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 1-3-0 this week, beating the Calgary Flames and dropping contests to the Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks. What follows is a ranking of the players on the team as to how they performed this week, from bottom to top.
25. Thatcher Demko
Technically he was with the team, so he makes the rankings. Only with the team because Anders Nilsson’s wife was expecting (and then had) a child, Demko wasn’t used.
24. Reid Boucher
Same as above, except without the fanfare and future potential.
23. Erik Gudbranson
Couple tough games for the big guy put him in the back of the pack. He looked especially sluggish against Anaheim, getting turned around badly on a power play goal.
22. Anders Nilsson
Yeah, he didn’t play, but come on, dude had a kid! That moves you up a couple spots.
21. Alex Biega
Another defenceman who looked a bit out of his element this week. “Bulldog” always gives his all out there, but he was outclassed in both Calgary and Anaheim.
20. Loui Eriksson
Didn’t do much, as has been par for the course since the Canucks signed him. But, yeah, it’s a bit unfair to judge Eriksson this week, as he only played once, in the blowout loss to the Sharks. He also threw five shots at the net, which is a good sign.
19. Brendan Gaunce
Not much to see here, as Gaunce only played two games and was serviceable in both. Surprisingly got almost 17 minutes of ice time in Calgary.
18. Jake Virtanen
Once again, the young forward is getting Rodney Dangerifield’d all over the place. He was scratched in favour of Eriksson in San Jose and, other than an assist in Calgary, didn’t get enough ice time to contribute much. That scratching hurts his brand badly.
17. Brandon Sutter
Is the shine coming off of Travis Green’s golden boy? He was a minus-2 for the week and registered the lowest ice time of his season thus far in the loss to San Jose.
16. Markus Granlund
One of Sutter’s running mates and another Green favourite, Granlund was hurt in the loss to Detroit (a game in which he was a minus-2), and didn’t get to play a revenge game against his former team in Calgary. He was good against San Jose (most of the team was, the score was not indicative of the team’s play at even-strength) but bad against Anaheim (most of the team was).
15. Derek Dorsett
You knew this was coming. He scored off his leg in Calgary. He hustled. His advanced stats were ghastly, as usual. He posted a minus-28 Relative Corsi in Anaheim, which is not good. He gets points for throwing down with Brandon Montour after the latter tried to take Horvat’s head off with a blatant charge. Though it did take the Canucks off the powerplay and end any hope they had at coming back.
14. Alex Burmistrov
He looked good in limited time. It helps his case that he was scratched during the disaster in Anaheim. Posted decent advanced stats even in the game against Calgary when most Canucks didn’t.
13. Alex Edler
Yeah. He was engaged against San Jose, hitting everything that moved and generating shots. But he posted a dreadful minus-20 Relative Corsi against Anaheim in his first game back. Yes, it was a tough situation, as Edler’s first game back was without Tanev. Still, he didn’t look like a first-pairing defenceman.
12. Sven Baertschi
Scored in Anaheim, but was hard to notice otherwise.
11. Michael Del Zotto
It was the pretty good of times, it was the damn terrible of times. Del Zotto provided play on both ends of that spectrum. DZ scored a goal off a gorgeous pass from Horvat against Detroit and then fed Vanek beautifully for his slapper against Calgary. He also was more or less a complete disaster in his own zone in every game.
10. Ben Hutton
Canucks fans have a complicated relationship with Hutton. It would help that relationship if he stopped fanning on the puck, as he did a few times over the week. Stick on the ice, Huts.
9. Thomas Vanek
Three points over the week, including a beautiful slapper to tie the game up in Calgary, Vanek largely did what Vanek does. That, of course, meant a minus-3 rating in San Jose. He was one of the only Canucks with a sparkling Relative Corsi in Anaheim, though. The forward is making the most of his ice time, providing the team with much-needed offence off the bench.
8. Henrik Sedin
Looked slow in Anaheim and San Jose, and was absolutely dreadful on the power play in those games. He did chime in with a goal and an assist in the first two games of the week, and looked good against Detroit.
7. Daniel Sedin
See above, except with three points over the week.
6. Derrick Pouliot
One of the most entertaining Canucks to watch, Pouliot has looked silky smooth of late. Green has noticed too, giving the former first-round pick big minutes in the absence of Tanev. Pouliot was the team’s best defender this week, and it’s starting to look like Benning might have gotten a steal out of Pittsburgh.
5. Sam Gagner
A big goal against Calgary and some very strong underlying numbers made Gagner one the team’s biggest surprises over the week. Could he be coming into his own?
4. Jacob Markstrom
Great against Detroit and Calgary. Hard to blame him in Anaheim. Would have been nice if he stopped something in San Jose.
3. Brock Boeser
An assist against Calgary and very strong underlying numbers. Yes, he was benched by Green for a spell there, but unless he gets scratched again, it’s safe to say Boeser will be around the top five in these rankings for most of the year. One of the biggest reasons to watch the Canucks this year.
2. Bo Horvat
Just two points and an even plus/minus, but Horvat looked dangerous most shifts he took, as per usual.
1. Chris Tanev
He only played the first two games of the week, but his value is measured in how much the team missed him in the losses to the California teams. Hint: it was a lot. The Canucks looked lost without Tanev. The surging Los Angeles Kings are next, as Vancouver looks to avoid the California sweep. Without Tanev, it looks pretty bleak.More