The annual Every Goal series will run Monday to Thursday through July and August, remembering every goal scored by the Canucks, player by player. Today, we look at Jannik “So Hot Right Now” Hansen.
I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to dislike Jannik Hansen. He’s the type of player that everyone can enjoy. He never stops trying, he forechecks with wild abandon, he kills penalties, and he chips in offensively. The advanced stats nerds like me have a soft spot for the way he starts a large percentage of his shifts in the defensive zone and still has a positive Corsi rate, while the folks on Tumblr love his goofy grins and high-pitched voice.
Hansen set a career high in goals this season, tallying 16 while carrying the fourth highest plus/minus rating on the team. While plus/minus is a flawed statistic, his rating was reflective of his excellent play at both ends of the ice. He was quietly effective all season for the Canucks, earning him the nickname Danish Ninja: high-pitched but deadly.
Most impressively, he did all of his scoring at even-strength or short-handed, as he received no time on the powerplay.
Simplicity is best sometimes: get the puck over the blue line, have someone go to the net, and put the puck on net. Hansen seemed to get to the front of the net with more regularity this season and his tip-in is a deft one, causing the puck to neatly change (in the house of flies) direction past Backstrom.
Hansen showed enough poise in the offensive zone to earn a few turns with the Sedins. Here, the Sedins show how effective they can be even when the play doesn’t go exactly as planned, as Daniel shovels a deflected shot over to the open Hansen, who smartly went straight to the net. Bryan Bickell does a wonderful job of both skating past Hansen (his check) and blocking out Crawford (his goalie).
When Salo’s initial point shot mortally wounds Bobby Ryan, Daniel is quick to the puck and immediately notices that the Ducks have already begun meandering towards the neutral zone, leaving Hansen all alone in front of the net. Daniel’s wrist shot is perfectly placed for Hansen to tip it down between Hiller’s legs. That’s the second time Hansen’s done that and we’re only 3 goals in.
I thought this was Hansen’s first career 2-goal game, but he had one way back in 2008-09 against the Oilers. In any case, his second goal is a beauty, in the Canadian sense of the word. Hansen works his behind off in front of the net and tucks in his own deflected rebound while falling down. If you recall, the Canucks were down 4-0 heading into the third period of this game and came just short of mounting a complete comeback. It’s too bad, really: now we can’t call Hansen clutch.
Henrik’s pass on this 2-on-1 is gorgeous, but give Hansen credit for reading the defenceman, Niklas Hjalmarsson. It’s clear that Hjalmarsson only has eyes for the former Art Ross Trophy winner, so Hansen puts on the after burners to get to the net in a position for Henrik to find him with the puck. It’s a heads-up play by Hansen, making Hjalmarsson skate back to the bench with his head down like Charlie Brown.
Hansen didn’t score all his goals from directly in front of the net and here’s the proof: a blistering slap shot from the right faceoff circle that drills a hole directly through Pekka Rinne. Essentially, Hansen is the Chosen One from Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, but with less cow-based humour.
Hansen gets a fortunate bounce off Jay Bouwmeester on this slap shot, but the key to this goal is the space created for Hansen to take the shot by the rotation he makes to the point. Bouwmeester simply doesn’t know whether to follow him out that far and Bourque is keeping an eye on Rome, the scoring machine.
Goodness gracious me! This is a candidate for goal of the season. Hansen manages to undress two Avalanche players with one dangle, then slips the puck to Bieksa, who has moved down from the point. Bieksa kicks the puck up to his stick and immediately passes it back across to Hansen, who never stopped going to the net.
Remember when Bieksa was hyped up as an incredible offensive defenceman because he scored a pretty goal in the playoffs? Jones and Varlamov certainly do, as they completely ignore Hansen as soon as Bieksa gets the puck, thinking that Bieksa will surely shoot it. They are incorrect.Tags: Danish Ninja, Every Goal, every goal 2011-12, Jannik Hansen