Canucks need to improve their grades

SO far the Vancouver Canucks season has unfolded as I expected.

SO far the Vancouver Canucks season has unfolded as I expected. The first 20 games have been a rough go as the team gets over last year’s disappointment. The Canucks specialty teams have been their life line, though I had hoped it would have carried them a little further.

The Canucks begin this week at 9-8-1, 8th place in the west, 3rd in their division. They can definitely play better, and they need to find that game sooner rather than later. They need to shape up their consistency and defensive play. Nearing the quarter-pole of the season, the Canucks are not far off from the conference and league leaders. The next 20 or so games may define the Canucks season. Either they will continue to tread water, or they can start pulling away from the pack.

Here’s the Canucks individual player report cards:


Daniel Sedin A, Henrik Sedin A-  Daniel is second in league scoring, Henrik tied for 4th. The scary thing? The twins have not really dominated yet. They’ve been good, but expect better as the season progresses.

Maxim Lapierre B+ The season’s most pleasant surprise. Now regularly playing on 3rd line.

Chris Higgins B+ Cooling off as of late but enjoyed great start to the campaign.

Alex Burrows B+ Solid but not spectacular, just like his identical linemates.

Ryan Kesler B Still trying to find game after missing training camp.

Cody Hodgson: B Consistent, clever with the puck. Points are starting to come.

Jannik Hansen C Last year Hansen may have been the best 3rd line player in the entire league. He’s finally showing signs of coming around.

Aaron Volpatti, Dale Weise: C Solid 4th liners. Combined 1 goal and 2 assists, they are ultimately replaceable.

David Booth C Only one goal, plus last night’s empty netter. Doesn’t use his linemates well.

Manny Malhotra D: Malhotra was a huge part of the team’s success last year. This year he looks old and slow, struggling terribly with lack of summer training due to eye surgeries.


Dan Hamhuis: A – : The Smithers native has been most consistent Canucks dman.

Alex Edler: B+ : Near the top of scoring lead among NHL defensemen, but has defensive lapses when not paired with Sami Salo. The Canucks need to find him a partner when Salo is not available in order to keep Edler off of the ride side where he struggles. If he plays all season on left side, he could be a Norris candidate.

Sami Salo: B : Fragile veteran has shown he can still make a valuable contribution.

Keith Ballard: C: Last year’s whipping dog has played regularly this season, and looks great when jumping into the rush or throwing his patented hip check. But he’s suspect in the defensive zone and lacks the breakout passing ability (unlike, say, Christian Ehrhoff) to jump start the Canucks desired transition offense.

Andrew Alberts: C: Hasn’t been terrible, which is often the best thing you can say about Alberts. With Aaron Rome back and Alex Sulzer and Chris Tanev knocking on the door, Alberts could be the odd man out if the blue line is healthy.

Kevin Bieksa D: “Juice” has been downright brutal this year, making bad pinches and reads. Was Bieksa’s breakout season last year an aberration?


Roberto Luongo: C+. Let’s be honest – Lou hasn’t been very good so far this season. A fair portion of that is due to the Canucks poor defensive play, even though Luongo takes most of the blame. He needs to be better.

Cory Schneider: B Schneider continues his solid play from last season.

Coaching Staff: B Alain Vigneault and company continue to show no hints of a Plan B in several scenarios. That was a major problem against the Bruins in the playoffs last year.



Just Posted

GALLERY: Remembrance Day services in Terrace

Residents surrounded the cenotaph at City Hall Nov. 11

Terrace RCMP investigating suspicious death of a man in Thornhill

Kamloops resident was found unresponsive early Sunday morning, died hours later

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

Two Terrace athletes celebrated at Premier Awards

Indigenous youth recognized for sport, school and community involvement

First-ever Winters Farmers Market debuts in Terrace

Local food vendors to sell fresh food throughout winter, workshops to come

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read