In an ironic turn, Canucks now lack depth on left side of defence

For several years, the Canucks have had an issue with their defence: not enough right-side defencemen. It goes back to losing Christian Ehrhoff to free agency in 2011. Though he shoots left-handed, Ehrhoff is one of the few NHL defencemen who seems to prefer playing on his off-side and he excelled on the right side of Alex Edler with the Canucks.

During the 2010-11 season, the Canucks had three excellent right-side defencemen: Ehrhoff, Kevin Bieksa, and Sami Salo. When Salo went down with one of his all-too-frequent injuries, it exposed the Canucks’ lack of depth on the right side, leading to Chris Tanev playing 29 games as a rookie and getting into the lineup in the Stanley Cup final ahead of Keith Ballard, who struggled whenever he was on the right side.

After Ehrhoff left, the Canucks were left with Bieksa and an injury-prone Salo on the right side for one season, then just Bieksa after Salo left for Tampa Bay. They replaced Salo with Jason Garrison, who shoots left, and were forced to play him on his off-side in order to get him into the top-four.

Then a funny thing happened: Tanev emerged last season as a legitimate top-four defenceman. Ryan Stanton was claimed off waivers and became a steady presence on the bottom pairing. The Canucks signed Yannick Weber as a depth defenceman capable of playing on the powerplay. After a year in Utica, Frank Corrado is knocking on the door. Bobby Sanguinetti, formerly of the Carolina Hurricanes, was lured out of the KHL.

All right-hand shots.

Meanwhile, Jason Garrison got traded to Tampa Bay, replaced by Luca Sbisa, who has struggled with the Anaheim Ducks. And suddenly, the Canucks could have the opposite problem: not enough depth on the left side.

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Watch every goal Chris Higgins scored last season (9-17)

Is Chris Higgins a top-six forward? It’s a question I hear asked frequently by Canucks fans and it comes with an implicit assumption: no, he’s not. From what I’ve seen from Canucks fans, they seem to be agreed that the Canucks have a glut of third-line wingers and players like Higgins and Jannik Hansen end up on the second line simply because the team has no one else to put there.

I think this comes from an unrealistic view of the second line. Last year, while looking at David Booth, I estimated that a second-line player should produce between 31-to-51 points in an 82-game season and/or 15-to-25 goals. That was based on points and goals produced by second line forwards in the 2011-12 season and it’s still a pretty good guideline for what we should expect from the second line.

Higgins scored 17 goals and 39 points. While in the lower half of second line players, he still fits in that bracket and it’s important to note that he still produced like a second-line forward when most of the team fell well below expectations and while facing some of the toughest competition of his career. The Sedins both performed like second-line forwards last season, albeit top-tier second line forwards. Complaints about Higgins not belonging on the second line just don’t make any sense.

With that out of the way, let’s look at his last nine goals from last season.

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Watch every goal Chris Higgins scored last season (1-8)

The general opinion of Canucks fans is that pretty much no one had a good season under John Tortorella apart from, perhaps, Chris Tanev and Chris Higgins. In Higgins’ case, it’s simply that he performed about as well last season as he did in the previous two seasons, if not slightly worse. The reason we [...]

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Stick in Link: Deal or no deal in Bertuzzi/Moore case?

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Canucks Ice Bucket Challenge boils over into ‘Two and A Half Men’ blood feud

By now, it’s incredibly likely that, not only have you heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (in which people dump a bucket of ice on their heads and challenge friends, colleagues, or even enemies to do the same in an ongoing effort to raise money and awareness to fight ALS), but you’ve done it, too.

Like every hockey team, the Ice Bucket Challenge has swept through the Canucks organization, and thank goodness. It’s been a long time since we last saw these guys hit the ice, and while there’s still a ways to go before the break is over, at least we can avail ourselves by watching the ice hit the players.

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Watch every goal Daniel Sedin scored last season (Part 2)

It’s time for part two of every goal that Daniel Sedin scored last season, which highlights one positive: Daniel scored enough goals that we had to split them into two posts. It’s not as good as the 2010-11 season, when we spent an entire week recapping Daniel Sedin’s goals, of course, but it could have been worse.

It’s also a bit depressing that he’s one of just three players who need their goals split over more than one post.

The biggest reason for Daniel’s paltry goal totals was his 23-game goalless drought through January, February, and most of March. To put that into perspective, his longest stretch without a goal in the previous season was 8 games and that wasn’t a great season for Daniel either.

Incredibly, you have to go all the way back to Daniel’s sophomore season, to when he was just 21-years-old, to find a longer goalless drought. He went 25 games without a goal in the 2001-02 season, finishing with just 9 goals. Good news! 33-year-old Daniel is better at hockey than 21-year-old Daniel, nearly doubling his goal total from his sophomore season. See, there’s always a silver lining.

Here are the final 8 goals Daniel scored last season.

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What will the fifth Sedin vs. Sedin challenge be?

Ever since Henrik grabbed his brother by the ankle in utero and then climbed over him to be first out of the womb, the Sedin twins have been extraordinarily competitive with one another. Heck, Daniel only got into hockey so he could be better than his brother at it. He hates hockey. He just hates his brother more.

We’ve seen their competition play out over the last several years here in Vancouver, as Henrik won the Art Ross and a league MVP, so Daniel turned around and won the Art Ross and the other league MVP. Then, this season, when Henrik realized that his Iron Man streak put him way, way behind Daniel in man games lost due to injury, he broke the streak and got injured twice, just so he could make up the ground.

These two don’t quit, and the Canucks just realized that their blood feud can make for some excellent summer content. All week long, they’ve been running a series titled Sedin vs. Sedin, which puts the two brothers against one another in a five-challenge series that will settle the superiority questions once and for all.

Also the loser has to eat a live scorpion, I think.

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Watch every goal Daniel Sedin scored last season (Part 1)

The 2013-14 season started off reasonably well for Daniel Sedin. He scored 6 goals in October, putting him on pace for another 30+ goal season.

Things got steadily worse through the rest of 2013, scoring just 4 goals in November and 3 goals in December, but it was 2014 that brought the real misery. Incredibly, Daniel went goalless through January and February, apart from one measly goal during the Olympics. Then, after the Olympics were over, Daniel suffered a leg injury in the debacle of an outdoor game, keeping him out of the lineup for most of March.

It took until March 26th for Daniel Sedin to score his first goal as a Canuck in 2014. Between him and Alex Burrows, the Canucks had two of the most bizarre goal droughts in the entire NHL last season.

How in the world does that happen? He finished the season with just 16 goals, his lowest total since 2003, aside from the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Not coincidentally, he also posted the lowest shooting percentage of his career, which may give some hope that he can turn things around next season. Alternately, if you’re feeling pessimistic, you could argue that he just hasn’t been the same since Duncan Keith gutlessly concussed him back in 2012.

I’m a little more optimistic: with either Radim Vrbata or a non-cursed Alex Burrows on his opposite wing and a powerplay that isn’t a garbage fire, Daniel should be able to get back to at least 25 goals next season. Part of the reason for my optimism came from watching his goals from last season, some of which are fantastic. Here are the first 8.

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Stick in Link: Next year’s Canucks, now with more prospects and coaches!

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Watch every goal Chris Tanev scored last season

Almost nobody flourished under John Tortorella. Almost nobody. Somehow, Chris Tanev found a way. Tortorella admitted early on that Tanev was really the only defender to get the new system, which was both a good thing and a bad thing, if you think about it. It’s never good when five of the Canucks’ six defencemen don’t really know what they’re doing out there. But at least it confirmed our suspicions that Tanev is a highly-adaptable blueliner of above-average intelligence.

For this reason, and thanks to Tanev’s continued development, he really stood out in 2013-14, and looks poised for a top-four role on the right side next season. (It’s part of why the Canucks felt comfortable letting Jason Garrison go.)

But there’s another reason Tanev stood out last year: he scored six goals. After taking nearly 100 games to score even one, it seemed unlikely he’d be a source of much offence over his career. But now there’s some hope, especially since he seems to have found a weapon in his wrist shot. Here’s every goal Chris Tanev scored last season.

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Watch every goal Brad Richardson scored last season

Last July, when the Canucks signed Brad Richardson to a two-year deal, I rated the signing as “Pretty Okay.” That’s exactly how I feel about Richardson’s season. Since the rest of the team was mostly abysmal, “pretty okay” looked a lot better than normal.

Richardson was absolutely buried in the defensive zone all season, starting the vast majority of his shifts in the defensive zone. Most of the time when we talk about a player starting the majority of his shifts in the defensive zone, we’re talking in relation to his offensive zone starts, ignoring the neutral zone. This isn’t the case for Richardson. He was on the ice for 444 defensive zone faceoffs at 5-on-5, far more than in the defensive zone (217) or neutral zone (267). No one else on the Canucks came even close to that.

With that kind of deployment, it’s not surprising that his Corsi% was below 50%. Starting that often in the defensive zone all but guarantees that your team will be out-shot while you’re on the ice. Honestly, it’s impressive that his possession statistics weren’t worse and it’s definitely impressive that he managed to score 11 goals, though it comes as no surprise that he had the highest shooting percentage of his career while doing so.

It’s also worth noting that once Richardson was off the fourth line and skated on the third line with Zack Kassian and David Booth, his Corsi% popped above 50%. That third line was legitimately effective and it will be interesting to see if Richardson can out-battle Shawn Matthias, Bo Horvat, and Linden Vey for the third-line centre role in training camp. If not, he’ll have a better linemate on the fourth line in Derek Dorsett, who performed even better with similar usage as Richardson.

But enough about that: let’s look at Richardson’s 11 goals and see what can be gleaned from them.

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Watch every goal Jannik Hansen scored last season

Like it was for most of the Canucks, last season was a disappointment for Jannik Hansen. After scoring 10 goals in 47 games in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, he scored just one more in 71 games last season. He was third in points behind only the Sedins in 2013. Last season, he was 12th.

Hansen has long been in a sort of limbo, seemingly always poised on the brink of becoming a legitimate top-six forward, yet faltering every time he’s put in that position. Last season, Hansen appeared to completely change his game depending on what line he was put with, trying to be Alex Burrows for the Sedins, a playmaking winger for Kesler, and a one-dimensional checker for the the third line.

Hansen spent so much time trying to be someone else that he seemed to forget what made him successful in the first place. He’s not primarily someone who can be a pestering, forechecking net-front presence like Burrows, or a playmaker, or a defensive forward. He’s all three of those things in equal measure. He seemed to limit himself to just one aspect of his game depending on his line and it led to the worst offensive season of his career.

It’s not all bad news, however. Just like a lot of his success in the 2013 season was driven by the percentages, so was a lot of his failure in the 2013-14 season. He also managed to score 11 goals, his third straight season with a double-digit goal total.

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Watch every goal that Mike Santorelli scored last season

Not since Magnus Arvedson has a Canuck player’s time in Vancouver ended as frustratingly as Mike Santorelli’s. Like Arvedson, who was on fire with the Sedins before a knee injury ended his career, Santorelli was going when he left, with 10 goals and 18 assists in just 49 games. On many nights, he looked like the Canucks’ best forward. But then he was felled by an injury, and by the time he got healthy again, the season was over.

In many ways, Santorelli was the perfect Mason Raymond replacement, working his way up to a top-six role and impressing there before suffering an injury, then leaving for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s a shame, really, that Santorelli didn’t get a chance to finish the season healthy in Vancouver, because he looked like an absolute steal. Granted, some of that was luck — like, for instance, the fact that everyone else was sucking, which made him look even better — but still, as his 10 Canuck goals illustrate, he was a pretty good player for this team.

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Stick in Link: Virtanen ahead of schedule; Demko struggles at US world junior camp

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Watch every goal Alex Edler scored last season

Alex Edler had a bizarre season. Despite posting positive underlying numbers that saw the Canucks outshoot their opposition whenever Edler was on the ice at even-strength, Edler had a league-worst minus-39 plus/minus rating. Everything went wrong for Edler at even-strength and things didn’t get any better for him on special teams, since the Canucks’ powerplay was entirely composed of cold, wet garbage last season.

Oilers blogger Tyler Dellow wrote an article a few months ago called “The Big Mistake,” which, at the time I’m writing this, wasn’t available on his site because his server is also composed of cold, wet garbage. But the gist of the article was that one of the main ways our eyes deceive us when we watch and analyze hockey games is that the big mistakes stand out to us more than anything else — the giveaway in the defensive zone, the errant drop-pass in the neutral zone, or the mis-timed pinch in the offensive zone that leads to a breakaway. Those big mistakes are like a paint roller covering up the tiny brushstrokes that form the big picture.

This connects to Edler pretty clearly. One could argue — and more than one Canucks fan has — that Edler is more prone to making big, costly mistakes than any other Canucks defenceman. It’s these mistakes, the argument goes, that led to the league-worst plus/minus rating.

I would argue, and the underlying statistics seem to bear this out, that Edler was not significantly worse last season than in previous years. I would argue that he’s always made those “big mistakes,” generally because he’s on the ice and handles the puck a lot, but this past season they were more noticeable as they more often led to goals against. Meanwhile, due to an obscenely low team shooting percentage when Edler was on the ice, his offensive contributions couldn’t outweigh the results of those mistakes.

That’s why Edler is going to be fascinating next season. If he plays at the same level but his percentages regress to the mean, he’ll have a pretty good season and fans and media alike will crow about his bounceback year, despite nothing really changing.

In any case, in the midst of the absurdity, Edler still managed to tie Jason Garrison for the team-lead in goals from a defenceman despite playing 18 fewer games. Here they are.

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Watch every goal that Yannick Weber scored last season

One month ago today, the Canucks re-signed depth defenceman Yannick Weber, and it’s no secret as to why. Three of Weber’s six goals last season came against the Calgary Flames. He’s a flame-killer, like water, or compressed carbon dioxide, and considering how often the Canucks play the Flames, it’s just prudent to have retained him.

Either that or they simply liked his play in a depth role, and feel his offensive gifts will be more use to him in Willie Desjardins’ system. Weber never looked truly out of place (except for those unfortunate games he was used as a forward), and he looked right at home with the Canucks in the offensive zone, where his best weapon — a wicked one-timer — could be showcased.

It’s definitely showcased here, as we run down all six of Weber’s goals in his first season as a Canuck.

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Watch every goal Kevin Bieksa scored last season

In his first full season with the Canucks, 2006-07, Kevin Bieksa scored 12 goals, good for second among Canucks defencemen behind Sami Salo. It’s still his career high. He came close two years later, scoring 11 goals, but he hasn’t scored in double digits since 2009. Perhaps he should get more powerplay time: in both those seasons, he led Canucks defencemen in powerplay goals.

That may seem odd to say as Bieksa doesn’t really fit the profile as an ideal pointman on the powerplay. He doesn’t have a heavy slap shot, relying more on his wrist shot to shoot through traffic, and he isn’t known for being a playmaking quarterback, but when he entered the NHL he excelled with the man advantage.

In 2006-07, Bieksa was second among Canucks defencemen in powerplay ice time, and he led all Canucks defencemen in powerplay ice time the next two seasons. But then the Canucks traded for Christian Ehrhoff and Bieksa found himself relegated to the second powerplay unit. Even after Ehrhoff left, Bieksa was fourth among Canucks defencemen in powerplay time behind Alex Edler, Sami Salo, and Dan Hamhuis. Sami Salo left in free agency, but he was replaced by Jason Garrison.

Bieksa doesn’t have a reputation for being good on the powerplay, but he produced goals when he was on the first unit in his first few seasons. With Garrison gone, there’s an opportunity for Bieksa to join Edler on the blue line with the first unit, with Yannick Weber arguably his only competition. While that pairing can be a tire fire at even strength, the powerplay should minimize their weaknesses.

With more time on the powerplay, could Bieksa once again score 10+ goals next season? Maybe. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the four goals he scored last season, just one of which came on the powerplay.

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Canucks hire gold medal-winning video coach, Ben Cooper [Report]

It appeared that the Canucks were done making moves this off-season and that does seem to be the case in terms of what we’ll see on the ice, with Trevor Linden confirming that the current roster is what we’ll see when training camp rolls around. But the team has reportedly made one more change behind the scenes.

According to a report from Gregg Drinnan, the Canucks have hired Ben Cooper as their new video coach, a rather thankless job that involves endlessly watching and breaking down video from Canucks games and those of their opponents.

It’s not a position that fans tend to think about too much, as the video coach doesn’t appear on the bench or get interviewed by the media, but it’s a vital role for analyzing a team’s trends, pinpointing areas where a player needs to improve, and scouting tactics of upcoming opponents. Video coaches will also often watch live from the press box and do analysis in real time, communicating with the coaches on the bench.

If Drinnan’s source is accurate, Cooper will be the youngest coach on the Canucks staff at 36, but he does come with at least one impressive line on his resume: he was the video coach for the gold-medal winning 2010 Canadian Olympic team.

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Watch every goal Zack Kassian scored last season

There weren’t a lot of bright spots in the Canucks’ 2013-14 season, but the burgeoning play of Zack Kassian was definitely among them. Despite never really managing to earn John Tortorella’s trust by demonstrating the two-way play that earns one top-six icetime, Kassian still managed to put up 14 goals and 15 assists.

The assists may have been the nicer sign. Watching Kassian for two seasons in Vancouver, it was clear that he had some extraordinary vision — it just wasn’t translating into helpers. But finally, in the back half of the Canucks’ season, as everything else was falling apart, Kassian appeared to be putting it together. By season’s end, he looked like a guy capable of, perhaps, a 20-and-20 season, especially if he finds some chemistry with a centre and gets a spot in the top-six next season.

But enough about next season. Let’s talk about last season, in which Kassian did a lot of good stuff. In his collection of goals, you’ll see power moves, incredible shots, and some deceptive speed for a big man. Here’s every goal Kassian scored in 2013-14.

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Stick in Link: Linden on the radio; Canucks trying to have it both ways

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Wednesday during the summer. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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Should the Canucks give Johnny Canuck primary logo status?

The Vancouver Canucks have a colourful jersey history, which isn’t exactly a good thing. Recently, over at Puck Daddy, we talked about the Philadelphia Flyers’ narrowly avoiding a run-in with 90s-era teal that would have been a black mark — well, a teal mark — on the franchise’s relatively pure colour palette. For them, it’s always been orange and black. Nothing else.

Not so for the Canucks, whose colours throughout history are almost enough to fill one of those giant Prismacolor coloured pencil sets: blue, navy blue, green, white, silver, yellow, gold, orange, red, maroon, burgundy, and probably some others I’ve forgotten. As Sean McIndoe observed, perhaps the most embarrassing line on the Canucks’ Wikipedia page is this one:

“The team has gone through thirteen different logo and jersey changes in its history.”

All that in mind, you can understand why people might balk at yet another makeover, but Tuesday, during his appearance on the Team 1040 with Matt Sekeres, Trevor Linden suggested the team was indeed considering another change: a swap from the orca to Johnny Canuck as the primary logo.

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Watch every goal scored by a guy who only scored once last season

Here’s how it works at the Every Goal project: you score two goals, you get your own post. But all the guys that tallied just one get lumped into one post, where we chuckle at their rare and random offensive contribution.

This group is always a mixed bag: prospects, fourth-liners, guys that just passed through on their way to Europe, and occasionally, guys that didn’t have a particularly good season. Fortunately, there’s nobody from the latter camp this year (although we were worried about Alex Burrows there for a sec).

This year’s one-goal guys are as follows: defencemen Ryan Stanton, Frank Corrado, and Raphael Diaz, and forwards Kellan Lain, Darren Archibald, and Jeremy Welsh. Diaz and Welsh and already gone, but the other four will be back next year. Think any of these guys have it in them to get their own post next year?

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Watch every goal Zac Dalpe scored last season

The Canucks acquired Zac Dalpe last September, along with Jeremy Welsh, sending ECHL forward Kellan Tochkin and a fourth round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes in return. At the time, it looked like a brilliant trade for Mike Gillis, as Tochkin has no NHL future and a fourth round pick has little chance of making the NHL, while Dalpe was still touted by some as a potential top-six forward and Welsh looked capable of filling a role on the third or fourth lines.

Nine months later, neither Dalpe nor Welsh are with the Canucks. Dalpe was not extended a qualifying offer by the new Canucks regime, sending him to free agency, where he was picked up by the Buffalo Sabres.

While Dalpe wasn’t particularly good with the Canucks, he also didn’t get much of an opportunity. He spent the bulk of his 55 games on the fourth line, both at centre and on the wing, and was generally buried in the defensive zone when he was on the ice. He was also saddled with Tom Sestito all season.

When Sestito and Dalpe were together, the Canucks took a mere 40.7% of the shot attempts, which is atrocious. When Dalpe was able to get away from Sestito, that number jumps up to 48.5%. That’s still not great, mind you, but it’s at least approaching respectable. What’s more, when he was on the ice with better players like Zack Kassian, David Booth, Jannik Hansen, and Chris Higgins, Dalpe didn’t drag them down, posting a positive shot attempt differential with each of them.

Even when Dalpe was with fourth line call-ups like Darren Archibald and Jeremy Welsh, he was able to post a positive shot attempt differential. The Canucks could have had a fourth line last season that didn’t constantly get trapped in the defensive zone.

Basically, without Sestito and with good or even half-decent players, Dalpe was a positive puck possession player. If Dalpe hadn’t played with Sestito last season, he might have gotten another shot with the Canucks.

Alas, it was not to be, and Dalpe’s only shots with the Canucks were the 52 he took last season, 4 of which went into the opponent’s net.

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Watch every goal David Booth scored last season

At some point prior to last season, we at Pass it to Bulis pointed to David Booth as the key to the Canucks’ season. We were mocked. But we would like to point out that Booth had a pretty poor season, which, in the end, mirrored the Canucks season. So I’d say we were right. Who’s the man now, dog?

Booth was bought out at the end of the year, a move that we didn’t particularly agree with, but we can understand. The guy was one of Mike Gillis’s most divisive acquisitions, and with the new regime attempting to do away with all things Gillis in the hopes of selling their “change is coming” mantra, Booth had to go. Now he’s a Maple Leaf, like Mason Raymond before him, as Toronto continues in their bid to embarrass Vancouver as revenge for that weird half-season of Mats Sundin.

Anyway. Before we wipe Booth from our memory forever, always ruing the 20-goal season he never delivered, let’s take a moment to remember how he nearly got halfway there in 2013-14, finding the back of the net nine times. Here’s every goal the ex-Canuck scored last season.

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Will Nick Bonino score 20 goals next season?

After a nearly-historic level of offensive ineptness last season, one of the biggest questions Canucks fans had for the new management regime was where the goals were going to come from next season. That became even more of a concern when the Canucks traded their leading goalscorer, Ryan Kesler.

The Canucks certainly had little choice in the matter and Kesler will likely never again reach the 40+ goal heights of 2010-11, but he’s consistently scored more than 20 goals since 2007, apart from the lockout and injury-shortened 2012-13 season. As much as the Canucks appear to be glad to see him on his way out, they’ll still miss the 20-25 goals he’d have likely contributed next season.

Jim Benning took some steps toward adding scoring, signing Radim Vrbata, who has 140 goals since 2007, 24 fewer than Kesler in that time. There’s hope that with Vrbata joining the top line, he could revitalize the Sedins and help them to a bounce back season. In addition, Alex Burrows can’t possibly have a worse season than last year, Zack Kassian looks poised to breakout, and Nicklas Jensen has shown signs of being ready to put the puck past NHL goaltenders.

Benning, however, is also expecting goalscoring from another source: Nick Bonino, the centrepiece of the package the Canucks received from the Anaheim Ducks in return for Kesler.

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