The Good and the Bad of this past week.
It’s Friday. So we close out the "Week That Was" with our latest volume of Cheers and Jeers.
This week, I focus exclusively on the Canucks players, as we hand out some CanucksArmy special mid-season Cheers and Jeers. Who’s got the shap? And who are the Canucks milts?
First, Let me thanks the readers of CanucksArmy and my Twitter followers for their overwhelming responses. I asked YOU THE READER to give me some feedback on who you though deserved Cheers and Jeers for their play through the first half of the Canucks regular season. And I must say, you folks were pretty spot-on with what I was going to choose. One choice, however, will go against the grain.
CHEERS to Chris Higgins, who has been arguably the Canucks most consistent forward through 41 games this year. The tenacious forechecker has shown his top 6 forward ability as well, and sits 7th in over team scoring with 10G 13A for 23 Pts and a +8. Not bad for a guy who is clearly battling some sort of Zombie infection.
JEERS to Dale Weise, mostly for his presence on Twitter. Folks, he only likes the ladies and he hates bloggers. If you ain’t a pretty girl, he ain’t gunna follow ya. That aside, fans in general seem to be disappointed with his play. He does have the lowest GFON/60 on the team. That means that goals aren’t being scored while he’s on the ice. No big surprise there. He’s not really on the team for his high-end goal-scoring prowess. But let’s point out some facts about our favourite social media pervert. He plays difficult minutes. He is 2nd on the team in hits from forwards. He is 2nd on the team in GA/60, behind only Ryan Kesler. He has the third lowest O-Zone starting percentage, behind his regular linemates, Manny Malhotra and Maxim Lapierre. And he finishes his shifts in the offensive more than half the time. His Offensive Zone start-to-finish ratio is THE BEST on the team. So while he may be a putz on Twitter, Dale Weise is doing his job. He still can’t win a fight on the ice, though.
CHEERS to Cody Hodgson. Despite whiny complaints that he doesn’t get enough ice time (folks, his ice time is JUST FINE. Want proof? Daniel Wagner gives it to you! BOOYEAH!), Hodgson has been playing tremendously in his first official campaign in the NHL. Hodgson has amassed 9G 13A for 22 Pts and +7 so far. Sure his FO% is really low, but he’s not taking a lot of draws. And why would he when he is put a line with either Malhotra or Lapierre. Hodgson is playing well, and his stats reflect that. More of the same, kiddo!
JEERS to Manny Malhotra. I know we’re supposed to show a certain amount of leeway for Malhotra. He plays the toughest minutes on the team. He’s one of the league’s premier faceoff men. But Malhotra has been a shadow of the player that we saw last year before his devastating eye injury. He has the second-highest GAON/60 on the team (that’s not good) and the worst +-ON/60 (that’s REALLY not good). And both of those stats are at Even Strength. I’m not focusing on his play as a penalty killer, because he’s been pretty effective on the PK. Malhotra has a paltry 3 goals this season. One was an empty netter, and one was scored when the Canucks were already leading by 2. So Malhotra has one meaningful goal this year. And one big Jeers.
CHEERS to Jannik Hansen. The Honey Badger has been on FIRE this season. He’s already set a new career high in goals (12) and will surely eclipse his career point total (29) in short order. He’s been the Canucks best penalty killer and has moved seamlessly between the second and third lines this season because of injuries to players like David Booth, Mason Raymond, and Chris Higgins. His versatility continues to be his biggest asset this season as he improves on his already valuable play.
JEERS to Alex Edler …. …. ‘s hockey sticks. (thanks to @mattthemascot for this one!) GOOD LORD, they’re more fragile than Sami Salo’s skeletal structure. Edler has been great this season; his sticks have not – shattering and splintering at the most inopportune times.. like, say.. a huge shot from the point on a critical power play. It’s time for Alex to invest in some proper equipment. Cuz those sticks is crapola.
CHEERS to Roberto Luongo… for everything after October. He has rebounded nicely from yet another shaky start. He’s gone 10-2-2 in his last 14 starts and looks as big and solid in his net as he ever has. A further goaltending CHEERS also goes out (obviously!) to Cory Schneider, who’s been stellar in relief of Luongo this season, and will be rewarded will be a start in his hometown Boston as the Canucks face the Bruins in a re-match of the Stanley Cup Final. Despite Luongo’s hot play of late, giving Schneider the start in his hometown is a great reward for his own play this season.