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. Here’s how each Canucks fared against the Kings and Sabres.
19. Nic Dowd (17) ↡
Yes, you’d be hard pressed to find a player who had a great game against the Sabres. You’d also have a tough time finding one that had a worse one than Dowd. He had the worst Relative Corsi of anyone on the team, and it wasn’t close. He was completely average against his former team in L.A., and that’s starting to be the absolute best one can expect out of him.
18. Jake Virtanen (22) ↔
Another week, another Jake Virtanen debate. Virtanen got a lot of attention on Vancouver’s airwaves after the Buffalo game, as the forward committed an ill-advised no-look pass to Sven Baertschi who… wasn’t there. The Sabres pounced on the puck and took it the other way to score, and Jake was eviscerated multiple times by the media. It effectively erased what was a good game against the Kings.
17. Michael Del Zotto (19) ↔
Pundits were starting to ask whether or not the veteran deserved a spin in the press box. He probably does based on recent play, but he started digging himself out a bit with a solid couple of games. Was he a force? No. But he got an assist and generally held his own analytics-wise. It wasn’t anything that’ll move the needle in a meaningful way, however.
16. Alex Biega (16) ↔
It’s hard not to like Bulldog’s game both nights. He brought intensity when no one else seemed interested against Buffalo, as he led the team in shots. He’s playing exactly the type of game that his coach loves, but is still likely to be scratched if Erik Gudbranson comes back against Colorado on Tuesday (even if it’s somewhat unearned).
15. Ben Hutton (15) ↔
Hutton bounced back a bit from being sat last week against Winnipeg, as he had two mostly solid games. But he’s still not getting much respect from the coach: he was last or second-last in ice time among defencemen both nights.
14. Sam Gagner (13) ↡
Gagner is being sheltered to the extreme, as he’s starting the majority of his shifts in the offensive zone (against L.A. he and Virtanen were at 100 percent), skewering his underlying numbers. Travis Green doesn’t trust him, and rightfully so.
13. Loui Eriksson (18) ↟
Was it the Loui Eriksson we’ve come to know and feel decidedly “meh” about who scored two goals and assisted on another against the Kings? Probably. His streakiness has defined his tenure as a Canucks thus far and there’s no real reason to think that stops now. It was a fun period though.
12. Daniel Sedin (9) ↔
11. Henrik Sedin (8) ↔
The Sedins take their lowest ranking so far this season, and it’s mostly because they had to face an onslaught of questions about the future. The last thing they need right now as they try and put on a brave face and end the season admirably is answer queries about the offseason, but they were made to do exactly that.
10. Markus Granlund (12) ↔
9. Brandon Sutter (10) ↔
Two of Green’s most trusted lieutenants, Granlund’s underlying numbers took a beating this weekend, both because they hardly ever started shifts in the offensive zone and because their line was routinely drawing tough assignments and getting dominated.
8. Thomas Vanek (11) ↟
It seems like every good game Vanek has is cheered on by fans if only because they think it guarantees a better return for the forward at the deadline. Must be kind of a bummer for the vet. That was definitely the case after Vanek potted three points against L.A. and Vancouverites started getting visions of a late second rounder.
7. Sven Baertschi (7) ↔
Baertschi scored against L.A. (though he was last on the team in ice time). But when Green put his lines in a blender and the forward was moved away from Horvat and Boeser he was rendered completely ineffective, as he has been every time he’s been away from that pair.
6. Troy Stecher (6) ↟
The shine is coming off a bit, as Stech had pretty rough underlying numbers. He was, however, among the leaders in ice time for the team in both games, so it doesn’t garner a move down quite yet. It’s something to keep an eye on, though.
5. Chris Tanev (5) ↡
Continues to be the team’s warrior in thankless times, even if he doesn’t look fully himself as he continues to recover from the facial injury that has forced him to wear a cage.
4. Jacob Markstrom (4) ↔
Speaking of thankless times, Markstrom wasn’t great against the Sabres, but he certainly wasn’t the problem. He has the coach’s trust right now, so he doesn’t get moved down.
3. Alex Edler (3) ↔
Not great underlying numbers in either game, but he’s still covering the most ice for the Canucks and doing so relatively effectively.
2. Bo Horvat (1) ↔
He makes every line he’s on a threat, as he showed when paired with Eriksson and Vanek.
1. Brock Boeser (2) ↟
Duh. He was named the NHL’s first star this weekend after winning the accuracy skills competition and then being named MVP of the All-Star Game.
He also scored twice against the Kings and is generally the only reason Canucks fans wouldn’t take a complete erasure of this season if given the chance.
Didn’t play this week: Brendan Gaunce, Derrick Pouliot, Erik Gudbranson, Anders Nilsson
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