Originally written March 10, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
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Few bright spots in underwhelming week It was a very disappointing week for the Vancouver Canucks, and certainly for their legion of fans. The team dropped two of three games, and to teams they really, really should beat. The lone bright spot was a home victory over the defending champion L.A. Kings. It’s always a great feeling to beat the team that ended your season a year ago. The losses to Phoenix and Calgary were tough to swallow as a fan. The Coyotes are having a decent year, but they really pose no threat down the stretch. And the Flames are very mediocre and should not beat a top-tier team like the Canucks. The boys seem to be pulling their old ‘play to the level of your competition routine again. Let’s hope they can snap out of it and just play up to their own capabilities, which are among the best in the league. Jannik Hansen earns top honors this week. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck) In the meantime, here’s a look at the Canucks’ top performers from the week of Feb. 25 to March 4. Third Star – Chris Higgins Chris Higgins is one of my favourite Canucks. He is a hustle guy who skates hard and has a great shot when called upon. He is quiet, like many of the ‘Nucks, and he does his job. He’s one of a handful of talented Americans on the roster, often part an all-American front ice trio. Higgins registered three points, including two goals, in last week’s action. Second Star – Henrik Sedin The twins took some time to heat up this year, which was understandable for most players following the lengthy off-season. But Hank and Dank got the ball rolling, and started piling up the points, to every fan’s delight. The captain continued his solid play last week—albeit during a very uninspiring week for the team as a whole. Henrik tallied a goal and three assists in last week’s three games. First Star – Jannik Hansen This guy can flat out fly. That’s one of a few reasons he is one of my other fave Canucks. Hansen, like the Sedins, has revved up his contributions on the stat sheet lately. The great Dane (could be a new nickname?) posted a solid week of work for the Canucks with a balanced attack of two goals and two helpers. His speed is undoubtedly one of the reasons he scores some pretty goals, but he has also improved his hands greatly over the past couple of seasons to make himself a scoring threat and not just a speedy decoy. It’s obvious to hope he continues his solid play in pushing forward for the playoff run, but I really hope he keeps up his hot streak for the sheer entertainment value. Last week’s goal of the week comes courtesy of Daniel Sedin: Let’s all cross our fingers for some more successful outings in the near future for the boys in blue. Go ‘Nucks! CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSPORTSBEAT!
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