These final 11 goals of Daniel’s regular season are some of his prettiest, showcasing his accurate shot and knack for finding open ice to use it. While many of his other goals featured simple tap-ins after pretty passing plays, these goals show a lot more of Daniel’s skill with the puck and are a great reminder why he won the Ted Lindsay Award as voted by his peers. Many of his peers saw firsthand what he was capable of and many of them were victimized by those capabilities. Sure, there are a couple lucky bounces tossed in, but luck doesn’t happen on its own. These goals demonstrate how hard work creates the opportunities for good fortune to occur.Continue Reading —›
I have to be exceptionally careful while writing Daniel Sedin’s Every Goal for 2010-11. So many of his goals came off remarkable passing plays that I start to become desensitized to the Wizardous Sedinerie on display. I see yet another cross-ice, three-foot-high saucer pass over the sticks of two defenders and I scoff: “Pfft, he was totally looking at his brother when he made that pass. Wake me up when he does that blindfolded while freeing himself from a straitjacket.” Sometimes I have to slow down and take the time to appreciate each moment of wizardry. I encourage you to do the same: parcel out your viewing throughout the day. Watch each goal a few times, perhaps more if it’s a particularly pretty one. Also, tell someone you care about how much you love them. Never a bad time for that.Continue Reading —›
The best examples of Wizardous Sedinerie are rarely about the finish, which is usually just a tap-in into an open net. Because of this, many of Daniel’s 41 goals make his job look easy. All he has to do is corral the blind, backhand, spin-o-rama, cross-ice saucer pass from Henrik and direct it at the open 6′ x 4′ cage, but that underplays his contribution. Daniel’s ability to find open ice and anticipate Henrik’s passes is almost as impressive as the passes themselves. The fact that Daniel also makes those types of passes himself (as on display in other iterations of this year’s Every Goal series) is incredible.Continue Reading —›
Last week was Ryan Kesler Week, as we examined all 41 goals scored by the Canucks’ second-line center. How can we follow up on that? With Daniel Sedin Week, where we examine all 41 goals scored by the Canucks’ first-line left winger.
In case you haven’t heard, Daniel Sedin had a pretty good season in 2010-11. In the previous season, his brother picked up the Art Ross and the Hart trophies in 2009-10 and snidely remarked on-stage at the awards show in Las Vegas that he was better than Daniel. Essentially. Understandably, this set Daniel on edge and he was clearly out for blood. He got it. There was blood all over the ice, spurting from multiple wounds in the goal line, spraying all over opposition goaltenders. Every Canucks game was like an episode of True Blood in which a vampire gets staked.
Daniel led the NHL in scoring, winning the Art Ross trophy and the Ted Lindsay award. He finished 4th in goals scored, with 41, and led the league in powerplay goals with 18. And we’re about to recap every single one of those 41 goals. Here are goals 1-10. Expect wizardry. And blood. Perhaps some blood magic.Continue Reading —›
Today: part four in Ryan Kesler’s Every Goal series, the lengthy rundown of each and every time he bulged the twine in 2010-11. In the thrilling finale, you’ll see multiple assaults on the Minnesota Wild, sexy empty-netters, some nifty enabling courtesy of Manny Malhotra, Alex Burrows being sent away from a hug, the discovery of a new Sedin set play, and traditional season-ending Wizardous Sedinery versus the Calgary Flames. I hope you’ve enjoyed Ryan Kesler’s entry in the Every Goal series as much as I enjoyed writing it (at least, and hopefully, more, because this took forever).Continue Reading —›
Today: part three of Ryan Kesler’s entry in the Every Goal series, in which you’ll see such things as Kesler’s second career hat trick, Kesler’s first shorthanded goal of the year, Henrik Sedin being all shifty like a dog that’s up to no good, Adrian Aucoin made to look rather foolish, Alex Burrows being a sneaky jerk, and a buttload of tips. Seriously, there are more redirects here than a gubernatorial debate. It’s like a tipping convention. Anyway. Enjoy.Continue Reading —›
Today: part two of Ryan Kesler’s entry in the Every Goal series, where we’ll be looking at goals 11-20, all of which, save the last, took place in December. We’ll see such things as a game-tying buzzer beater versus the Anaheim Ducks, the targeted victimization of Rusty Klesla, Kesler’s first-career hat trick, and the classic Skee-ball goal. There are also some great supporting performances put in by Jannik Hansen, Mason Raymond, and the defence of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames. Enjoy.Continue Reading —›
As we examine Ryan Kesler’s entire scoring season, you will no doubt be reminded that, in 2010-11, the Vancouver centre transmogrified into two things he never was before: 1) an elite net presence, and 2) an elite sniper. In front, Kesler established himself as one of the league’s best shot-tippers and rebound-hunters. Meanwhile, on the rush, Kesler’s sudden, whippy wrist shot graduated to the Ovechkinian levels of effectiveness. In sum, Kesler became a bona fide threat to score every time he crossed the opposing blue line. And thanks to the addition of Manny “The Enabler” Malhotra, he crossed the blue line a lot. Here’s part 1 of Ryan Kesler’s lengthy entry in the Every Goal series.Continue Reading —›
Whether or not Mason Raymond can get back to his level of play from two years ago will be one of 2011-12′s largest storylines. Once his back is rehabilitated, Raymond will be dropped straight into a contract year and, considering the glut of middle six wingers, he’ll be in tough to earn the juicy second line minutes he was getting in 2010-11. If he hopes to keep that coveted spot alongside Ryan Kesler, he’s likely going to have to score with a little more regularity than he did last season. But let’s not look forward. Let’s go back in time, to the 15 goals Mason Raymond scored in 2010-11.Continue Reading —›
Today in the Every Goal series, we look at defenseman Sami Salo and his three goals. Yes, three. You may recall that Salo’s season was severely shortened by a torn achilles tendon he suffered playing floorball in the summer. (Having played floorball, I can tell you that the risk of injury is probably higher playing backgammon, but leave it to Sami Salo to find a way.)
At his age, and considering the severity of his injury, it was downright courageous of Salo to work back into playing shape instead of just calling it a career. Truth is, as frustrated as Canuck nation was with yet another freak Salo injury, he had to be even moreso. While the fans suffer the annoyance of watching Salo injure himself again and again, Salo suffers the slightly higher annoyance of feeling these frequent injuries, and the discouragement that comes with them. That Salo has an entry in this series at all is admirable.Continue Reading —›
Manny Malhotra was not signed by the Canucks to provide offense, instead taking over the defensive duties of Ryan Kesler, enabling Kesler to stop doing Selke-related activities and focus on offense. This, of course, led to Kesler winning the Selke award as he scored 41 goals. Observations pointing out that this makes no sense whatsoever and that the Selke award is nearly nonsensical at this point are welcomed, but will change nothing.
Even though Malhotra started an incredible 75% of his shifts in the defensive zone, leading the NHL, he managed to finish fifth on the Canucks in fewest goals against per 60 minutes while facing the toughest competition of all Canucks forwards. Oh yeah, and he managed to score 11 goals while doing all of this. In his five previous seasons, Manny averaged 11 goals, 19 assists, and 30 points. This season, he hit those averages dead on, while playing in a far more defensive role. It was an incredibly impressive season that ended in an agonizing what-if, as the Canucks playoff run could have been a completely different story if Malhotra wasn’t struck down by an errant puck in March.Continue Reading —›
Today in the every goal series, we look at Kevin Bieksa, the much-maligned Canuck defender who fought off trade rumours and two seasons of spotty play to re-win the hearts of Vancouver fans.
But make no mistake: Bieksa didn’t quite return to form last season. Rather, he reinvented himself. Bieksa’s 22 points were the same amount he put up the season prior, but he flourished in a new role as a shutdown defender, playing tough minutes with Dan Hamhuis.
That said, Kevin Bieksa can still score, and what you’ll see in his six goals is a guy whose shot remains lethal, whose ability to jump into the rush is still very much in place, and who may very well be able to pick up some of the backend offense the Canucks lost when Christian Ehrhoff headed to Buffalo. Here’s every goal Kevin Bieksa scored in 2010-11.Continue Reading —›
Keith Ballard had a tough first-year in Vancouver. Acquired to add depth and offensive punch to the blueline, Ballard struggled mightily in the regular season, registering a career-low 2 goals and 7 points (14 points below his previous career low). Worse, by game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, he had dropped off the depth chart entirely, as rookie Chris Tanev and a handful of too-hurt-to-play defenders were dressed instead of him. In short, Keith Ballard had a pretty sucky year.
With the loss of Christian Ehrhoff, Ballard appears to have a massive opportunity to redeem himself in 2011-12. After failing to live up to expectations, a rejuvenated Keith Ballard would be like the Canucks finding a top four defenseman in the attic. Alex Edler needs a new best friend, preferably a right-hander with a decent first pass, the ability to join the rush with the Sedins, and some hittiness. Alain Vigneault’s going to need to be convinced, but it’s not entirely impossible, especially if Ballard does the stuff he does in these clips at a rate more in keeping with his career averages. Here’s every goal Keith Ballard scored in 2010-11.Continue Reading —›
It wasn’t often, but when Dan Hamhuis chose to join the rush, his timing was narrowly impeccable. Five of the six goals Hammy scored last season are the result of Hamhuis jumping into the play just in time to score on a rebound or receive a sudden centering pass. Pitching in whenever necessary? Sure sounds like the Community Man. Here’s every goal Dan Hamhuis scored in 2010-11.Continue Reading —›
Mikael Samuelsson had an interesting year. Plagued most of the season with sports hernia and muscle tightness in his leg that restricted his movement and slowed his skating, he looked like a shell of the man that made Mike Gillis look like a genius for signing him by scoring 30 goals in his first season in Vancouver. After a strong playoffs in which he scored six goals in seven games bolstered the hopes of Vancouver fans, Samuelsson’s foll0w-up season was wildly inconsistent. He vacillating between excellent, puck possession shifts and terrible giveaways, often in the same game. He bounced around the lineup, from the first to the fourth line, with regularity, never quite finding a permanent home. Each shift seems like a punishment or a reward for the one that preceded it.
And still, while the 18 goals he put up in 2010-11 were 12 less than his career year in 2009-10, they were consistent with his career averages. Furthermore, the 50 points he tallied were only three away from last year’s numbers.
As the next season approaches, the enigmatic Samuelsson had been largely forgotten as a top six option, but 18 goals and 50 points is nothing to sneeze at, especially when the average NHL first liner puts up only 60 points. Samuelsson is an impact player wherever in the Canucks lineup he plays. Let every goal he scored in 2010-11 remind you of that.Continue Reading —›
The man they (we) call Kiss Huggins showed enough last season to earn another go-round in Vancouver, as the Canucks paid him $1.9 million to return. It will be interesting to see if he can return, as well, to Ryan Kesler’s wing. Lord knows the spot is wide open at the moment and, while Higgins struggled with his finish at times last year (some of that may have had to do with his sore hand), he showed as much or more chemistry with Kesler as anyone on the roster.
Unfortunately, it only resulted in two goals, and truthfully, I don’t care where he plays in 2012, so long as he can replicate what he does in the clips below, say, 20 more times than that. Here’s every goal Chris Higgins scored (in a Canucks uniform) in 2010-11.Continue Reading —›
Welcome to the back half of Alex Burrows’ entry in the PITB Every Goal series. Yesterday we looked at goals 1-13 in Burrows’s 2010-11 season. Today we’ll look at goals 14 – 26, and you’ll see all sorts of crazy things: ridiculous passing plays, odd-man rushes, that backhand move that always works for some reason, more hustle than a Cassidy video, and empty net goals galore. Galore! And if, for whatever reason, you don’t fully understand what Alex Burrows brings to the Canucks, you’ll have a pretty good idea by the time you’re finished.Continue Reading —›
Alex Burrows had a fabulous season, and he didn’t get enough credit for it. Though he failed to top his career-high 35 goals from the season prior, he still potted an impressive 26 goals in a shortened season after missing the entire preseason and the first 10 games of the regular season while recovering from shoulder surgery. Granted, Burrows’s totals were overshadowed by the 41-goal seasons put up by both Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin, but it’s important to note that Alex Burrows did his damage without powerplay time: his 24 even-strength goals, one more than either Kesler or Daniel, led the Canucks.
One misconception that I hope to clear up during Alex Burrows’s entry in the Every Goal series is the notion that anybody could do Burrows’s job. It’s a cushy gig, to be sure, but a lot of guys have flunked out of it because it’s not an easy one to keep. In order to make himself a consistent passing option, Burrows has to stay one step ahead of the Sedins. Were this a simple task, there would be no such thing as Sedinery. Burr works his tail off to be in the right place at the right time, reading plays, fighting for space, going hard into corners and even harder to the net. In short: sure, his stat line benefits from the Sedins’ fabulous playmaking skills, but he makes things as easy for them as they do for him. Take in every goal Alex Burrows scored in 2010-11 and you’re sure to notice that.Continue Reading —›
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.Continue Reading —›
Alex Bolduc was drafted 127th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2003 entry draft, but never earned a contract. Instead, when his junior career ended, he took a similar path to Alex Burrows, joining the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors, garnering the attention of the Manitoba Moose for his grit and defensive acumen and, within one season, signing a contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Unfortunately, Bolduc couldn’t manage to find a permanent NHL home in Vancouver. He earned numerous callups, and even made the Canucks out of training camp last season, but injuries and inconsistent play limited him to only 47 NHL games in three years with the organization.
Also, Bolduc didn’t quite have the hands for the NHL, although the two NHL goals he has to his name might lead you to believe otherwise. Both came on beautiful shots, and both came last season. With that in mind, here’s every goal Alex Bolduc scored in 2010-11.Continue Reading —›
Though Henrik Sedin had a slight statistical regression from his Hart and Art Ross trophy winning season in 2010-11, registering 94 points a year after a career-high 112, you’d be hard-pressed to say last season was a step backwards for the elder twin. On opening night of the regular season, Henrik was named the captain of the Vancouver Canucks, a position Roberto Luongo had relinquished during the offseason. Anointed as the head of a revamped leadership corps, Henrik had a pretty good first year with the new patch, leading the Canucks to within one win of the Stanley Cup.
With his brother healthy for the entire season, Henrik also returned to his primary role as Daniel’s setup man (and, seeing as his brother won the Art Ross and the Lindsay, he was clearly a pretty effective setup man). Henrik scored 10 fewer goals than the season prior, finishing one goal short of his third 20-goal season. That said, 19 goals are nothing to sneeze at, especially when they come paired with a league-leading 75 assists and 94 points total. Trust me: while Henrik isn’t an elite goalscorer, per se, Henrik Sedin is an elite playmaker and that, more than anything else, is evident during this compilation of every goal he scored in 2010-11. I assure you, it’s the best one yet.Continue Reading —›
Before having his season cut short by back surgery, Alex Edler was coming into his own as the Canucks’ premier defenseman. After a slow start to the 2010-11 campaign, with only two goals scored in the first three months of the season (both in November), Edler caught fire in January, scoring the final six of his eight goals in nineteen days. But then the back spasms started. And, after playing through the pain for one game, the team agreed surgery was the best option. After an incredible recovery allowed Edler to rejoin the lineup just in time for the playoffs, he never got back to where he was in January.
In truth, it was a lot to ask of Edler that he return to top form — with no setbacks whatsoever — after such a major surgery. But, with a full (albeit somewhat shortened) offseason in which to get his rhythm, there are high hopes for the Iceman next season. At his ceiling, Alex Edler has the potential to be the best skater, passer, shooter, hitter, and overall defender on the Canucks’ backend. Can he get there?
What Vancouver gets from Alex Edler next season may be one of 2012′s greatest mysteries (the other being how the world will end). And while, today, we look back, not forward, one imagines that every goal Alex Edler scored last season might be an indication of what he’s capable of next season.Continue Reading —›
Today in the every goal series, we look at now-departed winger Tanner Glass, Scrabble Champ, bear fighter and all-around good guy, and examine the three goals he scored for the Canucks in 2010-11. Additionally, we marvel at the fact that Joel “Cigar Guy” Perrault is in the background for two of them.Continue Reading —›
In this edition of our Every Goal series, it’s time for another forward leaving via free agency: Jeff Tambellini. The pint-sized forward joined the Canucks on a league-minimum contract, hoping to contribute to the team he grew up idolizing. Let’s take a look at every goal Jeff Tambellini scored in 2010-11.Continue Reading —›
Today in the Every Goal series, we’ll look at the human bowling ball himself, Raffi Torres, and the 14 goals he scored for Vancouver during the 2010-11 regular season.
Though 14 was the lowest full season goal total of Torres’s career, his year in Vancouver was largely held to be a success. After signing with the Canucks late last offseason as a reclamation project on a one-year deal, Torres carved out a semi-permanent place for himself on the third line alongside Manny Malhotra and Jannik Hansen. He had a knack for massive hits, usually clean (but there was this one time…. and arguably this other time…). He gave the Canucks some physicality that their top nine truly lacked — and now lacks again, after Torres accepted a two-year offer from the Phoenix Coyotes.Continue Reading —›