Jannik Hansen was a delight in 2010-11, though it wasn’t usually for his goalscoring ability. In his first full season with the Canucks, Hansen was a revelation on the third line, forechecking with fervor, killing penalties with aplomb, and speaking in a delightful high-pitched monotone. With 29 points, Hansen finished tied for 10th on the team in scoring, but his contributions far outweighed his offensive numbers.
In recognition of his awesomeness, Hansen was given the Fred J. Hume award as the team’s unsung hero. Both Kevin Bieksa and Alexandre Burrows are previous recipients of the award and have gone on to more marquee success; of course, Steve Bernier also won the award, so make of that what you will.
In the midst of all his fantastic work as a role player, Hansen found the time to chip in 9 goals, matching his career best. Hansen is a far cry from a finisher, so don’t expect many pretty ones.
Hansen’s first goal of the season was a big one, a third period game-tying goal in one of the best games of the season. It’s a typical goal for Hansen: as Malhotra gains the zone and goes wide on his defender, Jannik heads straight towards the net with his eye on the puck. Howard gives up a rebound, while Cleary fails to check Hansen, who does not err.
It was a month before Hansen tallied another goal, again a tying goal. On a 4-on-3, he tips a Kesler pass back to Keith Ballard before – surprise, surprise – heading straight to the front of the net. Ballard’s wristshot gets deflected and Hansen bats in the bouncing biscuit on the backhand.
Some wizardous non-Sedinery sets up this goal, as Jeff Tambellini outraces Luke Schenn to the puck, then feeds Kesler with a nifty pass. Kesler patiently out-waits a sprawling Francois Beauchemin to slip a backhand pass to Hansen, who positions himself perfectly to put the puck on net.
After the wizardry of his previous goal, this one where he was actually on the ice with the Sedins is a bit of a disappointment, as an attempted pass to Daniel Sedin deflects off a defenseman’s skate and past Sergei Bobrovsky. It does, however, show that Hansen’s offensive instincts are more that of a playmaker than a sniper.
Another swat at a rebound, another game-tying goal from Hansen. Once again skating on a line with Kesler (something we might see more often next season), the two players interchange nicely coming over the blue line, leaving Hansen wide open at the side of the net. Unfortunately, Kesler loses control of the puck and Mason Raymond isn’t able to get a pass through, leading to Kesler just throwing the puck on net. Hansen, like a Danish ninja, materializes from behind the net, confounding Douglas Murray’s attempts to crosscheck him.
Hansen is on the ice for all of 3 seconds prior to scoring this goal. Unsurprisingly, he spends those 3 seconds heading directly to the net, where he picks up a rebound and shovels it past a hapless Bryzgalov. It’s not too surprising that this game turned into a 6-0 rout, as the Coyotes show no desire whatsoever to control or clear the rebound, as if they’ve forgotten that the purpose of hockey is to control that little black disc and put it in the other team’s net. They collectively stare at it, while one of them half-heartedly waves his stick at it as if he’s just discovering the use of tools. Someone needs to get a monolith down to Phoenix, stat.
I’m going to blow your mind: Hansen’s 7th goal of the year is scored on a rebound. This particular rebound comes off a point shot that is tipped by Torres. We have previously discussed Raffi’s tipping tendencies and they are once again on display, as Torres bowls through his defender to get in position, while Hansen stealthily sneaks in behind him to be in position for a rebound. Danish ninja.
Hansen’s gamewinner against the Wild is yet another rebound goal. He sneaks in behind Matt Cullen, placing himself in perfect position to backhand the puck into the open net. Malhotra’s work along the boards is superb: his hit on Spurgeon leaves the Wild defender no opportunity to get to the puck afterwards.
Hansen’s prettiest goal of the season was also his final goal of the season and it comes off a classic third-line forecheck. Rob Scuderi is clearly caught off-guard by the aggressiveness of Hansen, who gets his stick on the puck to disrupt the possession, then plants his left skate directly in front of Scuderi’s toe, causing him to fall flat on his face. Torres skates right through Jack Johnson to get to the puck before feeding Hansen in front of the net. With Scuderi still struggling to his feet after being tripped, Hansen has time to pull the puck around Jonathan Quick on the backhand.
Previous entries in the Every Goal 2010-11 series: