When a simple explanation suffices

Detroit: 3-for-5

Vancouver: 0-for-7

Result: Red Wings 3 – Canucks 2

I also want to point out something that else that seems obvious to me after last night:

Kyle Wellwood is a valuable hockey player on a team like the Canucks.  I defy any Canucks fan to rebut this assertion with a compelling argument that fully considers the appropriate facts.

Let us establish, first, what Wellwood is not.  He is not a sound defensive player (though he is by no means as poor in his own end as some would have you believe); he is not a fast skater (though he is more mobile than he is credited for); and he is not in any way, shape or form a physical hockey player.

That said, let us consider what Wellwood is and, more importantly, the impact he has on this hockey team.  He has excellent hands and a deft touch around the net; he is a tremendous passer; he has dazzling skills with the puck; he is an intelligent player, particularly when he has possession of the puck; and he creates high quality scoring chances with some regularity.  He is also, apropos of the initial point in this post, a power play specialist.

As dismal as the Canucks power play was last night, the few bright spots largely involved Wellwood in some way.  (On one play, in particular, Wellwood managed to get in behind Chris Osgood at the side of the net and centre the puck into the crease, while falling, only to have it slide harmlessly to the blue line when neither of the Sedins could muster the effort to go to the front of the net.)  In fact, Wellwood’s goal to make it 3-2 was effectively a power play goal, as a Red Wings penalty had only just expired.

I freely admit that if we were talking about, say, the Detroit Red Wings or some other bona fide Stanley Cup contender, we would not be having a conversation about Wellwood.  However, the Canucks are most certainly not that team.  What the Canucks are, ultimately, is an offensively limited team that scores by committee and relies a lot on plucky opportunism rather than skill to score goals.  They are also remarkably brutal on the power play. 

A team like that desperately needs a Kyle Wellwood.

1 Response to “When a simple explanation suffices”

  1. 1 Well done, sir « Vancouver Viewpoint Trackback on November 5, 2008 at 12:39 pm

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