Every Goal, 2011-12: The one-goal guys

Today in the every goal series, we take a moment to appreciate the guys who only scored one goal in a Canucks’ uniform in 2011-12.

This is a really strange collection of names, if you think about it, and I think it underscores what a strange year last year was. In 2010-11, most of the one-goal guys were the sorts of guys you’d expect: stay-at-home defencemen (Andrew Alberts) and fourth line call-ups (Mario Bliznak). But in 2011-12, the one-goal guys were Keith Ballard, Mikael Samuelsson, Byron Bitz, Aaron Volpatti, Marc-Andre Gragnani, and Zack Kassian. No one could have predicted that group, either because more was expected of them or because they weren’t expected to end the year here.

But not everybody you see below is unexpected. The Sedins are in almost every clip, to the surprise of no one.

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Mikael Samuelsson, on Canucks: ‘I didn’t think very highly of management”

Earlier this month, we celebrated when Mikael Samuelsson signed a contract to re-assimilate into the Borg in Detroit. The Red Wings are, after all, going to be featured on HBO’s 24/7, and something tells us that Samuelsson’s brutal honesty will make his interviews indispensable segments of the program.

If you don’t share our excitement, perhaps you need an example of this brutal honesty. Look no further than a recent interview Samuelsson did with Ronnie Johansson of HockeySvierge.Se, which can be found in the original Swedish here and originally translated by Canucks Army here. During the chat, the former Canuck made it clear that he wasn’t a fan of the Canucks’ front office.

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The top 50 Vancouver Canucks goals of 2011 (40-31)

Welcome to Day 2 of PITB’s countdown of the top 50 goals the Vancouver Canucks scored in 2011. This afternoon you’ll be treated to a Daniel Sedin hat trick, a brilliant Ryan Kesler power move, and the bowling ball that is Raffi Torres.

There’s also a hat tip to what was a very common theme in the year that was: the victimization of the Pacific Division, as both San Jose and Dallas get burned multiple times. Provided you’re neither a Sharks fan nor a Stars fan, you’ll probably enjoy today’s goals.

Like life (according to John Lennon), we begin at 40.

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Quotes Taken Out of Context: Mikael Samuelsson edition

Today in quotes taken out of context: Mikael Samuelsson gives us some insight into how he relieved all that lower body stress.

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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.

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In his early days in Vancouver, Coach Alain Vigneault was known to juggle his lines at the slightest adversity. Though as the Canucks have morphed into an elite team, his juggling act has reduced greatly.

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