Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Canucks November Report Card

A week late on this one due to computer problems, but here it is anyway...

The Forwards

Mason Raymond A (Oct B+)
Raymond had a strong October and that continued into November, however this time his strong play was reflected on the scoresheet. With 5 goals and 8 assists, Raymond had a point in 8 of 12 games. November was by far the best month of his career.
Henrik Sedin A- (Oct A-)
Once again Henrik Sedin leads the way up front for the Canucks. Henrik netted 8 goals and 4 assists in 12 November games, was a plus 4 and managed nearly 2 shots on goal per game. What happened to Henrik the playmaker?
Steve Bernier B+ (Oct B-)
Despite missing a couple games and spending most of his time with offensively challenged linemates, Bernier finds himself on pace for almost 25 goals and is already nearly half way to his career high in points. The Canucks will be very happy if they keep getting a goal every 3 or 4 games out of Bernier.
Tanner Glass B+ (Oct C-)
Following a great camp Glass was a non-factor in October, but he found his game in November. Bouncing between the 3rd and 4th lines, Glass managed 4 goals and was a +7 while bringing a much needed physical element to the table (leading the team in hits). If only the Canucks could clone him and replace Hordichuk.
Jannik Hansen B+ (Oct INC)
After breaking his hand in the pre-season, Hansen finally made his debut and put up 4 points in 7 November games. Last season Hansen struggled to finish chances, so far things are looking better this season.
Daniel Sedin B- (Oct B)
Daniel finally returned late in the month to post 3 points in 4 games
Alexandre Burrows C+ (Oct C+)
The return of Daniel Sedin rejuvenated the scoring touch of Alex Burrows, but it was a little too late for his November report card. While the points weren't really there, Burrows appeared to have put the "edge" back into his game after a unremarkable opening month. As I wrote last month, 3 goals a month isn't enough for Burrows. The good news is that he already has 3 goals in 3 December games.
Ryan Kesler C+ (Oct B+)
While Kesler managed to put up 13 points in 12 games, only one of those was a goal and that was on November 1st. The lack of forward depth certainly didn't help Kesler. Since Grabner went down the effectiveness of the second line has slipped significantly from their great October. Kesler needs to find some consistency in his offensive production and pressure. Without Kesler putting the puck in the net the Canucks will struggle to make up ground in the standings.
Mikael Samuelsson C (Oct A-)
After a great start with the Canucks Sameulsson has shown the lack of consistency which prevented him from becoming a key part of the Red Wings. His point total dropped in half this month to 6, while he also took 7 minor penalties in 12 games. The good news is he is still getting a lot of shots on goal, but the Canucks need more consistency in the effort department.
Kyle Wellwood C (Oct C-)
What to say about Wellwood... he finally found himself back on the scoresheet later in the month after a terrible start. Remarkably, for such a soft/small centre, Wellwood was a +7 on the month so he and his line do deserve some significant credit for keeping the puck out of their own net and for staying out of the penalty box.
Rick Rypien C (Oct C+)
The Canucks need more out of the 4th line and more out of Rypien. Two points and only 5 shots in 9 games isn't enough.
Matt Pettinger C (Oct INC)
Pettinger wasn't bad, but he wasn't good either. Two points and 5 shots in 7 games is a decent contribution for a bottom 6 callup, but it wasn't good enough for him to stick. He might be able to find a role somewhere in the NHL, but he just doesn't have that one above average skill to be a regular on the Canucks.
Ryan Johnson D (Oct C)
Ten games, 4 shots. How many good shifts did the 4th line have in November? I bet you could count them on one hand. I don't care how many shots he blocks or how many faceoffs he wins, Ryan Johnson is a problem. Points in only 2 games and only 7 shots on goal this [em]entire season[/em]. The Canucks 4th line might be the worst territorial line in the NHL and it's costing them points in the standings.
Darcy Hordichuk D (Oct C)
Hordichuk actually scored a goal this month... too bad it was his only good shift of the month. Surely there's a goon out there somewhere that can actually skate without falling down? Somewhere... anywhere...

The Defense

Christian Ehrhoff A- (Oct B+)
Every time I see the number 5 I have this brief sinking feeling until I remember that Lukas Krajicek isn't on the ice. Instead it's Ehrhoff, who has been a huge success for the Canucks. While he had only 6 points in November his overall game has improved steadily this season. He moves the puck up the ice as good as any Canuck defenseman since Jirki Lumme, does a great job at getting pucks on net and has improved his defensive coverage down low. It's hard to imagine where the Canucks would be without his presence.
Alexander Edler B- (Oct C+)
After a very disappointing October, Edler finally started to put it together in November. Offensively he stepped it up a bit with 10 points in 12 games and he also improved his defensive play somewhat. Still, for every great blue line to blue line pass he makes there's a play that makes you scratch your head. For a guy who plays 20+ minutes a night the Canucks need more consistency.
Kevin Bieksa C+ (Oct C+)
Only 4 assists for Bieksa in a month which saw him play up front for a few games. Did a better job at avoiding minor penalties and was a minus only twice. That said the Canucks need more offense from the back end and Bieksa needs to be a large part of that. As the highest paid defenseman Bieksa needs to be better.
Willie Mitchell B (Oct B+)
Another solid month for Mitchell. What can you say really, he does his job
Mathieu Schneider C+ (Oct C-)
While his numbers aren't terrible (3 points, 9 shots, +3 in 9 games) defensive mistakes at key times have magnified his underwhelming offense. Schneider needs to be better in his own end and he needs to produce more... if he doesn't he will find himself in the pressbox more often than not.
Sami Salo C (Oct C+)
Only 1 assist in 12 games isn't enough from Sami Salo. It's obvious that he has been playing through an injury, so he does deserve some credit for battling through that. The offense hasn't been there, but defensively he has been solid and was a minus only once in November
Shane O'Brien C (Oct C)
O'Brien was a victim of the addition of Schneider as he saw only 4 games in November. His only memorable moment was earning a one game suspension for poking his stick across the benches in New York. The fact that he couldn't do enough to get himself into the lineup earns him a C
Aaron Rome INC (Oct C+)
The debut of Schneider has pushed Rome down the depth chart and as a result he saw only about 35 minutes of ice in 3 games.

The Goalies

Andrew Raycroft B+ (Oct A)
Raycroft was 3-1 with a 2.10 GAA abd .917 SvPct in November. Raycroft was superb up until the St.Louis debacle. Three out of four ain't bad for your backup.
Cory Schneider B+ (Oct INC)
It was only one start but Cory Schneider was tremendous in a 45 save losing effort.
Roberto Luongo B (Oct C-)
Luongo was 4-3 with a 2.23 GAA and .921 SvPct in November, much better than his 6-6-1 2.79 .902 October. Still, 4 wins isn't enough no matter the peripheral statistics. The bottom line is that Luongo needs to find a way to put up more W's, that's what he's paid the big bucks for.

* All grades are relative to expectations