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  1. With three regular season games under their collective belt, the Vancouver Canucks have a win, a regulation loss, and a 'tie' (overtime loss). Tonight during their swing through California, they rematch against the team that gave them the latter. Peter Schaefer gets welcomed to the 2010/2011 regular season by Kings phenom defenceman, Drew Doughty The Canucks travel to Los Angeles with their 40th anniversary home opener freshly spoiled by the visiting Kings. But whether revenge, or a somewhat restless fanbase is the motive, no one knows for sure. It's not that the Canucks are having a poor start, but rather, it's the heightened expectations for the club this season that might take it's toll. There are definitely positives to take out of their early record, including the fact that newly appointed captain Henrik Sedin appears to be adapting seemlessly to his new role. Another factor, perhaps equally as important, is that after surrendering the captaincy, Roberto Luongo hasn't allowed it to impact his performance negatively. Traditionally, Luongo starts slow and finds his rhythm in later November, but stopped 72 of his first 74 shots, and doesn't appear phazed by the role-change. The top line for the Canucks has been producing well, but secondary scoring has been challenged so far (all photos courtesy of Yardbarker) Analysts from the Team 1040 radio station spoke after the loss to the Ducks about the importance of picking up points during this "easier" section of the schedule. With the Canucks top line garnering most of the points thus far, the pressure is mounting for Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond, both of whom had career seasons last year. Ryan Kesler, who had 25 goals and 50 assists, deflected any negativity that might pervade their early drought. "We're getting Grade A scoring chances. It's just a matter of time before they start going in." Kesler received a promotion to the 1st powerplay unit with the twins. "We're still getting a lot of chances. That's the important thing." The Canucks continue to search for their fourth line identity, and are still trying different combinations to that end. Center Rick Rypien became the third pivot in as many games, replacing Jeff Tambellini, who only lasted one game in relief of incumbent Alex Bolduc, who is out with a high ankle sprain. Though Rypien is better adapted to a grinding fourth line role, he still isn't a natural center, and his failures in the faceoff circle ended the experiment last season to convert him. Jeff Tambellini hasn't fared much better, so the team might look to either Cody Hodgson, Mario Bliznak or Joel Perrault from Manitoba. With Hodgson or Bliznak, the Canucks would again be calling on inexperienced players to fill the void, making the cut of Brendan Morrison that much more curious. Willie Mitchell is hit by Alex Bolduc, who later suffered a high ankle sprain, in the Canucks' season openener. The Kings won in the shootout, 2-1 The Canucks expect a similar tight checking game against the Kings (2-1-0), based on their season opener. If their playoff matchup indicated anything, it's their uncanny resemblance to the Canucks, from team structure to player development. The main difference, not just this year but in general, are the expectations placed upon the teams. In a market dominated by NBA basketball and baseball, the Kings don't occupy the same sort of limelight that the Canucks do. It makes for an interesting case study between the weight of expectations on a professional team and results from such pressure. At the end of the season, don't be surprised if we see further startling similarities drawn between not only the Los Angeles Kings' ability, but also their point totals in relation to the Vancouver Canucks. While it is early in the season, one can't help but wonder if tonight we're witnessing a fore-gleam of another potential early playoff match-up. Ryan Kesler on 2nd lines opening three games: "We're getting Grade A scoring chances. It's just a matter of time before they start going in."
  2. With their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks dropped to 2 games below .500 on the road. Could some roster changes be far behind? The Canucks found out why the Lightning have gone 10-2-2 since the New Year at home, courtesy of Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos Not that anyone is pressing the panic button yet, seeing as how the club is not far removed from a 7 game winning streak. But on their current road trip, the Canucks are 2-3, with one of the wins coming against one of the leagues worst teams, and the other versus a team that had lost 9 straight games. The fact is that the Canucks are a different team on the road, and it’s showing now more than ever. Though the Canucks have injured players from other clubs, it often seems Vancouver receives the lions share of injuries (The Canadian Press / J. Meric) Of course, I’ll be one of the first individuals to defend the Canucks ineptitude on the road by pulling the ‘injuries’ card. It has never been lost on me that Willie Mitchell is our top shutdown defender, and I hope he continues to wear a Vancouver sweater for years to come. Following a hit from Evgeni Malkin January 16th, Mitchell has been suffering post-concussion symptoms, including headaches. While a number of Canucks defenders have picked up the slack, it’s nearly impossible to replace what the minutes-muncher brings to the table. It is projected that he will be back after the Olympics break, but just ask anyone with the last name Lindros how tricky these kind of injuries are, and you see it’s just that – projection. Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators nearly added to the Canucks' blueline "games missed" tally with this hit on Aaron Rome (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images) Any Vancouver hockey fan knows that every year, a certain amount of games for Sami Salo have to be written off in lieu of injury, -this season being no exception. They also recognize that when he is healthy, he provides the team with veteran qualities that are hard to replace. He is patient with the puck, almost always makes a great first pass out of their zone, and his bomb from the point makes goaltenders nervous. His calming influence on the blueline was noticeably absent in their first 4 games of the current road trip. Even when things get scrambly, particularly behind Luongo and in the tough areas along the end boards, he remains poised. He returned from a groin injury against Tampa Bay and during 25 shifts played over 24 minutes, with 4 shots on goal. Canucks fans are all crossing their fingers his health prevails down the stretch. In their defense, the Canucks have run into some hot goaltending during this road trip, including Jaroslav Halak and Antero Niitymaki, both vying for Olympic jobs (AP Photo) Kevin ‘Boom Boom’ Bieksa must have nightmares about sharp, slicing blades. His misfortune with errant skate blades has been epic, if not outright freaky. In particular, the months of November and December are ominous ones for the intense, yet well-humored Grimsby, Ontario native. November 3rd, 2007 had the 5th round draft pick lacerate his calf, subsequently missing the next 47 games. The following November (13th), he broke his foot, though only missing 7 games. Bad luck struck again last December, with a left ankle tendon laceration. He is sporting a walking cast, and still sidelined indefinitely. Though Shane O’Brien has elevated his game in several aspects, Bieksa’s nastiness in front of Luongo is sorely missed. He causes opponents to have their head on a swivel should they crash Roberto when he is patrolling. Pavol Demitra had a torn rotator cuff, but wanted to represent Slovakia for the Olympics, so Hal Gill helps him test it out (Associated Press Photo) The official trade deadline is March 3rd, though there is a roster freeze in effect starting Friday while the Olympics take place. Of course, General Managers (including Mike Gillis) still have the ability to enter talks with other teams regarding prospective deals. Considering Gillis’ past performance, I don’t expect more than 2, possibly 3 moves come the deadline, but something must be done. With the Canucks penchant for sustaining injuries heading into the postseason, and particularly on defense, it should behoove Gillis to pull the trigger to add some defensive depth. With injuries to prominent defenders on Vancouver's roster, the safe play for Gillis would be to add another defenseman, preferably capable of 2nd powerplay unit duty (pictured left to right, courtesy of TSN: Willie Mitchell, Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo) Given Vancouver’s situation in the standings (currently 6th in the Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest), they are ill-advised to stand pat. Were the playoffs to begin today, the Canucks would face the Colorado Avalanche, with the Avalanche holding home advantage. Unless Vancouver can get and retain top spot in the Northwest, they will likely will spend the majority of whatever playoff hockey they play on the road. Considering the Avalanche’s home record (19-8-2), combined with their superior road record (Colorado: 15-11-4, Vancouver: 12-14-1), the glass certainly looks half-empty for the Canucks. Should the Canucks road woes continue prior to the Olympic break, it’s highly likely that my next blog will be focusing in on possible names on the trade-block, and potential suitors from around the NHL. Got Canucks? Visit http://thecanuckway.com with files from TSN, AP Photo and the Canadian Press, I'm Larenzo Jensen
  3. As the Vancouver Canucks reach the midway point of the 2009/10 schedule, here is a reflection to date of the individual top 11 performers for the club, in my humble opinion. Willie Mitchell, B Willie Mitchell hits Zach Stortini, -has been taking the body with more authority this season (AP Photo / The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) Willie Mitchell came to Vancouver touted as a shut-down defender. The Canucks were well acquainted with the Port McNeil blueliner, having been Todd Bertuzzi's irritating shadow when the Canucks faced the Minnesota Wild in the post season. This year, Mitchell has added an element to his game that is a welcome addition for Canucks fans. As pictured, Mitchell has been hitting with more frequency and tenacity, which is what got him so much attention early in his career. Still needs to work on stickhandling, though. His 22:22 average ice-time a game leads all Canucks. Mikael Samuelsson, B- Samuelsson helps Kesler celebrate a goal vs the Oilers (AP Photo/ The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) 'Twas earlier in the season when many a Canuck fan pondered whether or not Samuelsson might lead the Canucks in goalscoring this season. Though the torrid pace early, Mikael has slowed significantly, and has the highest puck turnover percentage on the team. He has 10 goals and 14 assists in 39 games, and has improved slightly to +2 rating. Still gives the Canucks an element they were missing last season, and that was someone to shoot the puck. Is ahead of Ryan Kesler by 1 shot in that department, 117, for the team lead. Mason Raymond, A Far and away Mason's prettiest goal in his pro career (AP Photo / The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) Raymond has taken his best shot at being this years' "Cinderella story". Whereas last season featured Alex Burrows' unlikely 28 goal outburst, home-grown Canuck talent has converted a hard work ethic and blazing speed into results. No more evident was last Sunday night in Calgary where he helped chase Miikka Kiprusoff with his 'natural' hat trick. Has already left his career best totals in the dust with his hot first half. Gives the Canucks the secondary scoring element they've desperately needed. Canucks fans finally breathing a sigh of relief that the farm system is paying dividends again after a few lean years development wise. Alexander Edler, B Alex Edler challenges Dan Carcillo for the puck, while defending the back door play (Photo by Jim McIsaac, Getty Images) I felt it was unfair that a couple of callers to the Team 1040 radio station referred to Elder as 'Bambi' on a recent talk show. Though he has had his ups and downs as all Canucks have, we're starting to see dividends from the organizations' early pairing with Mattias Ohlund. Though not a typical protege, Edler incorporates pieces of Ohlund's game, and exhibits a willingness to pay the price. His hitting continues to get better, makes good decisions in his own zone, and though he occasionally gets caught pinching, he has picked his spots better. Has 2-19-21 in 33 games, is a -3, and averaging 20:49 a night. Could benefit by making better use of his limited powerplay time. Alexandre Burrows, B "Burr" rubs out Alex Ovechkin, much to the delight of fans at GM Place Dec. 18/09 Though Burrows is not on pace to duplicate his goal production from last season, he is on pace to silence his critics. Ever the pesky, glove in your face mentality, Burrows combines a number of gritty elements, throws in a dash of skill and hockey smarts, with excellent results. He has 10-16-26 in 39 games, and a +12 rating, not so surprisingly tied with both Sedins for 2nd best on the team. Head coach Alain Vigneault continues to stand by 'Burr' and his promotion to the 1st line. He understands his role, and was obviously a little dishevelled by Daniels' 14 game hiatus with a broken left foot. Helps create space for the Sedins with his forecheck, - is easily earning his new ($2 M) contract. Ryan Kesler, A Ryan Kesler scores the game-winning goal versus Jonathan Quick and the L.A. Kings (AP Photo / The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) Perhaps it might be best to quote Canucks' captain Roberto Luongo for this report. "He's a warrior. That's his name. Warrior. That's the only name you can use." This in reference to his leg injury sustained recently versus the Oilers, amidst his other aches and pains, and his continued production. We've been witness to a transformation this season, from an excellent player to an elite one. Has 10-23-33 in 39 games, a -1 rating in that span, and logs nearly 20 minutes a night of hard, hard ice. Heart and soul player. Stay tuned for Part II of the Canucks mid-season report card, coming soon, and by all means, throw a shout out if you agree, disagree, or have any thoughts at all on anything you've read. Follow the Canucks all season long at www.thecanuckway.com Larenzo Jensen, with files from AP Photo / The Canadian Press, Getty Images, TSN and Yahoo! Sports
  4. There was certainly plenty of holiday cheer in Canucks Nation this week with the team sweeping all three games during the week. In the spirit of the holidays and with the official halfway point of the season about to be reached, Number Crunching gets into the giving mood by presenting the unofficial mid-season awards. Be sure to bookmark this blog (Ctrl + D) to see how many of the predictions pan out at the end of the 2009.10 season. And of course, feel free to share your thoughts on who you would choose as your mid-season bests. MOST EXCITING PLAYER <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec2709_flames02_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Mason Raymond: 17 goals and 29 points in 39 games played Alex Burrows has taken this award home for the past two seasons but the speedy Raymond figures to have the inside track for this year's honour. Not only has the 24-year old shattered his previous career-high with 17 goals so far this season (just one behind Henrik Sedin for the team lead), but the third-year pro has a newfound confidence with the puck and it has clearly shown with his increasing repertoire of moves and his highlight-reel tallies so far this season. He'll face tough competition from the likes of Ryan Kesler and Roberto Luongo in the second half of the season but assuming he continues to do what he has been so far, he'll have a chance to take home his first ever piece of Canucks hardware. 2008.09 winner: Alex Burrows FRED J. HUME AWARD FOR UNSUNG HERO <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec2709_flames15_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Willie Mitchell: Three goals and 10 points in 39 games played Unsung hero is usually one of the most difficult awards to pick a winner because it's one of those honours that can simultaneously seem like there are too many and too few candidates. But so far this year, Willie Mitchell is the runaway winner of this award. Mitchell's contributions don't often show up on the scoresheets but there is no Canuck who is counted on more than Willie game-in, game-out. The Port McNeill native leads all players on the team averaging 22:22 of ice-time per game, as well as leading the team in even-strength ice-time (18:13 average) and short-handed ice-time (3:57 average). Despite seeing the best of the best on the opposition nightly, he has still managed to rack up a plus-nine rating on the season. Mitchell will also warrant consideration for the Babe Pratt Trophy (he's won the past two years) but if he doesn't walk away with that honour, he should at least be recognized as an Unsung Hero. Other candidates include Tanner Glass (gone from being pegged to be a farmhand in the pre-season to solid third-line contributor with career-high numbers this season), Steve Bernier (quietly on pace to set career-highs in goals and points), Jannik Hansen (solid penalty killer who can play anywhere from the second to fourth line), and Rick Rypien (Mr. Energy who is showing he is more than just about the fisticuffs). 2008.09 winner: Steve Bernier BABE PRATT TROPHY FOR MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENCEMAN <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec2009_ehrhoff_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Christian Ehrhoff: Eight goals and 21 points in 39 games As mentioned earlier, this is an award that Mitchell should be given consideration for but very likely the engraving on the trophy already bears Ehrhoff's name. The former San Jose Shark has been very impressive in his first season as a Canuck and has turned into what the Canucks had originally hoped Mathieu Schneider would be - a dependable puck-moving, power play quarterback. Ehrhoff is tied for the lead among all team defencemen with 21 points while he leads all blue-liners with eight goals. Last season, the highest scoring Canucks defenceman was Alex Edler who had seven goals. 2008.09 winner: Willie Mitchell CYCLONE TAYLOR TROPHY AS CANUCKS MVP <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/205x115_4_121609.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Henrik Sedin: 18 goals and 50 points in 39 games It's hard to imagine where the Canucks would be had Henrik struggled while his brother Daniel was on the shelf for 18 games. Henrik, however, has shown that he's not only a great player in his own right, he is one of the NHL's elite players even if he does go about his business in a quiet way on most nights. Through games played on Sunday, only one player in the entire NHL had more points than Henrik's 50 - that being San Jose's Joe Thornton who currently leads the League with 54 points. Henrik has also shown this season that he's more than just a one-dimensional offensive threat. His 18 goals on the season not only lead the team but put him in the same company among the likes of Patrick Kane (15), Rick Nash (19), Jarome Iginla (20) and Ilya Kovalchuk (22) - not too shabby for a guy who's known to pass first. Henrik will get a run for his money from perennial MVP contender Roberto Luongo as well as the likes of Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler and his brother Daniel Sedin but barring the unforeseen, you can consider this award signed, sealed, and delivered. 2008.09 winner: Ryan Kesler Henrik also has a 17-point lead on second place Ryan Kesler in the race for the Cyrus H. McLean Trophy which is given annually to the Canucks leading point scorer at the end of the season. In 2008.09, Henrik along with Daniel were co-winners of the points award. MOLSON CUP WINNER <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/oct2509_luongosave_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Here are the current standings for the Molson Cup which is awarded annually to the player who receives the most game star selections. Each star selection is worth five points with tie-breakers being settled by most first star selections followed by most second star selections, and so on. Henrik Sedin - 55 points Roberto Luongo - 50 points Ryan Kesler - 35 points Mason Raymond - 30 points Daniel Sedin - 20 points Andrew Raycroft - 15 points Christian Ehrhoff - 15 points Alex Edler - 15 points Michael Grabner - 10 points Mikael Samuelsson - 10 points Alex Burrows - 10 points Shane O'Brien - 10 points Kyle Wellwood - 10 points Willie Mitchell - 10 points Cory Schneider - 5 points Jannik Hansen - 5 points Steve Bernier - 5 points Number Crunching's official prediction is that Roberto Luongo will capture his fourth consecutive Molson Cup by season's end. 2008.09 winner: Roberto Luongo BEST STAT OF THE FIRST HALF <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec1409_luongo_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">It goes without saying that getting off to a good start in a game goes a long way in securing two points at the end of the night and so far this season, few teams have gotten off to more good starts than the Canucks. Through games played on Sunday, only two teams in the entire NHL had held a lead after the first period more times than Vancouver's 17 - the Washington Capitals (24) and the Colorado Avalanche (18) - while only the Capitals (49) have scored more first period goals than the Canucks' 45. Vancouver's 14 wins this season when leading after the first period is tied for second most in the NHL. Only the Blackhawks, with 15 wins, have more victories when leading after the first period. What the Canucks would like to improve on in the second half of the season is their defensive game in first periods. While the Canucks are one of the best teams offensively in first periods, they've been one of the worst defensively having surrendered 35 goals in first periods this season - the most among all their periods this season. The Canucks have a record of 11-3-0 this season when they don't give up a first period goal. WORST STAT OF THE FIRST HALF <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec2209_lu_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">It has gotten much better in recent games, but the penalty killing was clearly a major thorn in the paw for the Canucks throughout the first half of the season. The Canucks have given up at least one power play goal in 21 of the 39 games they have played so far this season and the results haven't been pretty when they do give up a goal while short-handed. Vancouver's record this season in games where they surrendered a power play goal is 7-14-0, much more devastating than last season when they managed to finish with a .500 record in games when giving up a man-advantage goal (20-20-8). It gets even worse when they give up more than one power play goal to the opposition as they are just 2-6-0 in those games. Through games played on Sunday, Vancouver's power play sat right smack in the middle of the NHL pack at number 15 with a success rate of 80.5 percent having allowed 29 goals on 149 times shorthanded. NUMBER CRUNCHING PLAYER OF THE WEEK The holidays are a time for giving so Number Crunching is doling out two POTW awards this week. <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec2209_sedin_t.jpg class="imageFloatRightFramed">Daniel Sedin: Two goals and seven points in three games It was a banner week for the 29-year old forward who was looking to rebound after ending the previous week with no points in the final two games. Daniel began the week with a three-point night (1-2-3) against the Predators and followed that up with another three-point night (1-2-3) on Boxing Day versus the Oilers. After finding out officially on Sunday morning that he would be representing Sweden at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Daniel celebrated the news by extending his point streak to three games with an assist against the Flames. The point against Calgary also marked Daniel's 20th point in December tying his personal best for most points recorded in a single month (March 2007). <img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/12/dec1409_bieksa_t.jpg class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Mason Raymond: Three goals and four points in three games There is no better place than home to spend the holidays and Mason Raymond would definitely attest to that. The Alberta native, playing in front of family and friends at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary on Sunday, netted his first career hat trick to close out the week in a 5-1 win for the Canucks. Included in the three-goal outing for the 24-year old was also his team-leading eighth power play goal of the season - double his entire total from all of last season. It's going to be all gravy for the left winger from this point out in terms of single-season career totals. He has already set new highs in goals (17) and points (29) and his next assist will give him a new career-high in the helpers category as well. His next major milestone will be his 100th career NHL point. He's currently sitting at 76 career points (40-36-76) but given his current pace, it's not a stretch of the imagination to think that he'll be able to reach that mark before the end of the 2009.10 regular season. In the spirit of the holiday season, there will be no Crunched By The Numbers player this week. And while I have this opportunity, I would like to wish every member of the Canucks Community a very happy and prosperous New Year! Thanks for reading and see you all in 2010.
  5. <img src="http://nhluploads.invisionzone.com/canucks/1262568096/gallery_43389_43_54888.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Notes: -Players will be listed according to their primary position during this decade. For example, Naslund will be listed as a left winger because he spent most of this decade as a left winger. -A player's success throughout the decade will be taken into consideration, not just individual season accomplishments. Second Team LW – Daniel Sedin After being feared that him and his brother Daniel would not develop into first line forwards, but whose saying they aren't now? Daniel Sedin has established himself as one of the top left wingers in Canucks history. A scoring threat in the offensive zone and a reliable defender in the defensive zone. Daniel has been the team's leading scorer two of the past three seasons. Honourable Mention(s): Alex Burrows C – Brendan Morrison If you needed a clutch goal, Brendan Morrison was the guy you'd look for as he is the franchise leader in regular season overtime goals. Morrison was solid at both ends of the rink and even on the point on the power play. Morrison also was an integral part of the West Coast Express with Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi. At the line's peak in 2002-03, Morrison had 25 goals and 46 assists. In addition, Morrison holds the franchise record for most consecutive games played. Honourable Mention(s): Ryan Kesler RW – Trent Klatt I would have liked to say somebody else, but this decade the Canucks were just not blessed with many great right wingers. Klatt was simply the best out of the right wingers that have played. You could put Anson Carter in this spot, but he played in one season or maybe Alex Burrows, but he's had less than a year with the Sedins on right wing, or maybe Ryan Kesler, but only spent half a season on right wing. Klatt spent most of his time as a Canuck as the right winger for the Sedin twins on the second line. His best season as a Canuck came in 2000-01 when he potted 13 goals and 20 assists. Honourable Mention(s): Anson Carter, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows D – Sami Salo Although seemingly made out of glass, Salo has been key contributor when he's been in the lineup this decade and has been a stabilizing presence in the back end. Always a threat on the power play with the one timer, possesses the skill set to move players out from the crease, and is excellent at moving the puck up the ice. D – Willie Mitchell Since being acquired as a free agent in the summer of 2006, Mitchell has been rock solid defensively for the Vancouver Canucks and has come as advertised. The Canucks go-to guy as the shutdown defenceman and in the process has racked up decent point totals for a defensive defenceman. Mitchell has also won the last two Babe Pratt Trophies, the team's best defenceman as voted by the fans. Honourable Mention(s): Brent Sopel G – Dan Cloutier Quite simply there was nobody else to choose as Cloutier had been the team's number one goalie from 2001 to 2005. During his tenure, he posted three straight 30 wins season from 2001-02 to 2003-04 and ranks top-five in all franchise goalie records. Cloutier still remains the franchise record holder for best goals against average in a single season. Honourable Mention(s): Alex Auld First Team LW – Markus Naslund Although you could argue Pavel Bure was the more skilled and better offensive forward, there is no doubt that Naslund was the best left winger this franchise has had. Heading into the 2009-10 NHL campaign, he is the franchise leader in goals, points, power play goals, and shots as well as third in games played and assists behind Canuck greats Trevor Linden and Stan Smyl. Naslund along with Smyl are the longest serving full-time Canucks captains at eight years. In addition, Naslund was chosen as the team's most valuable player four times, led the team seven straight years in scoring, and was the winner of the Lester B. Pearson Award winner (awarded to the league's most outstanding player as voted by the members of the NHLPA). C – Henrik Sedin There were questions about whether Henrik Sedin and his brother Daniel could become legitimate first line forwards in the NHL after being picked second and third overall in 1999. The first five years of the decade, Henrik was mediocre at best, but the last five following the lockout has vaulted him into star player status. Henrik has developed into a dependable two-way forward who excels in both zones, a capable penalty killer, and a player who could win a key draw. RW – Todd Bertuzzi His time at stardom was short lived, but during that time he was the premier power forward in the NHL and was an integral part of hockey's most feared line, the West Coast Express. In the year that the Canucks were supposed to win it all (2002-03), Bertuzzi potted a career-high 46 goals and added 51 assists. His last two years with the Canucks in 2003-04 and 2005-06, he had a respectable 0.87 points per game average, but since his performance has tailed off. D – Ed Jovanovski Jovanovski did it all for the Canucks. He had skating ability, could score from the point on a slapshot or a simple wrist shot, go to the front of net to provide a screen, setup his teammates, send you through the boards with a hit, and fight. He was the complete package. D – Mattias Ohlund For most of this decade, Ohlund was the designated shutdown defenceman for the Canucks and logged upwards of 20 minutes a game nightly for the team playing on both the power play and penalty kill. Ohlund possessed great open-ice hitting ability as well and would always play through pain. Ohlund is also a four time winner of the Babe Pratt Trophy, the team's best defenceman as voted by the fans. Definitely one of the top defenceman in Canucks history. G – Roberto Luongo Need to say anything? In about three and a half seasons as a Canuck goalie, Luongo has already established himself as one of the best goalies in franchise history. Luongo holds the franchise records for the most wins in a single season, best save percentage in a single season, most saves in a single game, longest shutout streak at 242 minutes and 36 seconds, most shutouts in a single season, and most shutouts as a Canuck. Should Luongo finish his career as a Canuck, he is on pace to become the franchise leader in most goaltending categories.
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