With over half the season in the books, it’s time to take a quick look back at how each individual player on the Canucks has performed so far. Read past the jump for Canucks Army’s player grades for the season up to January 31st, 2015.
- With consistently strong possession numbers, declining goal scoring, and relatively more impressive Corsi against than Corsi for numbers, is it time to ask if the Sedins are transitioning into defensive specialists?
- Less than 50% of Daniel and Henrik’s offense has come at 5-on-5 this season. Related: the Canucks are the West’s 3rd lowest scoring team at 5-on-5.
- Vrbata’s fancystats and even strength offence haven’t been great, but his 20 goals currently tie him for 14th in the NHL, and his 8 powerplay markers tie him for 11th.
- Burrows has given the Canucks about average second line production while continuing to be a defensive ace. His work on the powerplay is still sub-par, however.
- Even with just four goals in his past 35 games, Nick Bonino is still Vancouver’s most efficient scorer per minute of TOI. Thanks in large part to Chris Higgins and Alex Burrows’ defensive efforts, his possession game has come around too.
- Oft-criticized for being invisible, Chris Higgins fires more shots at the net than any other Vancovuer forward, and has the best on-ice scoring chance plus/minus of any Canuck not named Chris Tanev. Add elite penalty killing and strong possession numbers, and Higgins has been a valuable contributor on the defensive side of the puck.
- Hansen’s breakaways have dried up as expected, but he’s still a valuable penalty killer and an average offensive 3rd liner. He has a 52% Corsi when away from Bo Horvat.
- Like Hansen, Matthias is a good bottom-6 goal scorer that has turned himself into a beast on the penalty kill. He still struggles with generating offense for his teammates however, and has the second worst scoring chance differential among all Vancouver forwards.
- Like last year, Richardson has provided the Canucks with adequate offense and strong penalty killing, but questionable 5-on-5 play. Could be a valuable bottom-3 contributor to a contending team, however.
- The good news is that Zack Kassian’s possession game has remained solid and he’s a good bet to have a relatively strong latter half of the year. The bad news is that he’s been railroaded by percentages and still gives up too many scoring chances when he’s on the ice.
- Dorsett’s 14 points through January are fantastic, as is his willingness to play hard-nosed and compete night-in and night-out. Unfortunately, he also gets stomped on a nightly basis at even strength.
- Vey has shown slow but steady improvement throughout the year, improving his possession numbers every month of the season. He looks more comfortable as a winger than he did as a centre, and he needs to shoot the puck more too.
- Horvat’s talent is beginning to shine through on a more regular basis, and his scoring chance numbers are quite a bit better than his puck possession numbers. Good in-zone play is only limiting the damage though, as his fancystats are still essentially replacement level. He’ll be a fine player one day so there’s nothing to worry about, but that day just won’t be this year.