Break it down for me, fella

The Canucks head in to the all-star break sitting uncomfortably in 7th place in the Western Conference.

With 57 points, the Canucks are only one point ahead of 9th place Columbus and, for that matter, only three points ahead of 11th place Phoenix. That said, the Canucks are only two points behind Northwest division leaders Minnesota, who stand in 3rd. In other words, over the course of the rest of the season we might easily find the Canucks poised to win consecutive Northwest division titles or in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the second time in three years.

As I said, uncomfortable.

A summary of the season so far:

Positives

  • The Sedins are poised to maintain, and likely improve upon, last season’s impressive offensive output. Daniel and Henrik are undoubtedly the bonafide offensive stars of this team.
  • Taylor Pyatt has been terrific this year, particularly before he had his mouth obliterated by a puck.
  • Alexander Edler leads NHL rookies with a + 15 rating and plays night-in, night-out like a veteran NHL defenceman.
  • Robert Luongo, despite some inconsistency, is so good that his inconsistent play generally exceeds the best play of most other NHL goaltenders.
  • Ryan Kesler has solidified his status as the shut down man among the forwards and a player the opposition would rather not play against.
  • Alex Burrows has stopped taking asinine penalties on a nightly basis. He has even chipped in with some timely goals, suggesting he actually does know how to put the puck in the net.
  • Mason Raymond, although not scoring as much as he might like, has provided fans with at least some excitement when he plays. 

Negatives

  • Markus Naslund, despite some ephemeral flashes of brilliance, appears a spent force. At $6 million/year, he is the NHL’s most expensive checker.
  • Matt Cooke has finally convinced any remaining doubters that he is a tremendously limited player who contributes little more than occasional annoyance of other teams’ players.
  • Brendan Morrison still cashes a paycheque exceeding $3 million per year. (The fact this albatross of a contract expires this season could be spun as a positive, I suppose.)
  • Dave Nonis continues to refuse to part with some of the Canucks’ vastly overrated and superfluous prospects (ahem, Cory Schneider) in order to secure some decent secondary scoring.
  • Notwithstanding the previous point, Alain Vigneault would probably play any scorer obtained by Nonis with Byron Ritchie and Rick Rypien.
  • Sami Salo, once again, can’t stay healthy. More disconcerting: when he has played, he looks decidedly average.
  • Mike Weaver and Brad Isbister play with disturbing regularity on this team.

32 games to go. I admit it, I am nervous.

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2 Responses to “Break it down for me, fella”


  1. 1 Paul January 25, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Rob,

    I can adress every point; I will leave you with my summation:

    At least we are not the leafs.

  2. 2 RJ January 26, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    ‘Tis true.


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