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 1-2 this week as the injury bug hit the team in a massive way, first claiming the team’s best forward in Bo Horvat and then winger Sven Baertschi. It’s been a bit of a rough stretch for Canucks fans, as they watched Vancouver slide out of a playoff spot.
23. Alex Burmistrov (Last Week: 21) ↡
Once again, Burmistrov brings up the rear. The forward is apparently “confused” about his role on the team, as he’s been used at both centre and on the wing. He definitely looks confused, that’s for sure. It speaks volumes that Green only played him in one game during the week, even after the injury to Horvat. Michael Chaput and Nic Dowd came in for Nikolay Goldobin and Burmistrov against Calgary, and it’s left some wondering if the latter still has a place in the organization.
22. Brendan Gaunce (20) ↔
Gaunce was fine, nothing terrible, nothing especially good. Again, he needs to do something to be moved up in these rankings. He’s essentially holding water every time he’s out there.
21. Nic Dowd (NR)
After coming over in the trade for Jordan Subban, Dowd made his debut as a Canuck in Calgary. Other than Sven Baertschi, who was injured early, Dowd registered the lowest amount of ice time for Vancouver. He was a minus-one and took a penalty. Not a great start.
20. Sam Gagner (17) ↔
Gagner has been one of the team’s more maligned forwards over the last little while. He didn’t do a ton to dispel that notion last week. Surprisingly, he was one of the team’s best forwards in terms of relative Corsi against Philadelphia. It’s surprising because it’s the outlier. In the other two games of the week, he was among the worst.
19. Michael Chaput (NR)
Chaput only played one game last week, and he was pretty effective. He had a great relative Corsi and finished the game plus-one while playing over 15 minutes.
18. Markus Granlund (19) ↔
In the absence of Horvat, Granlund actually led the team in ice time against Philadelphia. He finished the week with one point, and got some power play time as well. He remains high in Green’s books it seems.
17. Troy Stecher (18) ↟
Stecher had a much better week: for one, he didn’t spend it getting bludgeoned by the puck. He was one of the team’s better players against Philadelphia.
16. Michael Del Zotto (16) ↔
Del Zotto is getting more and more ice time, which doesn’t exactly bode well for the Canucks. Yes, the offensive-minded blueliner chipped in with two points this week, which is what the team desperately needs from him. However, he was also mostly hemmed in his own zone for the majority of the game. That’s tolerable if he’s putting up points in limited minutes, like he did in Calgary. Over 22 minutes against Philadlephia? That’s not good.
15. Ben Hutton (15) ↟
Hutton is starting to find his game after a bit of a rough start to the season. He’s an effective puck mover and posted some mostly solid underlying numbers last week.
14. Thomas Vanek (11) ↡
Thomas Vanek has been campaigning for more ice time. Well, the Canucks certainly need him to score now with Horvat out. Can he be trusted? Bad underlying numbers and a team-low minus-3 say no.
13. Sven Baertschi (8) ↡
Is this harsh? Probably. But Baertschi has been a ghost recently, and while it’s not his fault a puck came up in his face and possibly broke something, it couldn’t have come at a worse time for both him and the team.
12. Anders Nilsson (12) ↔
Hard to fault Nilsson on any of the Flames goals really. He was solid in a game where the Canucks got mostly outplayed. You’d like to see him hold on for the win, of course, but this one can’t be laid at his feet.
11. Nikolay Goldobin (14) ↟
Sorry, but we have no idea what Travis Green was doing sitting Goldobin. After scoring against Carolina and posting positive underlying numbers, the coach decided to give the youngster less than 10 minutes of ice time the following night in Philly. Then, in Calgary, he put Goldobin in the press box, opting for the likes of Dowd and Chaput over the talented forward. Goldobin’s stock with fans is at a high right now, where it should be.
10. Jake Virtanen (13) ↟
Virtanen scored a huge goal in Calgary, and he’s clearly one of the more exciting players on the roster right now.
9. Alex Edler (7) ↡
Edler logged big minutes for the Canucks, but continued a string of rather erratic play that saw him post a negative Relative Corsi in every game he played.
8. Derrick Pouliot (9) ↟
There is no way Pouliot is exiting the lineup when Gudbranson is ready to come back. He played his best game of the season against Carolina, a three-point effort that included this beauty.
7. Jacob Markstrom (10) ↟
A massive shutout in Carolina, the first of his NHL career. Hard to skewer him too much after that, even considering the Philly game where he let in three goals off 25 shots. He played well enough to keep the team in that contest, though.
6. Henrik Sedin (7) ↔
5. Daniel Sedin (1) ↔
The twins didn’t have a great week, but Green will need them desperately going forward with Horvat out multiple weeks. They started seeing some of their highest ice time of the season in the two games without Horvat.
4. Loui Eriksson (5) ↔
Green is starting to depend on Eriksson, and rightfully so. He’s been great lately, and though he went pointless last week, his underlying stats were mostly positive.
3. Chris Tanev (4) ↔
Surprisingly terrible underlying numbers for Tanev last week. He’s still easily the Canucks’ best defender by a mile, as he’s constantly putting out fires.
2. Bo Horvat (3) ↔
Yeah, this injury just might the team’s death knell. In April, reporters may point to this moment as that in which the team’s playoff hopes disappeared.
1. Brock Boeser (2) ↟
A legitimate star that teams have to prepare for. Two more goals last week, because of course he did.
Didn’t Play This Week: Alex Biega, Erik Gudbranson, Brandon Sutter