Few things get Canucks fans (or hockey fans) happier than beating Chicago, so this week started on a high note with an enjoyable 6-2 beatdown in their barn. Vancouver then swung through California with a brief stop to say ‘allo to Willie Mitchell while outlasting the Kings 3-2 before Cory Perry and crew downed the Canucks 4-3 Friday night.
Sniffing through the ranks we praise the powerplay, welcome back Raymond and wag a finger at a fourth liner who should know better.
Living High Off The Hog
> Special Teams: Prior to the Anaheim game, the Canucks powerplay rocked to life with an absurd five PP markers against Chicago and two more against Los Angeles two nights later. They added one more against the Ducks to land their efficiency at 26.5%, second best in the league. Their kill was also strong all week and, though they coughed up three PPGs against during their California swing, their PK crept into the top nine at 86.5%.
> Jannik Hansen: Promotion? Check. Sexy third Sedin nomination? Check. Three goals (two on the man advantage), all assisted by Daniel Sedin? Check. Just like Burrows, we all knew Hansen had the tenacity and hands to be an effective player with the twins and he gave Vigneault a reason to reunite Kesler and Burrows on the second line with Higgins. Offensive depth is fun.
Your Sins Will Find You Out
> Daniel Weise: Weise’s limited game was on full display this week: he doesn’t get a sniff of PK time and is a complete stranger to the offensive zone. But as a prototypical fourth liner, not much more should be expected either. However, though he is tied with Volpatti for fighting majors, Weise showed awful timing in picking his spot with Kyle Clifford. Vancouver had a dominant 3-0 lead heading into the intermission and Clifford’s beatdown sparked the Kings to a strong middle frame. Next time, skate away from the big red pooch.
The Spirit Is Willing But The Flesh Is Weak
> Mason Raymond: Hey he’s back! Sort of. How he plays and where he fits into the line-up remains to be seen (though you know it’s Cody Hodgson who will pay the price), but you have to stand up and applaud any player who returns to ice after suffering a broken vertebra. Raymond’s return is a gentle reminder how hockey players are simply a cut above the rest of professional athletes.
> Aaron Rome: I’m not the biggest Rome fan on the planet, but when a spare part who has almost as many career shots (128) as he does games played (133) strolls off the bench and throws down a 33.3% shooting percentage, people will take notice. Rome’s powerplay goal against the Kings was the first of his career and not only doubled his career best for goals in a season, but gives him more scores than the departed Christian Ehrhoff. However before the celebration kicked into high gear, Rome reminded us all why he remains a spare part in the losing effort against Anaheim. Suspendable or not, the team unrivaled on the kill and he had some ‘splaining to do afterwards.