WDYTT: Who is the most improved Vancouver Canuck through October?
Photo credit:© Simon Fearn-USA TODAY Sports
25 days ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet to always show up on time for all Vancouver-related performances.
Speaking of Guns n’ Roses, it’s time to say goodbye to October and embrace those cold November rains. The first month of the 2023/24 NHL regular season is behind us now, and from where we’re sitting, it’s been a rather successful one for the Vancouver Canucks.
That you might have a hard time picking out a singular MVPO (Most Valuable Player in October) right now is undoubtedly a sign of a strong start. But it might be a better sign that the question we’re here to ask you about today is just as difficult to answer, because our question today is about improvement.
Few looked at the Canucks of last year and didn’t think the team required drastic improvements. But thus far, it looks pretty darn improve-y in Vancouver, and that includes several individual players whose personal stocks have shot through the roof.
Typically, Most Improved awards get handed out at minor hockey banquets at the end of the season. We’re bucking the trend by handing one out to the professionals now.
Today, we’re asking:
Who is the most improved Canuck (compared to last season) through the month of October?
Let it be known in the comment section.
Which Vancouver Canucks will keep up their early-season pace (good or bad), and which will not?
You answered below!
I think Miller is in for another year where he flirts with 100 points. His skills haven’t started to fade with age yet and he is more motivated than ever.
Boeser is due for a regression. Take away his big first game and he sits at .80 p/gp, which is close to the .78 p/gp he averaged last season when he was a permanent fixture on Miller’s line.
Agreed on Boeser. But 0.78PPG is still nothing to snuff about since it is still top-six production, even if the biased can’t wrap their heads around that fact…
I fully expect that all of the Canucks’ top players will maintain close to their current pace. This is what was projected from this group, a high-scoring team that can generate a lot of offence.
Petey, Hughes, and, Miller will more or less remain on-pace with where they are now (albeit Petey is on pace for around 130 points and he may not quite get there, but maybe more in the 110-120 range which is still a lofty height.)
Boeser is probably the obvious choice to slow down a bit, he will not be over a point-a-game but maybe, just maybe, this is the year he finally gets to 30 goals.
Kuz and Mikheyev are probably around where I would expect them, in the 70-80 point range or just short of a point-per-game.
Höglander is the real tricky one here, I think close to 35-40 points is in range if he manages to stay with the team.
Final thought: is it fair to also say Myers is off to a red hot start? I predict he will continue making fans red hot for as long as he remains a Canuck.
What a difference a week makes. Petey will play up to last year’s standards, their line will be better because all of them are healthy. Miller will put more points on the board. BB will play a more inspired game. The bottom-six will be more productive and the goaltending will be tighter. Defence will remain in flux, but overall there should be more points on the board at the end of the season. But we’ll have to wait till then whether it will be enough. As an eternal optimist, I say yes.
Great men JT Miller and Quinn Hughes will maintain, but the Boeser bump is over because he has gone back to being soft and slow. And Petey is afraid to shoot, spends most of his time wondering if his stick is too stiff, and is not driving the team the way he should be.
Miller, Petey, Hughes, and Demko will continue their good play (absent injury) and solid point scoring, but I don’t think Boeser will keep up his point-scoring pace or good play generally. His play to date seems just too good to be true. I am beginning to think Kuzmenko’s poor play will continue, and of course we all know Myers’ play will continue to be poor.
The Good: Demko. He will be a force this year and have his workload managed. It will be a career year for Demko.
The Bad: Tyler Myers. He literally is the only player on the team that has not had any type of improvement in systems since the coaching change. I thought given the structure there would still be Giraffe, but less Chaos. As the season goes on, his ice time will get less and less, his squeeze of the stick will get more and more. I don’t see his play improving, I see it only going in the opposite direction.
Regarding the question, a two word answer to the first part: *Tyler Myers.*
I guarantee no one can top that.
Second part: Suter.
Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are both well on their way to (another) career season. Expect Pettersson to be well over 100 points if healthy, and Hughes to hit that mark for the first time.
JT Miller is less certain to keep it up, based solely on his age and expected eventual decline, but he sure looks as good as ever, if not better. His PPG of 1.5 is going to come down, but the real question is whether he’ll be able to approach, or even beat, his previous career high of 99 points.
Brock Boeser won’t maintain his pace, because four goals in the first game is invariably going to skew things, but he is playing like he can at least stay on a career-best pace all year long.
Since this is a little overly positive, here’s two who won’t maintain:
Filip Hronek is not going to score at a point-per-game pace for very long.
Tyler Myers is not going to score 40 points.
Carson Soucy is not going to continue to score at a 30-goal pace.
Those seem like fairly easy calls.
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