Friday, November 23, 2007

Canucks 21 Game Mark Awards

Biggest Positive Surprise: Alex Burrows. Alex Frigging Burrows. The whole "he's a gritty, hard working player" thing gets thrown around a lot in the NHL. A lot of the time players getting this label don't work any harder than anyone else, but have no other discernible qualities so that's the only nice thing the announcers can think of to say about them. Alex Burrows is not one of those players. Alex Burrows genuinely works harder than everyone else, and that's the only reason he has an NHL career right now. I mean seriously, when Dave Nonis spent the off-season signing grinder/energy type players like he was Brian Burke, leaving the Canucks with approximately 23423 options on the fourth line, would you have predicted that Alex Burrows, who went undrafted and had all of 3 goals and 9 points last season, would have played every single game for the team this season and made a meaningful contribution? That's exactly what he's done, matching his goal total from last season (including 2 game winners) and putting up 8 points. So, you know, well done there.

Biggest Negative Surprise: Kevin Bieksa. Even before the injury. Nothing else to say, really.

Least Surprising Moment of the Season Award:Sami Salo's injury. It's just getting silly at this point. You'd think that eventually, just through the sheer force of probabilities, he'd have a season where he doesn't get injured, the same way normal players have seasons where they do get injured once in a while. Salo's had maybe two seasons without a major injury. In fact here's his games played every for every season of his career before this one: 61, 37, 31, 66, 79, 74, 59, 67. This isn't necessarily meant to be an insult, you can't really blame a guy for getting injured, and he doesn't seem like the type of guy who's always trying to sit games for every little thing. Still, it's just strange to see. And by strange I mean horribly frustrating.

The Ryan Shannon Memorial "Help Me I'm Stuck in the Minors Award"-The first iteration of this award goes to...Ryan Shannon. Two goals in three games! I think whatever point about defensive discipline the coaches were trying to make has been made already. Can we let him back up now? Hell, play him as a defenceman if we've got more room there. You can say it's some kind of ironic punishment for his defensive failings. Have I mentioned he scored two goals in three games?

The "Good Stuff's Happerning, Let's Not Screw it up by Talking About it Award". This award goes to Luc Bourdon. Playing not horribly now that no one's actually paying any attention to him. Let's try to keep it that way. You hear that, Tony Gallagher? That's not Luc Bourdon. That's Ryan Shannon in disguise.

Rookie of the Year Award: Alex Edler. I actually think it's gonna be a sad day when all our defencemen are healed up and back at it, because a lot of the guys who've stepped up right now are going to have to get sent down. Is there any team in the league that has more depth on defense than the Canucks right now? Every move right down to Mike Weaver has worked out well. Good times.

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