Wednesday, November 09, 2005

October Report Card

In the better late than never category, here is the Canucks report card for the month of October.

First a few notes on the grades....

  • A: The player is consistently playing at the top of his game and is doing more than expected/demanded.
  • B: The player is doing a good job at what they are expected to do.
  • C: The player is not doing what he should be doing and is under performing.
  • D: The player is significantly under performing.

Forwards

Stats: Games - G A Pts - Avg Ice Time(Even Strength/Short Handed/Power-play) PIM(Fights)

Bold indicates team leader.

Todd Bertuzzi: C-
12 - 2g 8a 10pts - 18:48 (11:51/0:09/6:48) 19m(1)
It was a tough return to the NHL for Todd Bertuzzi. His 2 October goals translate to less than 14 over an 82 game schedule... not good enough for a player making Bertuzzi money. Despite nearly 7 minutes of pp ice time per game, Bertuzzi managed only 2 pp points. If it were not for the hot start of Markus Naslund, Bertuzzi's numbers would be even worse than they are. On most nights Bertuzzi was simply a non-factor.
Anson Carter: C+
12 - 2g 2a 4pts - 13:58 (8:45/0:54/4:19) 11m(1)
Carter got off to a hot start in the pre-season, unfortunately that did not carry over into the regular season. Four points simply isn't good enough for Anson Carter, especially with the amount of power play ice-time he's receiving. That said, his linemates have been successful and some credit must go to Carter. Carter seems to be opening up more room for the Sedins, giving them more options. With a little more hard work and some puck luck, Carter's numbers should improve.
Matt Cooke: B
12 - 3g 2a 5pts - 13:41 (10:59/2:14/0:27) 14m
Matt Cooke got the big contract, one that raised more than a few eyebrows in Canuck land. Despite the new contract, Cooke's role has essentially remained the same. His ice time is not up and he is rarely seen on the power play. Cooke's production is adequate for his role and on most nights he was noticeable, leading the team with 33 hits. Overall it was a solid month, exactly what you expect from Matt Cooke.
Lee Goren: C+
11 - 1g 0a 1pt - 7:31 (6:08/0:00/1:21) 21(3)
Lee Goren made some noise in the pre-season and managed to make the team. He got off to a pretty good start, scoring a goal early in the year, but he hasn't found the net since. Overall Goren has done his job on the 4th line, throwing checks and generating the odd scoring chance. His skating and defensive game leave a lot to be desired, but his size, physical play and shot give the Canucks a different dynamic on the 4th line.
Ryan Kesler: B-
12 - 2g 0a 2pts - 13:08 (10:22/2:23/0:23) 10m
With only two goals in October, a B- may seem a little generous. However, considering Kesler's age and experience he has done quite well in his first full NHL season. All you have to do is look at the responsibility Crawford gives Kesler. Kesler is getting a lot of penalty kill time and that will only increase as the season moves along. While his offensive game is not there yet, it should come around eventually. Another area needing improvement is his faceoff game. Kesler was 48.3% in October, that must be improved.
Trevor Linden: C
12 - 1g 1a 2pts - 11:36 (8:08/3:09/0:18) 0m
The stat line for Trevor Linden is not pretty. Relegated to 4th line duty Linden has found the points tough to come by. Is Linden on his last legs? I don't think so. Linden can still skate and because of that he is still a very useful player. I expect Linden to get better as the season moves along.
Brendan Morrison: B-
12 - 3g 7a 10pts - 20:06 (12:16/2:41/5:08) 6m
Inconsistency has been the knock on Morrison's game for most of his career and October was just that, inconsistent. He is capable of playing much better and I expect he will. One area where he must improve is on faceoffs. Morrison was terrible in the faceoff circle, winning only 42.2% of his draws.
Markus Naslund: A-
12 - 7g 7a 14pts - 19:17(12:04/0:06/7:06) 4m
Although his linemates struggled, Markus Naslund did not. While he tailed off a bit in the last third of the month, his 7 goals and 14 points lead the team.
Richard Park: B
12 - 3g 3a 6pts - 13:31 (10:18/2:29/0:43) 0m
Richard Park got off to a pretty good start with his new team. Six points in 12 games is a solid contribution from one of your third line players. Park has used his speed and deceptive wrist shot very effectively. He's looking like a very shrewd pickup for Dave Nonis.
Jarkko Ruutu: C+
12 - 1g 1a 2pts - 9:22 (7:33/1:32/0:16) 8m
With so many penalties early in the season Ruutu found consistent ice-time difficult to come by. Ruutu was not bad and he was not good, he was simply "there". With Cooke out for a while Ruutu should have a much better November(which he has started well).
Henrik Sedin: A-
12 - 4g 7a 11pts - 14:26 (9:47/0:11/4:27) 8m
Henrik Sedin is off to the best start of his NHL career. While the second line got off to a bit of a slow start, they heated up as the month progressed and they are now at the point where Crawford is being forced to find more ice time for the Sedins. Through October, Henrik is on pace for a 75 point season... needless to say, the Canucks would be thrilled with that.
Daniel Sedin: B+
12 - 4g 5a 9pts - 14:00 (9:22/0:15/4:22) 10m
Daniel Sedin looks like a different player this year. He appears to have picked up a step in his skating (he is now noticeably faster than his brother) and his shot is also a lot harder. The improved physical skills seem to have led to improved confidence. Daniel Sedin is simply a more confident player. When they have possesion of the puck, the Sedin's now know that they have the ability to score.

Defense

Bryan Allen: A+
10 - 1g 2a 3pts - 18:56 (15:12/3:28/0:15) 8m
Bryan Allen gets the highest grade of any Canuck in the month of October. He exceeded expectations and was simply a rock on defense. There were stretches last season where Allen showed he could be a top defensive defenseman... this season Allen has consistently been a top defender, especially on the penalty kill. If he continues to play this well you'll see his minutes creep over the 20 minute mark.
Nolan Baumgartner: C+
12 - 1g 5a 6pts - 15:17 (9:41/0:22/5:13) 2m
What you see with Baumgartner is what you get. He has good puck skills and is very useful on the power play. On the defensive side of things, he is not big or strong on the puck and he often makes mistakes when under pressure. Baumgartner can get exposed in his own end, but when put in the right situation he is a solid contributor. If he can limit his defensive mistakes, his grade will improve.
Wade Brookbank: Incomplete
3 - 0g 0a 0pts - 7:35 (6:28/0:51/0:05) 14m
Brookbank did not receive enough playing time to warrant a grade.
Ed Jovanovski: A-
12 - 2g 8a 10pts - 25:21 (15:03/3:38/6:39) 10m
Ed Jovanovski is certainly making a bid to return to the Canadian Olympic team. Jovo had a great month, especially on the power-play. The only thing missing from Jovo's game is more physical play.
Steve McCarthy: C
12 - 0g 1a pts - 13:39 (11:05/1:12/1:21) 8m
McCarthy had a terrible start in Vancouver. For the first few weeks McCarthy was pretty much brutal. He was not displaying any sort of offensive game and he was continually getting out muscled in the defensive zone. It was not pretty. However over the past few weeks McCarthy has gotten a lot better. He is starting to be more assertive and more physical in the defensive zone and he has cut down on the number of mistakes. If he can get his offensive game together, the Canucks blueline will be looking much better.
Mattias Ohlund: C+
12 - 3g 1a 4pts - 23:16 (14:48/4:19/4:08) 26m
Mattias Ohlund missed the pre-season and it showed in his first month of the season. While he certainly was not bad by any stretch of the imagination, he was not Mattias Ohlund. At times Ohlund has looked a little tired, but as the season progresses I expect him to return to form.
Sami Salo: A
12 - 3g 7a pts - 25:51 (15:13/4:33/6:04) 16m
Sami Salo was one of the more under appreciated Canucks last season. That is starting to change as more people are taking notice of his great play. Salo leads the team in minutes per game, has been a tremendous threat on the power-play and he leads the team in ice-time on the penalty kill. You can't ask for much more.

Goaltending

Alex Auld A
3-0-1 2.25 GAA .914 SvPct
You can't ask for much more from your backup goaltender. Auld only saw four games, but he played well in all. The Canucks finally have a backup they can have some confidence in.
Dan Cloutier B-
5-2-1 3.54 GAA .873 SvPct
As has been the case through most of his tenure with the Canucks the numbers aren't pretty, but you can't argue with the result. Cloutier's numbers are bloated by the blowout in Minnesota and the third period meltdown against Colorado, but for the most part Cloutier has been solid this season. Still Cloutier can be better and he needs to be.

Overall Team Grade: B+

Despite the great record in October, the Canucks have yet to bring their best game. For most of the month the Canucks controlled their fate. If they showed up to play, worked hard and were disciplined they would win. When they didn't show up... well it was ugly.

The Canucks can play better and yet you can't complain about the record. Life's pretty good in Canuck land.

2 comments:

Winged_whacker said...

your comments and evaluations are much appreciated. I read your blog daily, waiting for your updates. Just a thanks to you...

The Canuck Fan said...

Thanks for the comments... and sorry for the lack of updates recently, I'll try and get back on track :)