Canucks Army Weekly Player Grades: November 25th, 2014

Player Report Cards

For some of you, getting your report card was one of the most exciting times of the year. If your grades were good, maybe your parents would give you a little extra allowance to spend, or let you get that video game you wanted. For others, report card time was a tangled mess of gut-wrenching nervousness and oh my god Mr. Smith gave me a C- in English MY PARENTS ARE GOING TO KILL ME.

Either way, welcome to the Canucks Army Weekly Report Card, where we’ll take all that repressed childhood anxiety, bottle it back up, and apply it to your (presumably) favourite hockey team instead. 

Read past the jump!

A couple of notes before we begin:

  1. This feature was supposed to run on Monday, but due to some technical issues with war-on-ice.com, it was postponed until today.
  2. We’ve seen your feedback about wanting a more “meaningful” sample to draw conclusions from. We will be doing this by running a season-to-date player report on the first Monday from each month. These weekly grades are meant to be merely a check-in as to who had a good week and who didn’t, and a place for you to discuss player performances and yell at me in the comments.
  3. We’ll have defensemen graded too. That post will run in a few hours.
So without further adieu, let’s begin!

7 Vey

Time to open your hearts and minds to Linden Vey: the Winger.

9 Kassian

Zack Kassian’s most frequent linemates are -25 and -35 for Corsi, compared to Kass’ -2. In case you were wondering where the problem was.

13 Bonino

What the hockey gods giveth, the hockey gods put a post in front of to taketh away.

14 Burrows

15 Richardson

Not only did Bo Horvat potentially take the 4th line C spot, but he might have usurped Brad Richardson too.

17 Vrbata

Vrbata went goalless last week. This week, he totally Radim-ed himself.

20 Higgins

Chris Higgins is quietly on pace to eclipse 50 points for the 2nd time in his career. He won’t get there, but it’s still impressive.

22 Sedin

Daniel Sedin played his 1,000th NHL game on Sunday, and from the looks of things, he seems to have 1,000 more in the tank.

27 Matthias

33 Sedin

36 Hansen

The Canucks have a combined 15 goals in 68 games from Hansen, Dorsett, Vey, and Horvat this season. They got a combined 15 all of last year (in 201 games) from Sestito, Dalpe, Schroeder, and Weise.

51 Dorsett

I can’t get over the head fake Dorsett threw on Michal Rozsival Sunday night for something as simple as retrieving a dump-in. A thing of beauty:

53 Horvat

No, YOU’RE already putting in an order for a Bo Horvat #53 home jersey.

  • Cale

    Now that Horvat has earned himself an extended stay in the NHL, he should be allowed an opportunity as the 3LC even if he struggles a bit.

    Richardson is better suited as the 4LC and he’s a pending UFA.

    And at this point Vey looks no better than a winger/extra centre.

    The organization is pretty thin at centre going forward so they need to live with some prospect growing pains for a change…

    • Cale

      So is the answer moving Horvat up, and then having Vey and Kass as his wingers? Im under the assumption that when Burrows comes back, Vey is likely sitting.
      Maybe move Hansen up to the 2nd? I could see that working in Burrows stead.

      Or do you just swap the 3rd and 4th ice time at this point? Hard to break up a line that is producing like they are.

      • Orpo

        I agree Vey is likely sitting or at least that he should be when everyone is healthy.

        Vey & Matthias will probably battle for the 12th forward spot going forward and Sestito can be shipped to Utica…

        Arrange the wingers any way you want but I feel the top 3 centres should be Henrik, Bonino & Horvat and the top 6 wingers should be Daniel, Vrbata, Higgins, Kassian, Burrows & Hansen.

        The line combinations will sort themselves out.

        But if management wants to keep Horvat up until at least the WJC I suspect, he needs to play and given a shot to stick in the top 9…

        • That’s the exact order I’d go with.
          22-33-17
          20-13-9
          14-53-36

          Willie seems to want 4 2 way lines though, so he’ll probably keep Burrows on the 2nd line. Vey should keep his place on the 4th line for his PP ability.

      • Orpo

        I think you keep the lines as they are until they will eventually struggle (as all do) then have Horvat play with Kassian and Vey. For the love of god give Kassian someone who can finish his passes. Richardson (or preferably Matthias) on that fourth line gives you a hell of a smash and bang line and I’d rather have Vey learn his craft as a winger, much higher upside than Richardson. If Horvat becomes as reliable on the face-offs as he seems (which seems to be a combination of timing, positioning and strength) he’s going to quickly supplant Bonino as the second option for important draws, regardless of wingers.

    • The team may not be so thin at centre with sedin, bonino, matthias, vey, richardson and horvat on the team. Desjardins doesn’t want one-dimensional players on the team and in my opinion that’s all the rookie Vey is at this point in his carreer. That doesn`t really bode too well for Vey in my opinion. If he is replaced at centre/rookie training by Horvat we may see him and his two-way contract down in Utica to mature after Burrows and Sestito return.

  • I think you mean top 9 wingers NM00, but otherwise I completely agree. Richardson has been very good as a 4C but is playing over his head at 3, while Horvat looks like he should be able to handle the 3C load.

    Vey has picked up his game as a winger though, so I can see Desjardins rotating through Matthias, Dorsett, Hansen, and Vey depending on how those players are playing and who the Canucks are playing against.

    • I meant top 6 wingers as in the 6 best wingers on the team that fill out the top 9 forwards…

      There’s nothing wrong with Vey as a primary winger and backup centre.

      Good teams such as LA & SJ often deploy extra centres on the wing and when injuries/underperformance occur they have a better setup to deal with such challenges then, for example, teams like TOR & EDM that are always scrambling for extra centres or playing guys a line above where their talent merits.

      NYI is another example as they have Tavares, Strome, Nelson, Nielsen & Grabovski in their top 9 and that gives them a ton of depth/options…

  • Zack Kassian has been on the ice for 58 defensive zone faceoffs, compared to 94 for Richardson. This constant line of reasoning from this blog is frustrating, where it’s treated as though Kassian is being held back by his lower Corsi linemates, when in fact those linemates are often deployed without Kassian in situations more likely to lead to negative Corsi events.