Canucks Mid Season Report Card
Old man winter looks determined to take our 2010, and bring in 2011, because, man, is it ever friggin’ cold. The end of the year is filled with plenty of lists, from best songs, videos, movies, and sports plays of the year to biggest news stories of the year. For us, our favorite part of this year would be mid season report cards for the Vancouver Canucks. Everything I’ve read has them at a B+ or higher which is deserving, considering they’ve had the season they’ve had, without Sami Salo in the lineup. Rather than rate the year thus far, why not compare this years squad with last years? In place of Pavol Demitra, Steve Bernier, Ryan Johnston, and Kyle ‘porkchop’ Wellwood, the Canucks have inserted Manny Malhotra, Raffi Torres, Jeff Tambellini, and have cycled a winger with guys like Volpatti. Demitra might have been a familiar name, but was very inconsistent just like Bernier and the quickly forgotten Michael Grabner. Guys like Torres and Tambi while given the title of underachievers as well, are more effective in their roles even on an off day. Manny Malhotra in place of fan favorite, and tireless worker, Ryan Johnston was a tough but great decision. Malhotra is an effective penalty killer without sacrificing his body like Johnston. He’s also a strong face-off guy, and has some offensive abilities as well. From all accounts, sounds like he’s a strong voice in the room to boot. Our D was injected with steadiness through the addition of Dan Hamhuis, and Keith Ballard, as the team decided not to rely on Willie Mitchell. Then of course, there’s been the rebirth of Ryan Kesler, the same old magic from the twins, Burrows returning to form, and a strong campaign from Bobby Lou, and dependable Corey Schnieder. This management team has shown that they can make quick changes without leveraging the future. I don’t know what grade I’d give the team, but the skies definitely are clearer, and the sun is shining a little brighter than in the past.