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 Canuck fared against the Avalanche, Rangers and Preds. And, because we feel like it and it’s Oscars season, each Canuck is matched up with an Oscar-contending movie.
20. Anders Nilsson – The Greatest Showman
Anders Nilsson’s rollercoaster of a season has made no sense at all, hence the comparison. Nilsson was good in relief against the Rangers, but wasn’t able to get back into a game this week.
19. Tyler Motte – Blade Runner 2049
A visual accomplishment on par with anything that hit theatres this year, Canadian Denis Villeneuve’s film will still be unfairly thought of as inferior to its source material.
Motte will always be considered a disappointment in that many Canucks fans feel (fair or not) that they should have gotten more—or at least draft picks—from Thomas Vanek at the trade deadline.
18. Sam Gagner – All the Money in the World
When the Canucks signed Gagner, they thought they were getting a 50-point scorer who could be a force on the powerplay. Unfortunately, there’s been no Christopher Plummer to step in and take Gagner’s role after he’s proven to be underwhelming.
17. Derrick Pouliot – Molly’s Game
At the beginning of the season, the narrative around Pouliot was bright and hopeful. Lately, the shine has come off somewhat, and the young rearguard has been a healthy scratch at times. He registered the least amount of minutes for Vancouver defencemen against Nashville, by a large margin.
Molly’s Game starts out brilliantly, and Aaron Sorkin’s script definitely has its moments. However, by the end, one is certainly bogged down by the heavy-handedness and general lack of interest in what was a compelling story at the start.
16. Nikolay Goldobin – Phantom Thread
Stylish and entertaining, while at the same time underwhelming just a little, Goldobin scored this week but he also barely played over 30 minutes in the three contests. Canucks fans are going to need more out of Goldy, and Paul Thomas Anderson aficionados are no doubt slightly disappointed in what they got out of his latest effort.
15. Erik Gudbranson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
True, Billboards is one of the frontrunners to take home the Best Picture trophy, while Gudbranson, despite his current top-four status, obviously isn’t one of the best Canucks.
But they are both divisive, Billboards for the way it redeems certain stereotypes, and the fact it has dominated awards season, and Gudbranson for getting a three-year contract while being one of the worst defenders on the team according to the underlying numbers.
14. Michael Del Zotto – The Darkest Hour
Gary Oldman’s performance (and his status as an old warhorse who’s never won the coveted statue) as Winston Churchill has him as the easy favourite for Best Actor.
It’s a fact that has frustrated many in the industry who believe that Oldman's performance is overrated, just as Travis Green’s insistence on throwing out DZ for big minutes has angered Canucks fans.
13. Ben Hutton – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Another controversial player, and another contentious film. Hutton has been much better lately, and Travis Green has noticed, as he’s kept the young defender in the lineup. The latest Star Wars represented a step up for the franchise, one that was willing to lean on its younger stars and move on from the storylines that dominated past iterations.
12. Darren Archibald – Logan
The underrated fan favourite. Just as your comic book-obsessed friend has been imploring you to see the newest film about Wolverine, hardcore Canucks fans have been loving what Archibald has brought to the table. Both are underrated (there’s a reason Logan is an adapted screenplay nominee) and extremely enjoyable to watch.
Also, Archibald is probably the only Canuck with an even chance of clawing someone’s eyes out, so there’s that.
11. Jake Virtanen – Baby Driver
Because he’s fast, fun to watch and, while he has some holes in his game, you just can’t help but root for the kid.
10. Brendan Leipsic – The Florida Project
The disappointment in Vancouver after not getting much in return for Thomas Vanek at the trade deadline overshadowed the Canucks getting Leipsic in exchange for defenceman Philip Holm. So far, that’s proven to be a huge add for Vancouver, as Leipsic has looked good on the first line with Boeser and Horvat.
Similarly, The Florida Project’s one nomination for Willem Dafoe eclipsed the excellent work done in other areas of the film, one of the very best to hit theatres this year.
9. Jacob Markstrom – Lady Bird
At this point, Canucks fans have witnessed Markstrom’s transformation from a successful AHL ‘tender to an NHL backup to a starter. His coming-of-age tale hasn’t always been pretty. Remember when Lady Bird, played by Saoirse Ronan, asks her mother (Laurie Metcalf) "what if this is the best version of me?" That's a very real question that management has to ponder about Markstrom.
8. Sven Baertschi – The Disaster Artist
After a good start, it seemed like Baertschi was on pace to have a special year for the Canucks. He was even listed as one of two Canucks on the NHL’s all-star fan voting list. James Franco initially took Hollywood by storm with his portrayal of The Room director Tommy Wiseau.
Both have petered out lately, as Franco’s Oscar case was ostensibly hampered by allegations of sexually inappropriate conduct after his Golden Globe win. Baertschi has been quiet since he was moved off the top line, and after sustaining a serious shoulder injury against the Preds, may not even top his point total from last year.
7. Brandon Sutter – I, Tonya
There have been a few moments this season where the defensively minded Sutter has completely shocked fans and media alike by making a nice offensive play, such as this OT goal earlier in the year, and his beautiful backhanded tally against Nashville.
I, Tonya is a solid movie with some moments of directorial brilliance, as well as stalwart performances from Margot Robbie and Allison Janney.
6. Troy Stecher – Call Me by Your Name
Stecher has quietly been one of the bright spots on this Canucks blueline that has looked lost much of the year. The team’s been able to rely on the Richmond native, as he looks like the one young blueliner in Vancouver who may be the real deal.
Luca Guadagnino's gorgeous film relies heavily on the performance of young Timothée Chalamet, and he doesn’t disappoint. He’s one of Hollywood’s brightest actors.
5. Alex Edler - Dunkirk
Steady, reliable, visually striking. Edler’s always noticeable on the ice, whether he’s giving the puck away or slamming it into the back of the net. He passed Mattias Ohlund to become the highest scoring Canuck defenceman of all time, and seems to finally be getting recognition for what’s been an extremely solid career.
The same could be said of Christopher Nolan, who’s nominated in the directing category for the first time in his polarizing but excellent body of work.
3 and 4. Henrik and Daniel Sedin – The Post
It’s been business as usual for the twins this season, as it was for Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep when they embarked on making the newspaper drama. How long did Hanks take to prepare for the role? 10 minutes?
2. Bo Horvat – The Shape of Water
Like a breakout film by a director that’s long been admired, Bo Horvat has arguably been the best Canuck this season, as the effort he brings game in and game out is unmatched.
1. Brock Boeser – Get Out
Who wasn’t enthralled and surprised by Jordan Peele’s directing debut? Probably the same amount of people who haven’t been taken by Boeser during a rookie season for the ages.
Not ranked this week: Alex Biega, Nic Dowd, Chris Tanev, Markus Granlund, Loui Eriksson, Reid Boucher
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