscled handedly by ex-Canuck Nick Bonino on a key Preds’ goal.
14. Nikolay Goldobin (NR) ↟
Travis Green finally did what many fans had been calling for and slotted Goldobin into the lineup. He didn’t give the prospect much time to adjust either, throwing him on to the first line with Horvat and Boeser. ‘Goldy’ responded with an assist in his first game this year. It was nice to see.
13. Jake Virtanen (8) ↡
We took some heat for having Virtanen so high last week, but his status with fans was still up in the clouds. Perhaps having Goldobin around has changed things a smidge, or maybe it’s the fact that he’s gone a bit cold lately. Most likely it’s a combination of the two. He still passed the eye test, but Virtanen needs to get back on the box score.
12. Anders Nilsson (15) ↟
Nilsson’s stock rises for the third straight week. After a game in which it seemed as if he failed to seize the gigantic chance given to him against the Isles (even though you couldn’t really fault him on any of the five goals), Green surprisingly went back to Nilsson against Nashville. The Swede delivered, stopping 29 shots and out duelling Pekka Rinne. If Markstrom didn’t have such an incredible game against Toronto, Nilsson’s stock would be higher.
11. Thomas Vanek (11) ↔
Another goal for Vanek, but that was his only point of the week. He also didn’t play a ton, with Green keeping him around 12 minutes a game. As long as he keeps popping in with the occasional goal, his stock is safe. But if that starts to trail off…
10. Jacob Markstrom (12) ↔
He surprisingly didn’t get the start in Nashville, and some wondered if he would start to take a backseat to Nilsson. But what a game in Toronto for a player that desperately needed to rise to the occasion. Maybe his best game of the year, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
9. Derrick Pouliot (10) ↔
Pouliot remains one of the Canucks’ most solid defenders. Who would have thought that he’d have stretches in the top three of ice time among Vancouver defencemen?
8. Sven Baertschi (4) ↡
Moved off the top line and whaddya know? Under 15 minutes in both Nashville and New York and largely ineffective in all three, uh oh.
7. Alex Edler (9) ↔
Edler finished the week plus-2, which is remarkable seeing as he was minus-3 against the Islanders. He also made Canucks fans feel like it was 2011 again.
What a goal.
6. Henrik Sedin (7) ↟
Some vintage Henrik, with four assists in the three games. The Sedins and Eriksson are really coming alive against lesser competition. He was also excellent defensively throughout the week.
5. Loui Eriksson (5) ↔
Another nice week for Loui, as he tallied three points and looked good throughout. The 14 minutes of ice time against the Leafs is a tad puzzling, though.
4. Chris Tanev (2) ↔
Tanev had bad underlying numbers last week for the first time in what seems like forever. He was still obviously his dependable self, but it’s something to watch. Green must have noticed too, because his ice time took a considerable hit.
3. Bo Horvat (3) ↔
Forwards never lead teams in ice time, but Horvat did exactly that against Nashville. He also had two points during the week and once again was the team’s anchor in the middle of the ice.
2. Brock Boeser (1) ↔
Even if the league won’t give him the respect he deserves, we will. Boeser was the team’s lightning rod in the win over Nashville.
1. Daniel Sedin (6) ↟
Didn’t Play This Week: Alex Biega, Erik Gudbranson, Brandon Sutter