Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 1/30/13
Best & Worst Nucks It may be an unusual season in terms of length in this post-lockout world, but aside from that it’s yet another year and yet another slow start for the Vancouver Canucks. However, unless the uncertain tangle the team is in gets unravelled mighty quick this year could be done and dusted. The middling start for the team matches the indifferent performance of the team’s stars. Let’s take a look at the best and the worst of the Canucks line-up so far. Overachievers: Roberto Luongo Was supposed to be parcelled up and sold off to the highest bidder to make way for the royal successor, but Luuuu has provided some stability in net while Cory Schneider finds his groove. For all the criticism thrown at him, the slick haired one projects professionalism…and a strong goals against average. (He’ll also get the nod tonight vs. the Avs.) Zack Kassian Has been seen variously as a project in the making, and a fourth liner, but a four game goal streak has merited him time on the vaunted Sedins line. He is still very much unpolished, but at least someone on the team is playing with strength, passion, and energy. Can he inherit some Sedinery? For all the criticism thrown at him, the slick haired one projects professionalism Chris Tanev Is the only defenseman who can truly lay claim to the defence tag. He has kept his game simple as always, funneling his check to the outside and quickly extricating the puck for the forwards. If only the other blue liners realized that is the primary duty of their position. Underachievers: Dan Hamhuis Seems absolutely lost at the moment. He is tied for a team worst minus 3, and looks unfit and clumsy on his skates. For a player commonly regarded as a true professional, his lack of readiness must be a disheartening sight. Jason Garrison Is a big budget bust at this early point. He has contributed nothing to the offence, particularly the power play, which is his supposed strength. The BC native has also been guilty of a couple of glaringly awful giveaways, especially his blunder in the San Jose contest. The lanky defenceman must get it going. Manny Malhotra Has been the poorest player of all this year for the Canucks. The new faceoff rules appear to have sapped his effectiveness in his specialty skill and he looks to be far too slow and ineffective on the checking line and fourth line duty. It’s a sad sight for such a good man. Throw in the fact he’s got a newborn at home and we all know (parents that is) how much of a factor that will have on his daily energy level. What about it Vancouver fans? Who do you see as the best and worst players so far for the Canucks? Weigh in below in our comments section here at NWSB? The sprint for the 2013 Stanley Cup is underway. Every 6-7 games I’ll weigh in with my overachievers & underachieving Nucks. Stay tuned. https://twitter.com/NWSportsBeat/status/296717030877433856 CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS BLOG IN THE CLUBHOUSE TODAY!
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